Saturday, September 1, 2007

Rocking the Passive Voice XVII

Guess what turned up in my inbox on Friday? A PFO! I guess the department that sent it wanted to get their rejection e-mails out of the way before, you know, the Labor Day weekend. That's like, what? 10 months between the application deadline and the rejection?

But I bet I know why it took so long. Someone obviously put a lot of thought into it:

Thank you for your interest in the following position:

Position Title: Assistant Professor
Posting Number: [blah, blah, blah]
Department: Philosophy

Your application has been reviewed and based on our current pool of applicants, you will not be considered for an interview at this time.

We appreciate your interest in this position and we wish you well in locating the opportunity you desire. We invite you to log on to to apply for other job opportunities at [C]SU for which you feel you qualify.

[Crappy] State University

Not having a salutation of any kind is pretty awesome, but what makes this PFO super-awesome is the way it's just signed with the school's name instead of a real person's. Now that's class.

Update: In comments, himself puts a positive spin on how late this PFO was: "[w]hen universities send you rejections before they've interviewed applicants, that's when they're really telling you to get fucked." Fair point.


Himself said...

I got one of these I little while back from a prestigious university, and I felt quite flattered that they had been keeping me in reserve just in case for so long. When universities send you rejections before they've interviewed applicants, that's when they're really telling you to get fucked.

Anonymous said...

I got this email as well. I deleted it, but wasn't it from [C]SU's human resources department? Several of the most clueless and bizarrely late rejections I've received have not been from the departments themselves.

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Anon. -- It has that feel to it, doesn't it? But I went through my stack of letters and e-mails and couldn't find anything else from [C]SU. So maybe this is all they send?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing so.

For my own part, I don't mind the lame rejection letters as much as never receiving any acknowledgment of my application. When I was applying to graduate schools, both times I applied to Snooty Private University and never received so much as a postcard telling me to get lost. Last year on the job market, in a fit of optimism (well, okay, in a fit of realizing that it was only going to cost a couple bucks), I applied for an open/open at SPU, and again no rejection letter at all. Needless to say, this colors my opinion of their department.

In contrast, many of SPU's peer institutions are as gracious as it is possible to be when writing a rejection letter.

Anonymous said...

And now I see that Nth already made this point. Sorry, Nth.

Anonymous said...

I got this notice as well. I emailed a restrained "what the . . ." query. I forget the exact wording, but the sense that I got was that HR was finalizing something with the database the department had neglected to do and this automatically caused all the emails to go out. Surely some smart computer programmer at [C]SU could temporarily override that feature rather than make 100+ people re-live the misery of a last year's fruitless job search.