Here’s a copy of an email exchange a reader sent me today. You’ll notice that very much unlike the department involved, I redact names.

***

From: [REDACTED]

Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 4:14 PM

To: [REDACTED]

Cc: [HUGE LIST OF WHAT HAS GOT TO BE 200 PEOPLE]

Subject: Re: Thank you for your interest in our position

Hi there!

Thanks for the mass email rejection!

Recipients:  How many of you have gotten a rejection like this before?

I am grateful that it’s an unpleasant first for me!

Good luck to all you recipients!  Believe that you are way more valuable than this program’s approach would indicate.  I’ll keep good thoughts for everyone on this distribution list! We all deserve better than a mass email — and better than to have our privacy violated in this way.

Best wishes to you all!

[A SERIOUS ASS-KICKER]

Associate Professor, [DISCIPLINE]

On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 8:58 AM, [REDACTED] wrote:

Hi,

Thank you for your interest in our position.

[REDACTED]

Secretary, Office Manager

[DEPARTMENT]

***

Thanks for making my day, unnamed Associate Professor.

And anyone who needs a lesson in redaction or BCC’ing, I guess I can show you how to do it?

Many LOLs.

 

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10 thoughts on “A CC Snafu Becomes a Jackass Shaming-Session: Well Played

  1. If there’s any “skills training” colleges should offer these days, it should be how to differentiate between CC and BCC. Shockingly few people seem to be able to do this.

    Also, I LOVE that the depart just re-sent the email. “No no, trust me. The new one will automatically replace the old one.”

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  2. To be fair, the original message is signed by the secretary / office manager. These people are typically overworked, underpaid, and unfairly tasked with breaking bad news to applicants (not only job applicants, but student applicants to the program as well). Not saying that excuses the mistake, but the real ass-hattery here is the committee chair hiding behind the office worker instead of sending the message him- or herself. Is it so hard to write a two-sentence message? Or is it really about insulating one’s self from having to deal with this sort of thing?

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  3. I have received a similar letter for a job for which I was shortlisted (one of three final candidates). They sent it about three months after the successful applicant had already been hired. Nice!

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  4. Hell, now they’re beginning to not even send rejection letters and e-mails to non-tenure-track applicants for lectureships and instructorships. You’re told to check the HR website to see if the position has been filled. So that means you get to wait EVEN LONGER, only to find out that they’ve ALREADY HIRED someone. The Academic Jobs Wiki is great for helping people decide whether they should wait by the phone, but seriously? Not even a “Thanks, but no thanks”?

    I realize our tenured faculty need their 4-5 weeks of unsanctioned vacation every winter, despite that time being considered part of the 9-month employment contract, but come on. If an application deadline is mid-December, those people on the hiring committees should use that non-teaching time to make sure people aren’t waiting until the end of MARCH to find out whether they even have an interview for a job. What do they do instead? Work stops the last day of fall finals, and they do NOTHING until mid- to late January when classes resume. And then, of course, they take even longer to sift through the applications because, well, they’ve got teaching and other things to do during the semester.

    One of the perks of being a tenured professor is the ability to skip work whenever you want when you don’t have to be in the classroom. In any other job, that’d be considered work avoidance and/or insubordination and it would subject the employee to termination with cause. The same should be the case for tenured and tenure-track faculty.

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