If you're like me, a college adjunct instructor looking for full-time, tenure-track employment, you are probably applying to a lot of universities. You may even be keeping a collection of "rejection" letters. Sending out customized application packets to all of these institutions can be not only time-consuming but expensive. It can get a little disheartening when those rejections begin to stack up. A colleague of mine recently held a "bonfire" session for her collection of rejection letters, after finally securing her first tenure-track job--a kind of emotional release from the trauma! An older professor I had during my master's program once counseled me on the application process and showed me a file cabinet drawer full of his old rejection letters. He said he kept them around for occasions just such as mine--when we began to feel discouraged from being told "thanks, but no thanks" continually. The letter at the link below, found at a site called chaosmatrix.org, sums up the feeling I know that I've had at times--and, so have others, apparently. That is, perhaps job applicants need a reply-to-the-reply to help us process the sting to the ego! Someone printed this and put it on the corkboard in the faculty lounge of where I am presently adjuncting. Would be curious to hear your thoughts . . .
The Ultimate Rejection Letter
Herbert A. Millington
Chair - Search Committee
412A Clarkson Hall, Whitson University
College Hill, MA 34109
Dear Professor Millington,
Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I
regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me
an assistant professor position in your department.
This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually
large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field
of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite Whitson's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in
rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at
this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor
in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.
Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.
Chris L. Jensen
Posted by lhobbs at October 27, 2007 09:02 AM
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved. 2006.