Dear Dr. Schellenberg
Dear Dr. Schellenberg,
I understand you are somewhat of an expert in the archival field. Let’s talk job etiquette.
Obviously this is a terrible job market. I’m really not picky. I’m willing to move almost anywhere that has at least one decent restaurant and to be able to live the lifestyle I’ve grown accustomed to (i.e., eating regular meals). So imagine my surprise when I see the perfect job opening only a few weeks after graduation. Never mind that this town doesn’t even get its own craigslist; there is at least one Thai restaurant and I could probably live in a mansion with a few acres of arable land for what I pay in rent now. A few weeks later I’m having a phone interview, being told that prospective candidates are being brought in within the next few weeks and I’m on my way to my mansion! After sending off some lovely thank-you notes, I waited. For four weeks.
At this point, I’ve slogged through a summer of part time jobs and freelance work. So one day I’m sitting at one of my desks/cubicles/workstations and I realize that I actually did interview for a real job and what ever happened to that Thai restaurant? So I send an e-mail to check in. A few days later I get the response that the position had been filled and there were many qualified applicants. It was pretty clear that if I hadn’t “checked in,” I probably would have never heard from them again.
So Schelly. Give it to me straight. In the archives world, is this even within the realm of appropriate employer behavior? I realize that I shouldn’t expect a response from every job that I apply to – that most of my lovingly crafted cover letters go into some void somewhere and get eaten – but to get no response after a phone interview? For a month? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
Aggravated in the Archives
Dear Aggravated Archivist,
There is much informational value in your inquiry. I am unsure what you mean by “craigslist” – is this a new method of appraisal?
Regarding your inquiry, this is quite rude. They put you in a real pickle! I am assuming this organization has a terrible handle on its own records management and may in fact still be using Jenkinson’s manual. You are likely better off not working for an institution such as this. Make sure to thoroughly appraise each job opportunity and avoid putting too much sentimental value on ethnic restaurants.