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Archive for September, 2011

Sugar Puffs’ Pony Moments

Many years ago Sugar Puffs ran a competition. The first prize was a pony, and the consolation prizes were cocker spaniel puppies as I remember. Setting aside the dubious ethics of giving living animals as prizes in a competition, which I was too young to recognise, it was an amazingly successful marketing move. Thousands of children who would never normally be able to aspire to owning a pony must have entered. I know I did. The difference was I was going to win that pony. Whatever pep talks I was given about probability, cynical marketing by global corporations and the unsuitability of our council house as a long term home for a pony, let alone the cost of upkeep I was going to win. My pony and I would instantly build a rapport that would overcome all obstacles, including my inability to ride, and gallop off into the sunset. We were going to win Burghley, Hickstead and possibly the Grand National (although even then I didn’t approve of that race).

The day of the announcement drew nearer. I rearranged my bedroom so my pony would have somewhere to sleep and eyed up the long grass on the allotments for hay. I couldn’t sleep the night before. All day I waited for the horsebox. It didn’t arrive. I told myself we were a long way from London where the draw took place so my pony was on her way. Tomorrow she would be here. My poor long suffering parents tried to burst the bubble but I was sure they were wrong this time. My brother said I was stupid and tried to pummel some sense into me. I was oblivious. I knew I was the perfect person for the Sugar Puffs Pony and deserved to win. The gods would recognise that.

Of course, I didn’t get my pony. I have no idea who did. My older cynicism doubts that anybody did.

I have been trying to find a job for a long time now. I have had a lot of rejections and I realise I am unlikely to get what i want nowadays. A few weeks ago a job was advertised that exactly matched my experience, was where I wanted to live and with an organisation I wanted to work for. I applied, and I really thought I was going to have a chance. My little voice said it was unlikely that the job was going to go to someone like me. I ignored it, I knew once I got into an interview I could persuade them I was the right person.

I didn’t even get an interview. I don’t know why and I am not going to ask. I am just recognising it as another Sugar Puffs’ Pony. No matter how right I think I might be, the powers that be didn’t see it that way. Which is entirely their prerogative and I am sure they will find exactly who they need and want. It doesn’t stop it hurting though, but at least thanks to Sugar Puffs and that long-ago competition I know we don’t always get what we think we deserve, and that the disappointment fades.

I still should have won that pony though.

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