Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Employee Angry When Passed Over for Better Job

DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel terrible right now. I have been passed up yet again for a job I really wanted. The person who got it is an industry friend. I know I should be happy for her, but it’s hard to feel that. I believe I was more qualified for the job. Obviously only one person could get it, but it should have been me. The company made a big announcement this week, and I am so upset about it. How can I quiet my negative feelings on this one? I know I should reach out to this woman and congratulate her, turn the page and look for something else. But right now, all I want to do is scream. -- Passed Over, Memphis, Tennessee

DEAR PASSED OVER: I am sorry that you were not selected for the job you so wanted. That is a tough experience to go through. It is understandable that you are still upset. Maybe you should let out a big ol' scream so that you release all the pent-up anger you have. Allow yourself to be mad for a moment. Let it all out, and then let go of those feelings.

You can write your industry friend a note of congratulations. Wish her well and leave it at that. You do not need to say anything about your feelings. Chances are, she doesn’t even know that you applied for this job. Don’t talk about your loss. That will only keep the anger alive.

Beyond that, you should refocus your attention on you and what you want for your career. Look for other opportunities that may be fulfilling. This one no longer exists.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My next-door neighbor has a newborn, and the baby screams his head off almost every night. The walls in our building are pretty thin, and sometimes the screaming wakes me. I know that my neighbor can’t control the child’s cries, but I’m beginning to feel like I have a baby, too. What can I do or say to reduce the noise in the middle of the night? -- Crying Baby Blues, Philadelphia

DEAR CRYING BABY BLUES: If you don’t have rugs in your apartment, you may want to consider investing in one to put in the room that is closest to the baby’s cries. Rugs absorb sound and may help to muffle the sound a bit. Also consider getting a white-noise machine. That, too, helps to make sounds less audible.

If you have a good rapport with the mom, you might make the same recommendations to her. If she uses a rug in her apartment, it can help to reduce the sounds. Tell her what you are doing to try to make it more comfortable to sleep. Ask her if she would do the same.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)