Tuesday, October 16, 2007

wherein my week from hell gets ever more hellish

Things I ponder:

-- Why, exactly, did I think it would be a good idea to eat chili with habaneros for dinner when my stomach felt dodgy to begin with? (It wasn't. On the bright (?) side, I have piles and piles of job apps to distract me from my misery.)

-- If a job ad says to include a self-addressed, stamped postcard with your application, does it make you look like more of a flake if you use a pretty picture postcard from Chester, England, or if you don't send one at all? (Assume, for the sake of argument, that going out and buying a nice professional blank postcard for the occasion is Just Not Going To Happen.)

-- What's up with ads that ask for personal statements about something very specific and eccentric? Do they think we have nothing better to do than write a custom-tailored essay for every application?

-- What the heck do you say in a job letter for a department where you're already a VAP? It seems really stupid to be telling them stuff about me that they already know, yet some of it would look equally stupid if left out.

Essays graded: 12
Blatant cases of plagiarism found: 2
Plagiarists confronted: 1
Job application packets assembled: 3


Sisyphus said...

I do not know the answers to any of those questions.

If it were me, I would be tempted to send a postcard with a really really bizarre and borderline obscene picture. And only after mailing it out would I obsess over whether my sense of humor was going to get me tossed.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Good to know that Chester, England probably won't look too incongruous by comparison :)

Anonymous said...

I think the fun postcard is fine. I'm guessing it will be seen by the person who opens the mail and checks what has been received, rather than the search committee.

Tell the committee what they already know, so that it is easy for them to compare you on paper with other applicants without having to think about it, or even realize they are reading *your* app as they do a quick skim through the pile.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Oh, good points, thanks.

Anonymous said...

PS on the letter at current institution--you are also writing for the dean/HR who need paperwork for the files to defend your potential hire.

I do a lot of "writing for the admin archives", largely connected to money--eg, a quick email to get spending pre-approval because I don't want an audit to decide we need to enforce official forms.