meta: July 2005 Archives

Ok. I lied. Just when I thought I could pull away from the blogosphere for a couple of days, get ready for my trip, etc., it keeps pulling me back in. Curse you, blogosphere, and your wily ways!

Ok. I exaggerated, because it's not really fair to describe the Chronicle as part of the blogosphere even though, as I think I've observed before, I think they've taken a tabloid turn in their content in an attempt to engage the blogosphere. Exhibit next: "Bloggers Need Not Apply" by Ivan "not my real name, but I have watched plenty of Star Trek" Tribble. (By the way, it's going to be almost impossible for me to avoid the phrase "the trouble with Tribble" as I write this post.)

So anyway, Ivan the Tribble has taken the trouble to disabuse the millions of us who blog of the notion that applying for a job is about standing out, presenting one's self as a human being, or representing one's self outside of the highly conventionalized genres of the application dossier:

We all have quirks. In a traditional interview process, we try our best to stifle them, or keep them below the threshold of annoyance and distraction. The search committee is composed of humans, who know that the applicants are humans, too, who have those things to hide. It's in your interest, as an applicant, for them to stay hidden, not laid out in exquisite detail for all the world to read.

Wow. So that's what it means to be human and what it means to work in academia: trying one's hardest to become, as Jeff puts it, YABC (Yet Another Boring Colleague). I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

Jeff has put a number of my objections pretty well, so I'll just stew for the most part. But I would like to note, just in case there's someone out there who recognizes themselves in Tribble's account, that this faux-bemused account of a job search admits to what are probably borderline ethical violations. Tribble is of course careful to say that the blog was "one of many" factors that killed each applicant's chances, but the fact that they considered things like hobbies and the possibility of airing dirty laundry as factors is probably actionable. Disqualifying a candidate based on something that someone else wrote on their blog? Double wow.

Ok. That's all. Really.



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This page is a archive of entries in the meta category from July 2005.

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