The purpose of the smokers is to give job candidates an opportunity to mingle, in a more informal setting, with people from the departments that are looking to hire them. But the thing is, most philosophers don’t do informal so well. We’re perfectly capable of ripping each other new assholes in formal situations, like when we’re commenting on each other’s work and whatnot. But we're not so good with the mundane chitchat. Especially not when the stakes are so high.
I had to be all surreptitious in taking this photo, so there’s not much in it that’s recognizable. But you can sort of make out the suits and nametags. And the complete lack of women. Imagine, if you will, a room full of thousands of socially retarded academics, sipping warm shitty beer, and trying their very hardest to make small-talk. “Awkward” doesn’t even begin to describe it.