Ugh, blog, something bad happened yesterday.
It took me weeks to complete an important application and only minutes to undermine the character of the intelligent, conscientious person I worked so hard to present in the personal statement.
Here’s how it went. I applied for a program, and the program asked for several materials, including a recommendation letter, some photos, a personal statement, and a registration fee. I arrived at the office to turn in the application and asked the person listed as a contact person to review my application to make sure I had all the materials. We went through the portions in my application.
I said, “Here are the passport photos.”
She said, “Okay perfect, this is what I need. Just fill out the credit card authorization form and you’re all set.”
I stared. “Um, the photos are U.S. passport size, I didn’t know what to do, because they only print 2 x 2.”
She stared, “Right, I need 2×2.”
“Well, the application asks for 4.5cm x 3.5 cm.” I said, pointedly.
“These are the size I’ll need.” She responded, more pointedly.
“Okay great,” I replied.
Then I said, “I didn’t put a transcript, because it looks like they only wanted transcripts for undergraduates.”
She said, “I need a sealed transcript.”
I said, “Well, oh, um.”
She said, “You can bring it Monday.”
I said, “But it’s due today.” I have no idea why I said that. Who says that after someone says you can bring it in Monday?
She said, “Right, but if you’re missing one piece, that’s fine. I’m not going to reject an application for that.”
At this point I think about pointing to the line that says, “We will not process incomplete applications,” but I restrain myself.
Then she says, “It’s pretty easy to get a transcript – you just pick it up from the registrar.”
I said, “Okay great, they give you one right away? Do they require a sealed one?”
She replied, “Yes, it MUST be sealed.”
So I said, “Okay.”
And I was off, running to the registrar, to get me a sealed transcript.
When I got to the registrar’s office, I asked for two sealed transcripts.
And then, I was off, running back to the administrative office, to get her my sealed transcript.
I got to the office, huffing and puffing, and I handed her one sealed transcript.
She then proceeded to tear it open in front of me.
I was taken aback. I said, “Uh, now that you’ve opened that transcript, would you like a sealed one?”
She stared at me, like I was a dumba$$. “No, this is fine.”
It then occurred to me that she was the one reviewing the application. She wasn’t the person packaging the applications to send them to the people abroad. She was the decision maker! I was pestering the decision maker!
So anyway, on my part, I suspect…FAIL.
I sent her an email after the whole in-person exchange. I told her I found some place on the internet that says I was supposed to include a copy of my insurance card too. She didn’t write back.