Learning how to do good loser face, with Jennifer and her Hollywood pals


‘We should be in touch by the weekend,’ they said at my interview on Wednesday. Thursday I felt twitchy. Yesterday I felt sick. My phone didn’t leave my hand. (Actually that’s not unusual – you’ve gotta be on top of your WordPress notifications, right? But I don’t normally check my email every 15 minutes.) I had to put it on charge twice through the day (still keeping it to hand).

But no call came. I checked I’d given them the right phone number. I checked my phone was working. I checked my answerphone. I sat by the door waiting for the post. Nada. Niente. Nothing.

Well, how rude.

Then the various scenarios started taking over.

Obviously I haven’t got the job. The other person obviously must have nailed it. Maybe they’re just waiting for him/her to accept their offer before letting me know. But why is he/she heel-dragging? I would have said ‘yes’ straight away. Really they should have picked me.

Or maybe the other person had to re-schedule their interview. Flaky. Obviously I have already proven greater enthusiasm, availability and reliability. Surely the job should be mine. So what if they’ve got experience and a proven track record? So why haven’t they let me know?

Or maybe the interviews were so close that they’re having trouble deciding.

Or maybe a third person has thrown their hat into the ring, in which case I’m sunk. The chances of two other people applying with absolutely no reason for doing so and them both being horrible, stupid people are beyond Kate Moss slim.

I’m not going to get the job, am I? Which is bad, because in my head I’ve already picked what to wear on my first day and am sat at my new desk. If…when…they tell me ‘no’ I’m going to cry. I always cry.

I’m going to need to work on my stiff upper lip, to learn how to be gracious in defeat. To work on my loser face.

Where better to look than Hollywood? Having to accept defeat (possibly multiple times over) whilst the world AND your peers are watching as that Oscar statuette disappears from your dreams – it takes some doing to pull off grace and dignity under such circumstances. After all who doesn’t hope for an Oscar one day? Imagine how it must be to be within touching point and to be let down! Although I’m sure the vast millions in the bank, diamonds on loan from Harry Winston and proximity to George Clooney help off-set the agony.

Actually, that’s a good starting point. Could someone please send George round ASAP so he could be horrified on my behalf when I don’t get the job. Shouldn’t be too hard – we are engaged, albeit in a parallel universe after all.

Nice work, George. How could they not hire me, right?

But I’d still have to make it through the phone call before I could dissolve into tears on George’s shoulder.

Now, I need to tighten my resolve before I dissolve, but I don’t want to come across as a sourpuss like Taylor Swift.


An attempt at an air of indifference only thinly disguising being clearly disappointed and a tad pissed off like Bill Murray doesn’t fool anyone either.


And swearing under my breath à la Samuel Jackson might not be the most professional approach.


But overly-gushy, might not cut it either. Cate Blanchett, I’ll leave the over-excitement in the face of disappointment to you.


On balance, I think Leonardo DiCaprio needs to be my loser muse. I’ll well up slightly, but fight back the tears and graciously offer my warm thanks to the victor.


‘You bastard. I hate you.’

Actually, if I can pull that off then I should be up for an Oscar for best actress in a supportive role.

Ultimately I think my best bet is to arrange a Skype call and swish around in a fancy frock. That way, Jennifer Lawrence can be my inspiration, be it good news or bad.

If I don’t get the job I can fall gracefully to the floor. The tears may be ugly, but at least my gown will look fabulous.


And if by some miracle I do get the job, I can be all cool about it. ‘Oh yeah, no worries – I knew I had it in the bag!’


Thank you, Jen, for being so ace. I’m onto a winner even if I lose.


12 thoughts on “Learning how to do good loser face, with Jennifer and her Hollywood pals”

  1. Ugh. Hate that they’re keeping you dangling like this! Not fair. But am sure you will pull of classic reaction no matter which way it goes (and it has to go your way…it just HAS to!)

      1. Oh, no….it’ll be much better than that you have to know that much! You’ll have offspring on the loo, have full bladder of your own waiting, and a major spill of some sticky syrup or something in the kitchen at same time. Has to be.

      2. Of course! Lol. That’s precisely why they haven’t called yet – I’ve been too idle waiting.
        Just as long as the spill in the kitchen doesn’t get on my Oscar-worthy gown.

  2. Great article! If it cheers you up, I once had a second round interview where I was told that I had the job and that the next thing they would send to me would be the contract to sign.
    What actually came was a very short standard rejection letter. After playing various scenarios in my head (they did not like me after all, someone better came along, big evil conspiracy…) I decided to call them and ask what was going on. It turned out that an apprentice had been meaning too well, felt sorry for the large pile of applicants and sent rejection letters to everyone. A copy of my application had ended up there, thus the rejection.
    The contract came with better terms than agreed verbally, I stayed for six happy years and started every salary negotiation with “So, are you still glad that I called you after you sent me the rejection letter?”.
    Worked well. Guilt is a marvelous thing if it is on the other side of the negotiation table.

  3. When I entered a writing competition a few months back they said they would have the winners contacted by the first of March. No one had heard from the until almost a week later (i checked the facebook page every hour). And then I got an e-mail from them just before I went into a lecture and I was giddy with excitement and then it said “you are not shortlisted” and I did a Leonardo Di Caprio. I hope you get the job though, you seem really excited about it. 😀

    1. What would be more fun? Entertaining Noodles in a changing room whilst Boo does her dance class? Or sitting in an office with access to look at the very best homes in the county? And by ‘very best’ I mean the ones you drive past and think ‘Oooooooh. I wish I lived there. But probably so does the Queen.’

      1. ha! I would say looking at houses, but then there’ll come a point where I’ve seen too many and get sad that I don’t actually own a single one of them 😀

  4. Ugh – – I was just certain (writer instinct certain) that this post was going to have that surprise positive ending. Oh well…the surprise is that I do not have good instincts. You’ve written such a clever post on waiting – – can you not send it to the human resource department so that it will make their decision for them? Much the same way I suggested putting your posts on the windshield of the cars that park on your street. See? I’m always thinking of practical ways to use your blog to your advantage. Meanwhile, I guess you wait. But you realize don’t you…..so do we!!!!!
    fingers crossed,

    1. They’d better get in touch tomorrow, Steph, otherwise I’m going to go blog-ballistic on them. I could become an Oscar-gown version of Miss Haversham, poised at any moment to do my loser face. I’ve already got the house of cobwebs (I don’t like evicting siders in case their bigger cousins come to exact their revenge). And I don’t think it would take much to descend into madness. Plus I’d never have to do any housework again. It’s a win:win situation really.

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