Monday, November 19, 2007

More Stress than We Need

I need to get some work done tonight, so I can have a grading-free Thanksgiving, but I'd like to take a moment to register my protest of this new job-market wiki.

I mean really, what purpose does it serve? Is it helpful to know that someone else already has an MLA interview scheduled when you yourself might not? To calculate the application-to-interview ratio of a total stranger?

The job market is competitive and unpleasant enough without our encouraging one another to undergo this kind of comparison.

I had a brief--brief--moment in which I considered posting my current stats, because my current stats are actually making me really happy (I've been getting some responses). But then I looked at that impulse, and rejected it. I could post my stats, but why? So that someone else can feel sad at not having had as good a response at this point (which is totally meaningless, of course)? So that someone else can feel smug for having had a better response?

The purpose of this new wiki page eludes me. It's just another way for this process to be hateful and emotionally destructive.

My intention is to ignore it, but I'm pretty sure that I'll give in to curiosity now and again. Still, I protest this site, and will not post anything on it.

Or is there something I'm missing? Have others among you looked at this page and found it useful/interesting/not generative of self-loathing?


Sisyphus said...

Yeah, I don't know --- the whole process is making me crazy until I don't know what is normal and not normal.

But good luck for a happy and grading free T-giving!

heu mihi said...

Thanks! Although, frankly, in order to achieve my grading-free Thanksgiving, I'm going to have to get my proverbial ass in gear. Perhaps my actual ass, as well--although that thought just led my imagination in a direction that I'd rather not describe.

I just found that last year I had such a horrifying emotional experience on the market that I'm very, very wary of things that don't seem to do much but add to the hyper-competitive, self-judging/self-condemning aspect of the job search that is already so hard to avoid. Could just be me, though.

Dr. Crazy said...

I've looked at it, and no, I don't get it either. Actually, I really don't think that the regular wiki is really of much use either.... my first year on the market there was no such thing, and honestly I think that was really less stressful, not monitoring day to day what everybody was hearing. Sure, there was waiting, but there's still waiting now - only there's the added anxiety of knowing others are getting responses. I know the process is mystifying, and that is stressful, but I think that things like the wiki don't necessarily get rid of that anxiety-producing mystification: I think they just intensify it.

Dance said...

I totally agree this is awful, and just posted that I'm glad nothing like this was around for me--plus I find the formatting hard to follow on all these--but I got a big (cynical) laugh from the bit at the end, where someone asks:

Q: I assume that the number of apps here is a cumulative number rather than the number of applications sent out by one person, right?

The bewilderment of this person, thinking "66 apps? 48 apps? People can't be sending that many apps." OH YES THEY CAN.

A: I'm not sure what you are asking, but each line is one person's experience for this job season.
A: It is exactly the number sent out by each applicant.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

I'm also glad that nothing like this was around until last year -- safely several years after I'd gotten my job. I'm obsessive, and this wouldn't have helped.

Tell you what I do miss? The long-gone Lingua Franca's annual "Who got hired" issue. That was pretty interesting reading, I think.

On the other hand, Medieval Academy has an admittedly non-comprehensive list of hires in medieval fields. Of course, this list is on schedule like Speculum is on schedule -- read: not at all.