It’s the most wonderful time of the year
When committees acknowledge
You want to work at their college(s)
BUT THEY SHOULD NOW FEAR….
…that their half-assed and patently ridiculous “acknowledgements of receipt” be broadcast the Internet-wide!
As I have written for Vitae, one of the many dispiriting aspects of the academic job market is that candidates spend literally hundreds of hours pouring out their entire scholarly and pedagogical beings into extensive dossiers, only to have said dossiers be met with a Nietzschean Abyss of total silence. Sometimes, committees do deign to let you know they recognize your application, and I guess they deserve a cookie or something for acting like human beings.
However, this is not the way to do it:
A reader tips me off to a friend of his who’s on the market, who applied to a position in English at Baruch College, which is part of the CUNY system, and thus located in New York, and thus a “desirable” job. Here is what this reader’s friend got as acknowledgement of receipt:
“An empty email with an attachment. The attachment is a Word document called “Baruch_Logo_English (3).docx.” Once you download the attachment, you see that it is a note of receipt of application and a link to the HR survey. A LINK IN A WORD DOCUMENT ATTACHED TO AN EMPTY EMAIL.”
That’s right, plebs, you are unworthy of TEXT IN YOUR EMAIL until you get to the campus visit stage. Text in emails is for appropriately tenured professionals, visiting dignitaries, and David Petraeus. Now please fill out this survey, because what we need is more of your time before we continue to ignore you.
Attention Baruch College English search committee: cut-and-paste has been around since 1985, and BCC since 1995. I realize you are probably still writing your manuscripts out longhand and then handing them off to the ladies in the typing pool, so this whole business is new to you, but I would like to go on the record as unimpressed.
Hat tip to reader “X” and reader’s friend “Y” for giving me the first name-and-shame material. Job candidates, keep them coming. Search committees, bless their hearts, are reading this blog and if we shame enough of them, they might actually start acting like Earth Humans.