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Author Topic: Feel free to contact me with any questions - Really?  (Read 5986 times)
whenwilitend
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« on: February 16, 2012, 4:02:38 AM »

Two people during my last set of interviews at a SLAC invited me to write to them if I have any questions. I do not recall the specific context in the first case, but in the second case, we had been discussing elementary schools in the area, since we both had kids of similar ages. Now, I had assumed that the invitation was to contact him/her with questions in the event that an offer is made and I had further questions about the area - schools, etc. - but I am starting to wonder if such an open invitation might mean it might be okay to send an email to ask about the status of my candidacy. This person is on the SC, and I had been told they were interviewing other candidates and I should expect to hear towards the end of Feb. Is this one of those 'sit on your hands' situation or is it fine to take advantage of the invitation to ask 'any' questions?
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infopri
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 4:10:43 AM »

Now, I had assumed that the invitation was to contact him/her with questions in the event that an offer is made and I had further questions about the area - schools, etc.

Yes, this is probably what s/he meant.  S/he might also have meant you could ask further questions about the department and its programs, its plans for the future, faculty research agendas, and that sort of thing.

- but I am starting to wonder if such an open invitation might mean it might be okay to send an email to ask about the status of my candidacy.

I can almost guarantee that this is not what you were being invited to do.

This person is on the SC, and I had been told they were interviewing other candidates and I should expect to hear towards the end of Feb. Is this one of those 'sit on your hands' situation or is it fine to take advantage of the invitation to ask 'any' questions?

I'm afraid it's a 'sit on your hands' situation.  Most people would tell you it is absolutely not fine to take advantage of the invitation to bug the search committee about your status as a candidate just because you're getting antsy.

Now, if you have another offer to which you have to respond by a certain date, then you can make an inquiry about the status of the search.  But short of that, you just have to wait and see.  Sorry.
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reener06
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 8:39:27 AM »

Sit on your hands, and put crazy glue on them first. Do not contact them to ask about the status of your candidacy.
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lurkingfear
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2012, 9:01:40 AM »

There's not really any point in asking about your status. Perhaps if it's mid-March and you haven't heard, they may be able to tell you that in fact someone else accepted the offer. But until they either offer the position to you, or have a signed contract from someone else, they won't be able to tell you anything. Maybe if the SC member is particularly forthcoming, he/she may divulge that you are his/her top choice, but that doesn't mean much since there are plenty of other parties involved. The best you can hope for is some encouraging words if (a) you are the top choice or (b) the person is just being nice. The problem is, you can not know which it will be if that were to happen.

Wait. I know it's hard. We are hiring someone this year in my field, and I feel almost as anxious as the candidates to find out who my new colleague will be!
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anisogamy
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 11:07:04 AM »

I'll chime in with the others to say that contacting members of the SC to ask about your chances sounds like a very bad idea.  I'm in-between a verbal offer and a contract right now myself, and I haven't even contacted the other members of the SC with any questions or for any help during the process because I'm scared of whether such contact might be misinterpreted.

Good luck and perseverance as you wait!
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sugaree
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 1:09:51 PM »

Agreeing with the others that this invite is definitely NOT for you to contact said SC member to ask about your candidacy status.

Whenwillitend, is this your first job search? Your questions on a few threads lately make me worried for you (in a nice way, I'm not judging or defensive, I promise). You will never survive this game if you can't learn to control your impatience and you must stop parsing every single thing said in passing during a campus visit. You'll drive yourself crazy! God forbid should you have to go on the market again next year if this year doesn't work out for you (which is not a comment on you, per se, just reflective of the reality of the job market in most fields these days), you may not be able to take it.

Step away from the keyboard and the phone. Take a walk, take a weekend holiday, revise that dissertation or article. Go to the movies. Learn how to play field hockey - anything! Please try to stop obsessing over things that you cannot do anything about now. It sucks, but there it is.
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aprilmay
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 3:45:50 PM »

The other posters are right. Any question does not mean unprofessional questions. Sit tight and good luck.
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whenwilitend
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 11:32:08 AM »

sugaree: yes, this is my first foray into the academic job market. and I'm from abroad, so i get told that my way of expressing things is "weird" or "quaint" occasionally. no offense taken.

all the advice on this question is well taken. I will not write to anyone with any questions while awaiting a decision. Meanwhile, to help matters, the SCC wrote yesterday to kindly inform me that the search timeline has been extended a bit because they haven't been able to schedule the last candidate for a campus visit. Nice of him/her. Now I know i can stop worrying about that particular place for at least another week or two.

am waiting patiently to hear from the first place. and my hands are glued to my seat i promise you. this post is writing itself.
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whenwilitend
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 2:26:23 PM »


unnecessary and annoying. As if you're not going to be checking your home voicemail while you're gone? yeah, right.


I have never checked my home voicemail from elsewhere. It is culturally insensitive and inconsiderate, especially after being informed that I have foreign origins, to make assumptions and to pounce on my posts this way.


Sigh. WWIE, as you have been told on several different threads by several different posters, it is not okay to contact the SC just because you are anxious. This latest question was yet another iteration of that anxiety. You can keep asking the same question in different ways, but that doesn't mean that you will receive a different answer. My skepticism about you not checking in about your messages reflects your recent anxiety on these different threads. It was not meant to imply that you are somehow "lesser" because of cultural differences. Honestly, I don't even know where you got that?!


and regarding recent posts that suggest I hijacked the thread, I have noticed other people go on tangents on my posts and noone singled them out. As a person of color with 'different' ways of expressing things, I often get silenced outside in the real world. Why am I disappointed or surprised that this is also happening here?

I had debated started a new thread but thought my question was related to that of the OP's subject line.

You're not getting silenced; rather, this is what we do around here when we temporarily hijack a thread.  I'm not sure where the person of color aspect falls into this discussion.  There are, however, different degrees of meandering conversations -- some meander naturally; some are fairly straightforward questions (like the OP's here) which then are hijacked temporarily by another straightforward question.  Many of us will apologize for the temporary hijack when we do it.  You're not getting silenced. 


Thank you glowdart, I'm glad I'm not completely misunderstood around here.



Sugaree: I wanted to respond to your post but didn't want to continue hijacking the other OP's thread.

I guess it is logical from your perspective to add 2 and 2 and come to the conclusion that my questions continue to be motivated simply by anxiety. I grant you that.

If you look at it from my perspective, yes I am anxious to learn about the results of my campus visit. But I am not letting that anxiety drive me crazy or paranoid to the extent that I am simply asking the same question over and over again in different guises.

These are the questions I have asked so far:

1. Does an intuitive feeling about how well interviews went necessarily lead to positive results?
2. Have candidates received job offers over the weekend?
3. If an SC member invited me to contact them with any questions, is a question about status of application appropriate?
4. If I will be out of town for a conference, is it appropriate to contact SCC to give an alternate way to contact me?  (and believe me, I would have written this email in the most matter-of-fact way possible, giving no indication that I want any information about my candidacy. I am not stupid)

Tell me sugaree how are all these questions the same in different guises? Of course I am curious about what goes on in the minds of SC, but I am also new to academic job applications, and some of these questions were asked simply because I do not know how things normally work. Please do not jump to conclusions about the supposed psychological state of other people.

In fact, you are more than welcome to jump to all kinds of conclusions about all sorts of situations. But please don't use these assumptions to make belittling or disparaging comments in public as you have done in response to my posts.

This request is not just to you sugaree but to those more 'senior' forumites who have a way of responding to some questions and comments that I argue can be deemed insulting - if not from the perspective of the one who is doing it, then from the perspective of those at the receiving end.

As critical race theorists have argued, impact of certain behaviors matters as much as, if not more than, intent.

Just as there are forum etiquette guidelines about punctuation and capitalization, shouldn't there be rules about refraining from making uncivil, disrespectful and hurtful remarks? (sorry for the hijack, OP, maybe I'll start a new thread on this topic one of these days)

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msparticularity
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 2:44:44 PM »

Whenwillitend, I understand that you are trying to make sense of the bizarre new world of the academic market, and I sympathize. I also agree that there are some here who tend to be quite impatient with what they perceive to be foolish questions--particularly questions that they think you would already know the answers to if you had spent a bit of time reading the discussions that have already been posted here.

While I absolutely understand that your questions look like four very different ones to you, I can also see that to some around here, they look like a series of attempts to get "permission" to check with the SC on the status of the search, and/or as if you are driving yourself crazy trying to exert some kind of mental control over the search process. In part, too, the details in some of your earlier posts--as well as your choice of moniker--have tended to reinforce the impression that you are in something of a tizzy.

Please keep in mind that, in the responses you are getting here, you are seeing a reflection of wider human behavior. Different people, and different subgroups within the larger population of regular Forumites, have different social mores. Just because there's a bunch of people who post here regularly does not mean that they are especially insightful or helpful--in the same way that it is a mistake to think of the regular attendees at a particular house of worship as especially functional individuals. Also remember that a measure of chance may affect who responds to a particular question, so you may get several fairly cranky answers in a row, or a series of gentle and nurturing responses. That's just the way it seems to work here--as in much of life.

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tinyzombie
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 2:51:07 PM »

You also might want to get a thicker skin.
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whenwilitend
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 3:00:03 PM »

You also might want to get a thicker skin.

I am working on it. Meanwhile, is it too much to ask people to stop being unnecessarily unkind? Try working on it - it might be good for your soul.

are you really that ignorant tinyzombie? Not all places in the world have telecommunication services as advanced as in the US. And my comment was directed to sugaree who was earlier informed that I am a foreign person.


It's called sarcasm. Learn to recognize it if you're going to hang out around here.

Wouldn't you agree that this comment was unnecessarily disparaging?
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msparticularity
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 3:02:57 PM »

You also might want to get a thicker skin.

I am working on it. Meanwhile, is it too much to ask people to stop being unnecessarily unkind? Try working on it - it might be good for your soul.

are you really that ignorant tinyzombie? Not all places in the world have telecommunication services as advanced as in the US. And my comment was directed to sugaree who was earlier informed that I am a foreign person.


It's called sarcasm. Learn to recognize it if you're going to hang out around here.

Wouldn't you agree that this comment was unnecessarily disparaging?

Sure, maybe it was--but here, as in real life, you can't change how other people behave. You get to decide which Forumites and which answers you listen to, and which you simply ignore.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

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octoprof
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WWW
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 3:05:52 PM »

but I am starting to wonder if such an open invitation might mean it might be okay to send an email to ask about the status of my candidacy.

No. Wonder no more. This is not what this person meant. Do not call or email or send smoke signals to him/her asking about the status of your candidacy.

am waiting patiently to hear from the first place. and my hands are glued to my seat i promise you. this post is writing itself.

Excellent!
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tinyzombie
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elevate from this point on - chuck d


« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 3:06:23 PM »

You also might want to get a thicker skin.

I am working on it. Meanwhile, is it too much to ask people to stop being unnecessarily unkind? Try working on it - it might be good for your soul.

are you really that ignorant tinyzombie? Not all places in the world have telecommunication services as advanced as in the US. And my comment was directed to sugaree who was earlier informed that I am a foreign person.


It's called sarcasm. Learn to recognize it if you're going to hang out around here.

Wouldn't you agree that this comment was unnecessarily disparaging?


Sure, maybe it was--but here, as in real life, you can't change how other people behave. You get to decide which Forumites and which answers you listen to, and which you simply ignore.

Nope. Obviously, because I made the comment, but here's what happened in that exchange. You jumped WAY past the humor in my comment and took it personally, and I did two things in response to that: ID'd the sarcasm for you, and reminded you that you'd do well to deal better with it if you're going to be part of this community.

If there were a Sarcasm Olympics on the fora, I would not even come close to winning. There are people here who will (wittily) make you cry, if you continue to think that Everything is All About (Offending) You.

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