Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Get the f— out of here

I just had a telephone interview for a tenure-track job.  The job that I thought wasn't tenure-track, until I asked in the interview.  I was going to cut it all short by saying I'd just been hired by CBU, and then they clarified that the contract-sounding job was actually tenure-track.  Good heavens.

My head is kind of spinning.  My short take is that this job is not for me, since, if nothing else, they made it clear during the conversation that they want a pseudologist who specializes in Fishing Whoppers, and I am very clearly not trained at all in that.  (I've always been a specialist in Damn Lies, if you're interested.)  It's also at a religiously affiliated school, which is not my favorite thing, although at least the affiliation is something I think I could live with.  And, to my dismay, the new hire would be asked to work extensively on developing online courses.  I find this horrifying, although of course I offered much more measured concern about the pedagogical value of such for pseudology.  I was a little surprised to hear that the interviewer largely agreed with me: zi let it be known between the lines that this was being forced upon the department by the money-minded administration, and they had to make the best of it.  The most ridiculous thing, which was definitely not clear in the job posting, is that the position is primarily for someone who would develop course for an online master's program in Fishing Whoppers.

Why the fuck are they even talking to me!?

So, questions:
  1. Unless these people are total idiots, or are completely out of other options (not bloody likely), I shouldn't be hired.  I simply would not serve the purpose, if only because I am essentially ignorant of Fishing Whoppers.  And jeez, I know lots of colleagues who are experts in Fishing Whoppers and need jobs — why isn't this school going for those obvious candidates?  
  2. But if for some reason I advance in my candidacy, should I even proceed, or withdraw myself respectfully?  Wouldn't I be setting myself up for failure if I somehow ended up with a job creating online courses in Fishing Whoppers?
  3. Something about all of this doesn't make sense.  A t-t job in a big subfield of pseudology, with a distasteful pedagogical slant, conducting its phone interviews in late April?  With a job posting so vague and uninformative that I applied to it even though I literally couldn't do the job?  What the hell is going on?
*deeply confused*


  1. I say this has to be a pass for you. Everything you hear from search committees is that it's all about "fit" but it has to fit for YOU too! Your reservations sound too great to proceed further. CBU FTW.

    1. Good to hear this from you, Fie. All of my gut instincts are to back away from this weird-ass options, even though we are socialized (institutionalized?) to leap at any t-t possibility. It just doesn't feel right to me.

    2. Look, CBU feels good to you. They want to help prep you for the new job market. They sound fantastic, and it'll get you out of ghost town. I know the idea of being on the market for another year sucks. Been there, done that. But I didn't have a freaking book that I was hawking either. You're in a good position to get a much better job than I've got, so don't sell yourself short. Listen to your gut.

  2. I'd say what's happened is that the administration wants one thing (on line, whoppers) and at least some people in the department want something else.

    I wouldn't withdraw unless you really don't want the job (and there are some good reasons to think that way). But if you think the fact that it's tt makes it worth it, don't withdraw.

  3. Um, yay? No wait, boo! *confused as to which reaction you want*

    If they are willing to reimburse for a campus visit, I'd say stay in, for the practice and experience if nothing else. But those visits are fucking expensive to pay out of pocket, let me tell you, so if they are at all balking on this, say no.

  4. I say listen to your intuition. Even I had a rather visceral reaction to the whole thing. This sounds like a one-way ticket to Misery, and CBU sounds like a much better fit, even if it isn't t-t. Something is quite rotten in Denmark here.

  5. First of all, congrats on the interest--so glad that you're getting some positive feedback about your awesomeness.

    Re: the timing of it, sometimes schools get a t-t line suddenly, when previously unavailable funds open up. Or maybe someone left unexpectedly. So maybe don't read too much into that.

    But if you don't want to specialize in Whoppers or spend time developing online things, then that's something else. (However, if you have any interest in Whoppers and any interest in developing online things, then it could be a cool opportunity. Depending on where you go, people CAN end up specializing in something other than what they *went* there specializing in. If that makes sense.) They must like something about your application or background that makes them think you might be a good fit. The question really is: do you?