Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Dollar When I'm Hard Up VII

Holy shit, the APA was expensive. Three nights in the hotel, even at the reduced grad student rate and splitting a room with one of my office mates, came to a $180 plus taxes. Transportation was $288. Add in internet service in my room at $10 a night, a couple of burritos at Chipotle and a sandwich from Potbelly, and I'm looking at a Visa total of about $544.60 for the conference.

So I've spent $995.39 on the job market this year. That's more than 5% of my gross annual income. I don't understand how schools, or the profession more generally, can think that's a reasonable burden for grad students to bear.

Update: . . . sorry, I just realized my last sentence there was a little more cryptic than I'd meant it to be. I guess the point of my bitching here is, the cost of the APA for candidates is just one more reason to think the move to by-pass conference interviews and go straight to fly-backs would be a very good thing.

53 comments:

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I agree -- that is an unreasonable amount.

The question is, how would you do it differently, if you were in charge of Philosophy land??

I suppose elecronic files would be a start. You wouldn't have to mail huge packets of applications.

What would be excellent would be if there were a central website used by schools and applicants. Applicants would be able to check the boxes for the jobs they want to apply for and then the schools would have access to their CV, Letters, writing sample etc. I suppose the applicant could even have several e-versions of each and indicate which schools they want to recieve which versions....

When the school downloads your files, you'd get an automatic reply indicating what they recieved etc...

You could make changes up to the time they download the materials...

It could even be funded by charging the applicants a fee to host their materials and a per-application fee of some sort.... high enough that bozos wouldn't check every box - but low enough to be affordable.... I'd guess you'd pay $25.00 - $50.00 for such a service, no?

Also, why not do initial interviews via webcam? It is better than a phone interview, as you can see one another. The technology is much less expensive than a trip to the APA, and the interview could be recorded for all the members of the department to watch --- even if they aren't available to go to the APA, or are busy during the live interview.

Of course, the best thing about it is that the applicant would only have to dress-up above the waist :).... businss suit on top, bunny slippers under the desk... YEA!!

In general, I have significant concerns about the way job candidates are treated -- maybe one day we'll be in charge and can change these things for the better! I'd love it if conferences were really about doing philosophy and not about interviews and posturing....

Anonymous said...

I made my APA reservations late, so I ended up paying more than you... significantly more. It was the single most expensive interview I could have ever imagined.

Thankfully we were able to use some airmiles to pay for the flight. Oh, and my 30% employee discount at the local Starbucks saved me a tonne of money ;)

A prof who interviewed people at APA said...

$544.60 in the scope of things is not a lot of money for intervewing ; I'm surprised your dept didn't offer you funding for this conference.

We do try to fund our people at the conference and have been able to the last few years ; your grad coordinator and chair really need to go to bat for more support for grad students in your dept.

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

a prof who interviewed --

Agreed, $500-600 isn't a lot of money in the scope of things. The problem is, it is a lot of money on a grad student stipend. If there are departments out there that can help fund their candidates, that's great. But for the rest of us. . . .

Anonymous said...

Do many programs offer funding for grads who are on the market attending the APA to be interviewed? My grad institution didn't do this, nor does the department where I'm now tenured. We're not a very wealthy department, but maybe it's something that we should consider. Even giving each student $100 or $200 would help to offset the cost.

Anonymous said...

I'm lucky enough to be in a department where lots of things are funded. For example, our dossiers are photocopied and mailed out by office staff, there's decent funding to go present at conferences, etc. There is no funding, however, allocated to help job applicants with the costs of going to the APA, and I've never heard any other grad student mention such a thing at their department.

With everything my dept *does* give us, I consider it a fair shake. But PGS's situation sounds downright stupid.

Anonymous said...

Came from foreign land to do the APA - cost well into quadruple figures well before I got to Baltimore. Perhaps Americans will think I should pay more to infiltrate your job market, but no other country has the conference-based job market, hence Americans can (theoretically at least) access foreign job markets and only pay postage until they get shortlisted.

Sadpunk said...

$500-600 every time around may not be that much in the end when we are all making big money, but it certainly is quite a bit given it takes many of us 2-4 years (if not longer) to get to a place where we even remotely want to be (you know, making all that money).

juniorperson said...

My department (by no means Leiterterrific, but incredibly supportive) paid for all of my expenses the first time I was on the market; they also paid for my dossier to be sent out. They would have paid for me additional times, too, but I was lucky enough to get TT job offers my first time out. I was *very* grateful for this support.

Oh, and you know what's even cooler? They also paid for two of my tickets to fly-outs, as I couldn't afford the up-front costs. To be sure, they were reimbursed by the interviewing departments, but this made things SO much easier for me... Not having to worry about money (well, any more than usual...) took so much stress off during a very stressful period.

I *strongly* encourage departments to help defray the costs of their candidates.

A prof who interviewed people at APA said... said...

We've been able to provide anywhere from $250 to $450 per student at APA depending on the number going and our budget.

Anonymous said...

What professions offer to pay for the cost of the finding a job after the training has been completed? I'm sure MBA programs do not do this, nor law schools (or do they?) Sure it's expensive relative to our income, but undergraduates are poor too when they go out on the job market with their humble BA/BS. I doubt that their respective institutions foot the bill of their job search. So we need an argument that there is some higher degree of obligation on the part of our departments to pay for this (besides the fact that it's in their self-interest to see us get jobs--that's true of every credential-granting institution).

Sisyphus said...

anonymous at 8:06, you're not taking into account the huge time and money investment that getting the phd takes, nor the fact that almost all philosophy jobs come out of this one-shot conference, whereas almost all law and med students are able to interview many companies locally, as well as by phone/video/paid flyout, and furthermore the jobs open up constantly rather than all being listed at one slot on the calendar.

I'd like to hear about this whole "Central" APA thing and the possibility of jobs there --- do only East Coast schools interview at Eastern (and midwest and western schools have their own jobs conferences), and how well does this work? Would it be easier on the candidates or do they then have to go to three different conferences across the country?

Mind you, I'm asking because I'm in English and want to see if we can steal any good ideas from how other disciplines run things.

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Anon. 8:06 --

"So we need an argument that there is some higher degree of obligation on the part of our departments to pay for this."

Ask, and you shall receive. Neither, BAs, BSs, MBAs, nor lawyers are forced by the norms of their profession to travel for interviews. So I guess this is a first pass at the argument:

(1) If the norms of a profession require that broke-ass students incur hefty travel expenses for (almost) all of their interviews, then it should be a norm that those expenses are somewhat defrayed by institutions of the profession (like, say, departments).

(2) The norms of the profession do require that broke-ass students incur hefty travel expenses for (almost) all of their interviews;

Thus, by modus ponens from (1) and (2)!

Etc. . .

Now, I'm not saying I necessarily buy that argument. If you asked me to defend premise (1), I'm not sure I'd know where to start. On the other hand, it doesn't exactly sound stupid on it's face, either. . . .

But really, I think I'll stick with the alternative suggestions that departments just don't bother with conference interviews. Then departments wouldn't need to fund candidates' trips to the APA.

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Sisyphus --

If you're looking for good ideas re: the job market to steal and take back to English, I'm not sure philosophy's the place to look. . . .

fellow grad student said...

The bottom line is that the cost of going to the APA (while a good chunk of the monthly stipend) probably makes sense for everyone. For the person with many interviews, the cost per interview is very reasonable given the prospect of getting a job. For those with only a few interviews, it seems way better to get some face time with the committee rather than a phone interview (the webcam idea is interesting but probably too technologically advanced to be common practice). It also seems to allow departments to seriously interview more people - something we're all in favor of. That said when I have to fool with this all next year I certainly wouldn't mind some departmental assistance.

Anonymous said...

If paying for students to go to the APA increases their chances of getting good jobs (maybe some wouldn't have gone otherwise, I don't know), then it potentially helps the department by improving its placement record.

Anonymous said...

"So we need an argument that there is some higher degree of obligation on the part of our departments to pay for this."

Perhaps what is needed is not that departments pay, but that students pay, *but* drawing on a significantly higher salary that takes into account the fact that many of them are used as a form of slave labor in teaching. I.e., there would be no need for any form of welfare if grad students were justly compensated for the work they do.

Anonymous said...

I suppose at least it's not like matching, the system they use for surgical internships. Candidates have to pay their own travel and hotel costs at every place at which they get an interview, with no guarantee of actually having an internship at the end. It's like having campus interviews for 5-10 postdocs, all of which you have to pay for. It's not uncommon for med students to lay out $10-15,000 or more in the process.

And that's just for internships, which are by nature impermanent. They still might not get a full-time permanent job at the end of that.

Granted, the chance of a surgeon ending up jobless in the end is much lower than that of a philosopher, and surgeons generally have a much higher earning potential. But the idea of that initial outlay as a student makes me think "it could always be worse"...

Anonymous said...

Why in the world did you stay in the conference hotel? Most cities where the APA typically takes place have abundant homeless shelters, subway stations, and -- bridges.

Anonymous said...

"What professions offer to pay for the cost of the finding a job after the training has been completed? I'm sure MBA programs do not do this, nor law schools." Wrong, actually. Both spend significant sums on career services offices, at least at the good (ranked) schools. In addition, my b-school, for instance, took teams of students to New York, Chicago, LA, places like that to meet with potential employers, set up networking dinners, etc. They've got an interest in seeing students placed well, since no one will fork over big tuition and forego two years of salary for a degree from a school that doesn't place graduates well. Oh, and the hiring in certain industries is not unlike grad school. I-banks and consulting firms are now doing campus interviews (yeah, they come to you for that, which means students in Madison or Happy Valley are the ones who get fucked, because they're out of the way) in the first two weeks of September.

Anonymous said...

at most it's a 1000. Yes it sucks. I am jealous of the schools that have money to support their students as well as giving them help in photocopying their dossiers. WOW. I didnt go to those places.

Frankly, $1000 it is not that much and it is pretty reasonable if you factor in dress clothes, room etc.
The dress clothes are a one time cost and if you are anything like myself or my friends then your interview clothes are ones that can be used anytime you have formal occasions.
As for the rest budget in advance. Save a little bit from a loan that you took out figuring that the costs of interviewing will help you get a job and pay back your student loan.
Crash with friends who are there on search committees having their rooms paid for. Buy your tickets way in advance. etc

Heck, write a paper and get a graduate student travel stipend.

Pseudonymous Grad Student said...

Anon. 6:30 --

A couple of points. One, that figure of almost $1000 does not include dress clothes which I already have. So if I'm at all typical, a candidate can spend close to a grand without buying dress clothes.

But the main point is just the one I made upthread. I think you're right: $1000 really isn't that much money these days, certainly not when think of mailing pounds and pounds of paper, postdoc app fees, copies of transcripts--and traveling, staying in a decent hotel for three nights, and eating out mostly of the time you're there.

However, I don't have the luxury of considering those costs from the standpoint of thinking bout what that stuff's all worth. I don't have the luxury of considering those costs from the point of view that a grand just isn't all that much money these days, and when I'm spending it on the job market, I'm making (I hope) an investment in my career.

I have to consider that $1000 from point of view that it's around 5% of my gross annual income. It's getting pretty close to being an entire month's pay.

A lot of us were too stupid to marry lawyers and sales reps who could support our grad student asses. And if we don't come from families whose parents help their kids out a lot past age 18, we live on less than 20 grand a year. For us, thinking about whether or not the $900+ is worth it is beside the point. Whether it's worth it or not, we can't afford it, given our incomes.

Anonymous said...

At my law school, the law firms and major nonprofit/government employers came to our campus for the first round of interviews. If we were invited for a second interview, the firms would pay all our travel expenses and put us up in very nice hotels. Nonprofit employers were not so lavish but would usually help defray the travel and lodging costs in some way.

I don't expect grad schools to behave like rich law firms, but they could do more than they currently do.

Anonymous said...

To change the subject, I wonder how often people felt that their APA interviewers were trying to haze them, meaning that they were acting hostile or adversarial in order to test a candidate's ability to stand up for him or herself. I got this only once, but it was very surreal. One member of the committee was *very* hostile, while everyone else seemed sweet, seemingly ignoring the rude and absurd insults hemorrhaging forth from the one hostile committee member. The hostile SC member did things like 1. refuse to shake my hand, 2. leave the room in a huff in the middle of the interview. (This kind of behavior didn't affect me at all, since I recognized how absurd and inappropriate it was from the beginning.) Anyhow, just wondering about other people's interviewing experiences. Did anyone else feel that they were getting hazed, or was it just me?

Anonymous said...

I have several points here:
1. Most departments, especially those at public institutions, do not have a lot of money -- either to support grad students or to subsidize searches. (My department gets a grand total of 5K/position which has to pay for ads, flyouts, etc etc).
2. Nonetheless, it does seem to me that departments with grad students to place can find it in their budgets to subsidize at least postage for applications (my PhD program paid for postage and photocopying of letters; candidates photocopied the rest of the dossiers).
3. If not departments, then Deans' offices often have some money to support grad student travel. Departments need to be proactive in informing students where they can apply for support.
4.Online application systems strike me as a recipe for disaster. I, for one, need a paper dossier. With 300+ applications for open positions, I am not going to read them carefully if they are on my computer. And the cost of turning electronic to paper is prohibitive for most departments. (That's why services like Interfolio charge the fees they do!) Frankly even 100 on line applications is too many. Video-interviews also strike me as a recipe for disaster, until there is some universal mastery of the medium (like there now seems to be of the telephone -- though I do know people who cannot deal with a lengthy phone conversation).

Anonymous said...

While we're in the middle of fantasizing about how we might overhaul the interviewing process/culture, we might as well consider moving APA Eastern's annual meeting to some time other than in the middle of our winter much-needed holiday break.

Of course, we probably can't do much about either, so not much use crying over it...except to save future grad students in the field from having to find out about all this the hard way and after they've invested years and money pursuing a PhD. This raises the question: How many pre-grad students are reading this blog for insight on what it's like in a PhD program and on the job market? Survey, er, I mean, "x-phi" anyone?

Prof. J. said...

anonymous 8:42:
"we might as well consider moving APA Eastern's annual meeting to some time other than in the middle of our winter much-needed holiday break."

Well, the Eastern Division office surveyed its membership once, and although most people wanted to change the dates, there were no dates to which anywhere near a majority wanted to change it. The current dates are by far the most popular among all those in the survey.
And you have to remember, if the meetings were at any other time, the hotels rooms would be considerably more expensive, since except in NY, the end of December is a low-demand period for hotel rooms and big hotels are happy to give the APA its discounts.

So I think we have to stay with the current dates, despite the obvious disadvantages.

Red Forman said...

Many persons now on the other side of the interviews were in even worse shape when they started out. My stipend when I was in graduate school during time of the early Reagan administration was worth $9500 in 2007 dollars. I had four (count 'em) one-year positions before landing a TT job at my current institution. My beginning salary was about $40K (in 2007 dollars) and I was never reimbursed for any moving expenses.

This provides some evidence that some conditions for professional philosophers have improved. I do recognize that the fact that things can be worse does not imply that things are good. That things have been worse might, however, explain why philosophers in my generation might be inclined to regard some of the complaints mooted in this blog as mere whining.

Let me add that I have tried to remember the difficulties I went through in order to be as humane as possible in dealing with job candidates. I have also tried to be mindful of my good fortune: I am now paid to think and write about issues that have always been interesting to me and to discuss philosophy with bright students. If thinking about philosophical questions is important to you, you may some day, like me, think that the difficulties of the job search were worth it.

Good luck to all of you!

Anonymous said...

PGS at 8:10- join the club when you complain.

But it has nothing to do with marrying a lawyer, coming from a wealthy or even middle class family.

Yes the money is 5% of your income or if you were more like me and my grad school cohorts, 10-15% of your income. Grad school stipends where I went were low. I never made more than $15k until I scored a position. Woo hoo.

It sucks. But I have a hard time listening to the complaints when with some planning ahead you can get a loan that is subsidized at a low interest rate that you can take 20 years to pay back. 20 years when you are making a lot more money than you are now.

You should know in advance when you are going on the market. Previous year apply for federally subsidized loan. That will cover all of your expenses and will put some extra $ in your account to help you with all of the extra expenses.

No lawyers needed, no rich boyfriends, no trust funds, just a bit of financial acumen to get the loan that will tide you over during your last year of graduate school.

Now of course that doesnt mean that the APA is too expensive, or that if you are a foreign student who cant tap into US financial aid you are in a shitty position.

But still, complaining about the amount of money spent relative to how much you are making is just whining.

Anonymous said...

"How many pre-grad students are reading this blog for insight on what it's like in a PhD program and on the job market? Survey, er, I mean, "x-phi" anyone?"

I, for one, am a pre-PhD student (currently an MA) who is reading this with alternating amusement and terror. I will soon learn how Leiterrific my options will be, which will, in turn, give me some idea of how terrified I should be.

Random bitching: It pisses me off that PhD admissions people won't accept writing samples and other crap by e-mail. I pay $50-$100 for an application fee, and they won't print out a 20-page writing sample?

(God knows, the life of an academic admin employee is a busy one. Coffee don't drink itself, you know, and if you want the good stuff, you got to haul your fat ass down to Starbucks.)

I'm sick of wasting time and money on trips to UPS. I imagine this bitching to be somewhat topical because it's an example of something that the departments could easily do to save us time and money but refuse to do. If they allowed e-mail submission, they could receive it and click print. Instead, I have to print it, prepare a cover letter and envelope, go to UPS or the post office, and pay $6 a pop. That saves them a grand total of 5 seconds and maybe 20 cents worth of paper. It's completely suboptimal, but they don't give a flying fuck.

Anonymous said...

As someone foolish enough to marry someone who couldn't support me, and foolish enough to attend two Eastern conferences, a Central, and a Western before landing a job, I can attest that my credit cards are still groaning under the burden, two years later. Couple this to the fact that my hiring institution didn't pay moving costs, and I can barely afford to keep my tt job.

Anonymous said...

To anon. @ 9:24,

Your whining about the costs of mailing applications (and the immature crack at departmental staff) would be more effective in November/December. Mail your applications earlier or deal with paying the higher postage costs.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:20,

Why would my immature crack about departmental staff be more effective in November or December? Are they even lazier in those months?

Also, bite me. First, I don't trust the U.S. Postal Service, as they've failed me on important occasions, and second, no matter when I sent it, it would have been much easier for the departments to simply accept it by e-mail and print it, but they couldn't be bothered. If I had sent the samples for $1 each instead of $6, I'd still be pissed. That's how much of a whiner I am.

Love,

Anon 9:24

Anonymous said...

To the little shithead applying for PhD programs:

First, I confess I hope you don't get in. You sound like an asshole.

Second, do you realize that most good PhD programs in philosophy get 200 or more applications? You have unrealistic expectations concerning how departments can run things.

Third, if you ever do get your sniveling ass into a PhD program or, heaven forbid, actually enter the profession, you might see just how much shit most administrative workers have to do behind the scenes. Stuff you wouldn't see sitting at home playing Wii or whatever it is that you do in an MA program.

Tenured Professor Girl said...

Dear Anon 9:24:

Those of us who actually are lucky enough to have jobs in philosophy, getting paid to do what we love, allowed to more or less set our own projects and timetable, enjoying nearly unique job security, and generally being extraordinarily privileged, know that good departmental administrators (a) work their asses off, (b) are much less lucky in life than we are, (c) are crucial to our being able to function at all, and (d) deserve to be treated and discussed with respect.

We also think its a pretty good bet that as an MA student, you have WAY LESS important stuff to do than we or the departmental administrator does, and we think it is entirely just that it should be you who spends time printing and mailing.


Our departmental administrator is raising her children, caring for elderly and sick relatives, and organizing graduate admissions, a senior search, the start of term and 50 new classes and questions from hundreds of students and faculty today, in addition to her routine administrative tasks, and she's doing it all on a pathetic salary that will not increase much ever.

What are you doing today?

We lucky few who teach in Ph.D. programs in philosophy hate elitist snobs like you and hope that we don't accidentally admit you.

Anonymous said...

First thing you need to learn, 9:24, is that the department secretary ensures more or less single-handedly runs the department. Fixes problems before they come up, is probably more knowledgeable than your chair on administrative hoops and hurdles, and knows how to get things done. Scoff at that if you want, but you're really just shooting yourself in the foot.

Second, your grad program probably gets anywhere from 200-400 applications, at 20 pages per writing sample... 4000-8000 pages extra work, most of which get rejected after an initial review.

Tenured Professor Girl said...

Oh and one more thing, 9:24:

You do realize, don't you, that the single biggest predictor of obesity is long term economic hardship, not laziness? There but for the grace of the Flying Spaghetti Monster go all of us...

Anonymous said...

i love you, tenured professor girl

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:24,

I feel your pain. What you're doing is bitching like the rest of us, hoping we'll be sympathetic since we're scarcely higher on the food chain and feeling shit upon ourselves. And what happens? Everyone else gives you grief. Kind of explains why the folks slightly higher than us aren't more concerned about treating us with respect: the same folks who are giving you grief will be on search committees in 2-3 years, and deciding there's no reason to change the system.

That said, I've worked in academic administration (as a PhD'd staff member, no less) and agree that it's not fair to shit on them until you know more about what happens behind the curtain. I won't digress by asking the tenured professorial boys and girls how they actually act towards staff members (some are great, some perpetuate the two-tiered caste hierarchy, but all recognize it and are complicit).

Anyway, yes, everything should be electronic. And you're beginning to see the next 5-10 years of your life in the crap you're going through. I feel your pain, but hang on. Or drop it and go to b-school before it's too late.

Tenured search committee member said...

I think the Eastern APA is horrible; it ruins the Holiday break and I don't see how anyone could really enjoy being around so much manifest suffering. Happily, our department skips the APA and goes straight to on-campus interviews, which cost the applicant nothing and, based on my own experience, are actually quite enjoyable. I think it's a much better experience for everybody. This means that we can only invite out our top 2 or 3 candidates for a job (which we did in Dec.) but, if those fall through, we will invite more people out late in February or even in March, so hang in there folks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the high and mighty advice, those of you who cared enough to opine.

I understand that you have to be polite and respectful to departmental staff, whether they are the useless, lazy kind or the competent, hardworking kind. I also get that both kinds exist, and it was wrong of me to tar them all with the same brush.

In the unlikely event that any departmental admin staff have bothered to read this blog, I apologize.

tenured professor girl: I think it's hilarious that you expect anyone to believe that you "lucky few who teach in Ph.D. programs in philosophy hate elitist snobs." I am constantly amazed by the brazen elitism and snobbery in academia, and philosophy is far from an exception.

And don't worry, folks -- if you do "accidentally" admit me, you'll like me. In person, I'm as nice to pretentious blowhard professors as I am to admin staff of all sorts.

Anon 3:13: I truly appreciate that at least one person feels my pain, despite my flippant nastiness. The original post includes PGS' "whining" about spending $995 on the job market so far. Between GRE scores at $15 each, transcripts, application fees, mailing, and other bullshit, I've already spent more than $1000 on this round of applications, and I'll tell you, if I am an elitist, I ain't the rich kind. Spending all that money, not to mention the countless hours of work it takes to manage the retarded cat-herding process, pisses me off and makes me uncharacteristically nasty.

Anonymous said...

Man. You really are a little snot.

Tenured Professor Girl said...

Anon 9:24/3:56:

Trust me, even those of us who are elitist snobs ourselves REALLY hate it when our grad students are elitist snobs.

Your rebuttal presupposes that academics are not hypocrites. Why would you think this?

And all joking aside ... call me naive, but I actually think that the large majority of profs, especially those of us under 50, feel really, really, really lucky and have a sense of the deep contingency of our luck. Being a tt prof is huge fucking privilege. It's totally awesome. It's worth all the horrendous crap you are all suffering.

another tenured search comm prof said...

It costs a lot to attend the APA Eastern meeting, to go to Starbucks each morning (and afternoon as the case may be) for your triple venti soy chai, and to drink yourself into oblivion each night while you attend the meeting.

But it costs the hiring department more if they hire the wrong person for the position.

A preliminary interview allows us to meet our candidates before we have to spend approx. $2K to fly them out to campus. Also, based upon a 30 year old candidate starting at $50K, we are essentially making an investment >$1.75mil in the candidate. So, we have as much on the line as the candidate who had to spend $1K to attend the APA in Baltimore.

Our dept clearly isn't as well-off as "tenured search committee member" is b/c our dean raises the above concerns every time we suggest skipping the APA Eastern.

A prof who interviewed at APA said...

"there would be no need for any form of welfare if grad students were justly compensated for the work they do."

Thou shall not whine

A prof who intervewed you at APA said...

Anon 9:24, My admin staff are the backbone of the dept - if I ever heard you talking like that in my dept you'd probably get a letter at the end of the semester stating that your funding just disappeared. I can make that happen very easily.

I don't care how good you are.


You obviously have no experience working in either the public or private sectors and have no idea what it is like to run a dept.

Listen and listen good; there are three people outside of the those voting on your tenure who should never piss off :

1. Your dept’s administrative assistant – your educated – figure it out

2. Your CIS people who earn a lot more than a new asst prof and earn every penny of it by being on call 24/7

3. The librarian for your subject specialty – if you want to build a collection in your area or you don’t want your favorite journal cut – you will not piss this person off (btw-librarians are tenured faculty)

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're all very lucky to work in departments with such great administrative staff.

1. Not all administrative staff are good. I have encountered some extremely lazy ones, else I would not have made the comment I did. However, I have also encountered the wonderful sort you describe, which is why I apologized in an earlier post.

2. Wow, 8:15 prof who intervewed, your powerful! You could make my funding disappear, so I wouldn't want to get on you're bad side.

3. Which is why I only play an asshole on the Internet, and you would never hear me talk in such an immoderate fashion in front of yo pompous ass.

Now, welcome to the blogosphere, where attempting to make serious criticisms from one's high horse is far less fun than making flippant assholish rejoinders. Are we done?

Anonymous said...

Hee, hee; your funny.

Hard-Working Ph.D Applicant Who Isn't That Other Guy said...

To any influential professors who might be taking Ph.D applications from MA students: Some of us are good, decent hard-working people who have busted our tails to prove ourselves and get to that next stage and are nothing but grateful to our admin staff for all of their help.

I mention this in part because it's true, but mostly because I sent some of my supporting documents via UPS and I don't want to get screwed because of that other jackass :)

Anonymous said...

To 12:55p:

YOU'RE retarded.

Tenured Philosophy Girl said...

It gives me enormous pleasure that Official Jackass of This Comments Thread used 'you're'/'your' wrong in both directions at 7:13 am (2). At least now I know we are not in danger of accidentally admitting him, as we would never admit anyone with such poor grammar.

Anonymous said...

I'm ordinarily quite fastidious about my grammar. As was plain to anon 12:55, I only misused "your" and "you're" in order to make fun of "prof who intervewed" 8:15, who not only misspelled "interviewed," but also suggested, "your educated - figure it out." If that level of grammar is sufficient for employment as a professional philosopher, I should do just fine.

Anonymous said...

I've attended three universities. So when I apply for a job that casually says that official transcripts required at time of application, I've got to go online to one school, log in and pay with a credit card; go online to another school, fill out a web-based form, print it out and mail it; and fill out a pdf that I can save on my computer (though the cost of transcripts goes up every year or two, so I need to go online to make sure I'm paying enough) and print out and mail.

Total cost: $28 for a complete set of transcripts. Oh, and one school doesn't charge anything to alumni, so that's the cost for transcripts for only two schools.

So this is the procedure after I've prepared my application myself, and then contacted my PhD institution to send letters of reference. All to apply to a school that probably won't let me know when they throw my application out.