Dear Job List:
Where is the love? Why are you so enamored of that stupid century instead of my own, infinitely more fascinating century? And WTF is up with all the calls for poetry esp. after everyone has told me all along that poetry jobs were as hard to find as theory jobs? I guess you're looking out for Fellow Grad # 1, as well as Friend Who Graduated Last Year, for the century on the other side of mine, but still, send me something interesting, ok?
Dear Tiny College,
Do you really expect to find someone who does Shakespeare, colonial American, and digital literature? (*or the equivalent.) Couldn't you have figured out what you wanted before you posted the job ad? And why is it that the smaller and less-heard-of the college, the more hoops (teaching philosophy, demonstration of teaching experience and excellence, statement of research interests, and originals of transcripts from all college levels) do you ask us to jump through? Seriously, Tiny College I Have Heard of Before only wanted a letter and CV for the first cut.
Dear Tiny Paperless College,
Bless you for your attempt to make a paperless job search!!!!! Your request for us to email a letter and CV, with the notation that you will ask for us to email a writing sample on the second round, will accumulate you much karma. May you never get another paper cut again!
Dear Cowtown College,
Nobody loves you like I do! Why have you posted the wrong job ad? Seriously, you want someone who does my research, not that silly century that shall not be named! No one but me knows how cool you are --- I've actually been to your campus for a summer program and loved it! Now, do I send you my application now, or will you pull the JIL ad and write me a new one first?
Dear Research University(ies),
Funny how you have advertised for exactly what I do, but at the Associate/Advanced Assistant level. Can I apply anyway, or would that lead to your people pointing and laughing at me at every one of our future field conferences? Look, I have a PhD! It's shiny! Ooh, ooh! Look, PhD in hand! --- well, not right now, but I could roll my chair across the room and put my hand on it if you so desire --- Oh, why do you have to raise the bars just as I finally clear one? Or are most R1 job ads really looking for someone who's already put a couple years in their "starter job" and has submitted a book manuscript, and you are the only ones to openly admit this?
Dear Magic Job Elves,
So I'll leave the choice up to you: you can either work your magic pixie dust over the job list and make some dream jobs appear, or you can rewrite my revise-and-resubmit for me, which I have had no interest in or ability to revisit for several weeks now. Maybe you can brew up some eye of newt potion that will make me love that piece and want to work on it instead of being absolutely bored by the topic and stymied by how to revise it? I'll make you your favorite cookies --- or leave out a fifth of bourbon; just let me know your preferences.