lundi 14 février 2005


"Congratulations, you've made the shortlist. We would like to schedule an interview with you next Tuesday. You'll receive a follow-up call from my secretary to set up times."

It was elation, followed very quickly by... oh crap. Next Tuesday (when I received the call, back on the 8th) was going to be February 15. That meant I'd have to go down to NY the night before so that I'd be rested for the interview. And what is the day before February 15th?

That's right. Hotel room. Valentine's Day. Alone.

(Don't worry, I've rallied the troops and it's chinese takeout and wine in my hotel room tonight. I was going to go to a party in Cambridge, but nooooo. And I'm a rather happy camper as the guy my friend gave my number to apparently lost it, but did a truly cyberstalkworthy act (and me, I'm queen of cyberstalking) and looked me up online, using a bunch of information I forgot I gave him (this seems to be the story of my life - guys lose my number but manage to find me online)- short story, we saw each other last night.)

But that's not the point of this point. No, please refer to the title for my ensuing diatribe.

I received the voicemail on Tuesday the 8th. As of Thursday, the 10th, I still hadn't heard back from whoever was supposed to talk to me. So I called the number listed on the webpage.

"We're sorry, we don't handle that here. Let me transfer you to the lady who does."

Oh, but she wasn't there, and her voicemail was full. After following a series of prompts, causing me to get transferred at least 5 times around whoknowswhere, I finally got - oh, wait, the lady who was supposed to schedule my interviews, who was sitting a completely different extension.

"That's right, you need to schedule your interview."

I listened to the voicemail several times and, I know that she was supposed to be the one who called me. But fine.

"Is it possible to schedule the interviews for any day but Tuesday? I have three classes on Tuesday, and I really don't want to miss that many.."
"Yes, I understand, but the program director isn't in today. You know what, I'll ask her when she comes in, and I will call you either way, whether we can change the date or whether we can't."

Can't ask for more than that. Then I asked who I was interviewing with - you know, it's nice to know those things.

"Oh, we haven't figured that out yet."

What? The interviews were in 5 days. How did they not know who was interviewing me? Finding out that it was two series of interviews, with four interviewers each round, did not help. Not knowing who I was supposed to prepare for, that was not helpful either.

"Okay, so we'll see you Tuesday morning."
"I'm sorry, where are your offices?"
"Oh right. We're located at...."

This whole process was scarily informal. From a voicemail left on my cell, with no follow up, and then my having to prod constantly for the necessary information... did I mention that the secretary still hasn't called me back, even though she said she would? I mean, they do this every year. Don't they have a streamlined process in place? All I have are my scribbled notes on pieces of scrap paper - nothing from them, either via email or real mail. And what happens if prospective candidates are far enough away that they'd need to fly in? Last-minute flights are ridiculously expensive. This is eerily reminiscent of the admissions office of another NY university last year, where I got the runaround for a good month because nobody could give me a straight answer. Really. Is it something in the water in New York?

At least I get to wear a suit. I love wearing suits, especially because they give me the perfect excuse to whip out all my pretty oxfords. Because in the end, it can always be brought back to the clothes and what I get to wear when.

So wish me luck, mes chéries, because I'll need it.