Monday, October 29, 2007

Panic. Panic!

I just got an email from a school where I've applied for a job, telling me that page 2 of my advisor's recommendation letter is missing.

I got a similar email last week, from a different school. I called our dossier people. They assured me that they would resend the letter and that it was very unlikely that the mistake would have been repeated in any of my other dossiers.

Well, the mistake was repeated. I have emailed the dossier folk and will call in the morning. I have politely asked them to resend the letter to all 22 schools where my dossier was sent.

I really hope that they do it.

I mean, seriously--this could hurt me, right? When schools are just looking for a way to shift you onto the reject pile? Not that they'd think it was my fault, necessarily, but--yikes. You try so hard to be perfect, and then there are things you can't control--and that's unacceptable. Yeah, okay, that's a textbook control-freak attitude, but in this case I think it's justified. Argh! Help! How bad is this???

13 comments:

Flavia said...

Oh, no!

But really, I'm sure you'll be fine. This kind of thing (a letter not sent--or delayed due to advisorly inattention--or a missing transcript) happens all the time. The school(s) wouldn't have contacted you if they were looking for any excuse to shift anyone to the reject pile--but your having new letters sent to the other schools is admirably and appropriately cautious!

This is a sucky time, and I know things like this just make it more stressful. But you'll do great.

Sisyphus said...

Ooh, keep cool, keep cool. It will all work out all right. You seem on top of things.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Ouch, that sucks. I hate it when stuff like that happens, but honestly, I'm sure rec letters and transcripts come in late all the time, and they're not going to toss an application for things that are beyond the candidate's control.

heu mihi said...

Okay. Thanks. I'm calmer now. Dossier Person emailed me tonight--VERY apologetically and concernedly (?? Blogger accepts "concernedly" as a word, but not "okay"??)--and assured me that the letters would ALL be resent tomorrow. Yes. This is not a crisis. Inhale. Exhale. Etc.

squadratomagico said...

I understand your panic, but I think there is one thing to feel very good about: the search committees actually contacted you. I've been on search committees and let me tell you, if we had no interest in an applicant, and said applicant was missing part of a recommendation letter, well, we'd just move on. The fact that they contacted you surely means that they found your other materials interesting and compelling. So yeah, scary moment, but definite silver lining.

Belle said...

I agree (again) with Sq; it's a good sign. Breathe. Eat chocolate. You're doing fine.

heu mihi said...

And of course, I won't think about the schools that *haven't* contacted me about the missing page! --I'm kidding; Belle and sq, your words are very reassuring.

Also reassuring is the fact that I was *awakened* by the dossier people calling me early this morning--granted (or "granite," as my students would write), there is a time difference between here and there, but still: They're plainly On The Case.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

What Squadro & Belle said: this means that they actually looked at your letters.

And the fact that the dossier office is resending that letter to all should take care of any other problems. If you feel like you need to do something, you might send off a professional e-mail to departments, saying that "My university's dossier office has informed me that they accidentally sent off the letter from Professor X without page 2. You should be receiving a replacement copy in the mail soon. I apoligize for the error."

heu mihi said...

Notorious,

That's a good idea. Perhaps I'll do that this weekend.... Depends on how anxious I'm feeling (and where it ends up working its way into the priorities list!).

medieval woman said...

Okay - you talked to Pam, right? And she's on the case?? It's all gonna be fine and it does really bode well that people were emailing you! Imagine them sitting there, feverishly turning the pages of your application...they just can't put it down, it's so compelling....and then...NO! The last page of the letter isn't there! We MUST have it soon if only to complete the picture of academic perfection that is: heu mihi.

I want details next weekend...and send me your intro bio for the panel! ;)

heu mihi said...

Oh yeah--whoops! Will do tonight, MW. Can't wait to catch up!

What Now? said...

I'm glad things are working out -- but what a panic after hearing from the school! Clearly your school's dossier service is recognizing a major in-house problem and working to fix it while taking care of your letters; I think the idea of an email to the schools is a great idea.

See you next weekend!

undine said...

I don't think it could hurt you. The search committee let you know, so they obviously understand that there's a clerical error of some sort involved and that it'll be straightened out.