In thinking about the whippersnapper I posted about below, I remember another young man I worked with at the job I just left. His name is Jason. Jason is about the same age, but was raised to be a Southern gentleman: courteous and soft-spoken, pleasant and respectful to everyone, while still very smart and hard-working.
Jason graduated from Ole Miss not necessarily knowing what he wanted to do, and applied to dental school. He didn't do a lot of preparation for the standardized test or the interview, and didn't do well on either. After this he decided he really did want to be a dentist, so he bought some practice books and re-took the test, and did very well. He also called to schedule a redo on the interview.
The person Jason talked to about the interview didn't want to schedule a redo because (without checking his notes) he was sure Jason did just fine. Jason tried to insist on redoing the interview but he didn't push hard enough or maybe the person he talked to dug his heels in, and the interview was not scheduled.
When Jason's "sorry you didn't make the cut letter" arrived, he asked and found out that it was because of that lackluster interview. He called the person who wouldn't schedule a redo and complained bitterly, but it was too late b/c the class had been filled. His dad, he said, was furious, but when your kid is grown you can't fix things like that. (Frequently you can't fix them when your kid isn't grown, but you can at least try.) Jason was manly about it but we all felt terrible for him. Another coworker planned a "Jason appreciation day" for which we all brought special snacks for the morning break and were extra-nice to him. He laughed about it but I think it really did make him feel better.
Shortly after it was announced that the company was closing, Jason came to me to give notice. It seemed that his mother had showed his resume around to some people she knew, and some of them took it a little farther, and then he had a job interview in Jackson, MS, I think, for a pharmaceutical company, and he got the job. From what he described it sounded like a fantastic opportunity and one he is well suited to.
When he left I heard yet another coworker remark enviously that Jason got all the luck. Everything just magically worked out for him. Whatever.