'cause I've been doing nothing except apply to these damn job openings! Position after position after position!
My latest hurdle, if I may bitch about it, is the "all-electronic application" thingy that the CCs round here have got set up. While I do like submitting stuff online (not, submitting to stuff online; despite the vicissitudes of the job market, I am not actually a masochist), some of these places have gone too far and want me to scan in all of my transcripts as PDFs online and then want those files to be under a megabyte. Argh! I have pages and pages in those transcripts, allright? Even my MA transcript, so don't give me the whole "well we expect most of our applicants will only have MAs as that's what the job calls for, Sisyphus" crapola. I'm about ready to get tested for some sort of PDF-related handicap so that I can get around this part of the application via the ADA, which is the only exception some of these sites will take. Rrr.
My other e-hurdle comes from my lovely placement center on campus, which holds our letters for us and makes them nice and confidential, but does not currently have the capacity to email, fax, or upload our letters. Lovely. No, seriously, they have been wonderful and timely for me this year (last year, different story. But also different staffers). First of all, since it has been 3 months since I filed, I had to pay them 50 bucks to "Reactivate" my file for another 12 months. I mentioned this to someone and she said, "wow, I'm so glad that Wellesly offers me a lifetime free dossier service that I can go back to use any time." Or wait, it was Smith. Was it Smith? The question is moot, I'd say, since I would have had the same reaction ---- which was to pop her one ---- either way. I think Smith (unless it's Wellesly. One of the seven sisters thingies) also automatically gives all of their allumnae free allumnae email addresses for life, too. My undergrad, a public, didn't even have that capability when I left it (and yeah, I met some Smithies that very year, so I've been grumbling about that email thing for a long time now.)
I could point out that one year of their tuition can buy you the entire four at my public undergrad, and it was no small shakes of a place. You've heard of it. It rocked. If you didn't mind that it was large and anonymous and that you really had to fight to stand out among a lot of super ambitious people, it was a great place. But those public Us, especially here in California, where we reacted to 10 years of the strong dot-com economy by cutting higher education and now are reacting to the weak economy by dismembering it --- those public Us will nickel and dime you to death. I (stupidly) mailed out my last original transcripts instead of copies midway through my fall application season, and when I wrote off for new ones from all my institutions, they had jumped in price ---- the undergrad one by 5 bucks. They raised the prices on all the food and drink over winter break and now are saying that if you use a credit or bank card to pay they'll pass along the card charge to you, so try to use cash. New little fees have been popping up everywhere like mushrooms, and previously free stuff is quietly going the pay route. Even the bus pass subsidy has gotten smaller ---- I don't want to know what they're charging per parking space these days. Bleah.
And the Regents passed along mid year cuts to all the campuses --- a little while back our Chancellor sent around some very dire emails explaining that there would be more cuts, as the Regents asked our campus to take a hit the equivalent of firing the entire social sciences faculty. Except, they can't touch the faculty pot of money, or the TA pot of money, which means that it all will have to come out of programs or just not holding enough classes. (Adjuncts are hired by the quarter, therefore they are never "fired," only not hired for the next quarter.) I should note that all these cuts are before whatever will come down the pike when Der Gubernator redoes the budget, which has to be fixed as it didn't really get fixed in any way when it "passed." When I start thinking about it, I wonder why I am even bothering to apply to any additional jobs in California. Why stay when obviously they are going to auction off the whole thing, fold it up, and mail it to India in a few months?
Hmm. Um ... because it was 50 degrees and sunny today? Which is good as pretty soon the state won't even be able to afford the heat, much less take it.