Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"So, You Didn't Get This Job Either. What Is It That's Wrong With You?" A Reader Reaches Out.

To Adam in the whambulance..


I was on two hiring committees this Spring for tenure track positions in my department and another very different discipline. In the other department, they hired the “part-timer here with an impeccable record” that had a “history of full time tenure track work exactly like what is needed at (This) college.” Why? She was a fabulous colleague, even better teacher and did it with grace and charm. She took her fair share of less desirable classes and times, served on serious committees and made it seem like it was a privilege to do so. She took her interview seriously and gave a solid performance. She wanted the job and let us know. It was our luck she wanted us. Lucky students. Very lucky department and college.

But in my department, we didn’t hire Sammy, the part timer, who thought he had that impeccable record and thus, the job. He did have “exactly the background” we are missing. But we hired a much younger, less experienced candidate (who had also taught part time on our campus). Why? She is a skilled and dedicated teacher and a quick learner (even in writing syllabi). She participates in departmental stuff, volunteers on unbelievably shitty committees, takes her share (but not more) of crappy classes and she does it without dripping in attitude. She is a colleague, and doesn’t try to get us to cover her classes because of the latest adrenaline packed adventure. She took her interview seriously, without making flippant comments. The decision was a no brainer. She won, Sammy is still part time. We sincerely hope Sammy takes this as a prompt to change and reflect during his next year of part time work. Sammy has fabulous skills and attributes we need and could use. We would love to give him the next tenure track but at this moment, his pluses do not outweigh the minuses.

Adam, there is a reason they didn't hire YOU. Find out what it is and strive to improve.