I've talked before about how I can't figure out where my time goes dealing with all the tiny, little pieces of the application package. Let me tell you a story about trying to get my teaching portfolio together.
One of the things that goes into your teaching portfolio is crap from your students' course evaluation forms. As in, some percentage of students rated you "above average," some percentage rated you "average", and some percentage rated you "asshole." Now, I need to get these things from my department secretary, and she needs to get them from the freshman composition program I was teaching in last year. Fine, except for no particular reason, the freshman comp people wouldn't send them over. So, that's a problem.
I was talking through this with my department secretary the other day, trying to figure out what I could do to get the forms sent over, and we got to talking about the people in the freshman comp program. She's convinced they're bad news. In fact, she's convinced they're like a house in a movie she just saw. Not a regular house, mind you, but a robot house. A robot house that seems like a really great idea, what with the way it turns off the lights when you leave the room and sets the oven for your roast beef or whatever. Apparently, the robot house can even talk. But it's not really a good idea, is it? Robots never are. Because it falls in the love with the woman who lives in the house, locks her husband outside its robot doors, and tries to impregnate her. That's what the robot house does.
You following? Me neither. I was trying to figure it out as I stood there in the office listening to the secretary tell me about the very real dangers of a robot house. Which is to say, the very real dangers of the freshmen comp program people, because after all, they're like the robot house.
The point is, I stood there listening to this for about a half hour, because I needed to track down my course eval forms. No dice. A half hour of robot houses and I'm still nowhere on that front.