The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Explain This to Me

I'm not sure what to make of a situation I am currently in, so I thought I'd tell you about it, and maybe you can shed some light on it for me.

I read a posting for an editing job, and the deadline was July 1. The application was actually quite lengthy, as they basically had you edit a portion of the book in question and submit your contribution. It was a lot of work for an application, but hey, what else do I have to do with my time? The job described itself as part-time, and it seemed like the hours would be pretty much up to the editor, although there would be hard deadlines set from above.

So like I said, I submitted my application, which was completely done through an online form (the only option). On this form, they did not ask for an address or phone number--only an email address. I electronically sent my app on July 1, naturally taking as long as I possibly could. July 1 was a Thursday.

When I didn't hear from them for the rest of that week, nor the week after that, I just assumed that they weren't interested. I thought I had done a good job with the application and that I would be a good fit for the job, but hundreds of people apply for writing/editing/creative jobs, and I was prepared to be over-shadowed by someone with more experience and/or more education.

I left for Connecticut with the Bread Winner on Sunday, July 11. While in Connecticut, I did not have internet access--unless I wanted to pay for it, which I didn't. I arrived home on Wednesday evening around 11pm. I immediately checked my email (I did miss it), and I found the two following emails waiting for me:


Monday, July 12, 12:02 PM

Dear Oz:

Excellent application. When can we call you for a quick interview, can you provide two references, and what phone number(s) are best for you?

[Name of Person]
Managing Editor
[Name of Publication]


Tuesday, July 13, 3:16 PM


We liked your application...can you forward me your phone number to set up an

[Name of Person]
Managing Editor
[Name of Publication]


I immediately replied on Wednesday evening, July 14, 11:30 PM

[Name of Person]:

Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I was away and unable to access my email for a couple of days. Sometimes a girl has to rough it! (Although not when she is working studiously on [Name of Publication], of course.) Anyway, please feel free to call me either at home (XXX-XXX-XXXX) or on my cell phone (XXX-XXX-XXXX). I should be reachable at one of those numbers at any time.

Thanks for your interest, and again, I apologize for the late reply.



And I haven't heard back. Is it just me, or is there a bit of a tone change between email #1 and email #2? First it's "Dear Oz....Excellent application ...thanks!" then it's "Oz... We liked your application.... thanks." Am I reading too much into that? I get the feeling that my lack of response within 24 hours has dampened the flames of excitement generated by my fabulous application. Could it be that not responding within 24 hours of the second email took me out of the running completely?

Frankly, I don't care that much, but I was just wondering about etiquette. They never specified a time frame for getting back to the applicants--like, "We'll notify you by July 13." If they had said that, I would have shucked out the money to check my email at least once. Am I expected to put my entire life on hold on the off chance that I might get an email from a company to which I've applied for a job?

In addition, I am in a little of a conundrum about next week. I am leaving on Monday to go to Key West. I'll return late Thursday night. I may or may not have internet access. However, my cell phone should work down there, and it appears that the next step is a phone call. Should I send them another email and say something like, "Just wanted to let you know--in case you're still interested--I'm going to be out of town from Monday to Thursday"? Should I bother? Or will that ultimately make me look even worse: She's constantly out of town! We don't want her!

So please, I'm dying to hear some opinions on this. I feel that getting back to them within three days should be acceptable, and maybe it is, I don't know for sure yet. But I get the feeling that this opportunity has passed me by...


  • Hi there, I just came over from Rita's blog and I had to comment because I am going through almost the same thing. So here's my POV: I don't think 3 days is an unreasonable amount of time at all. They may have found someone else in the meantime, who knows, but what do you have to lose by sending them another email asking what's up? Also, there did seem to be a tone change, but who knows, maybe they were just really busy that day? I would say, don't tell them you'll be away if your cell phone will work where you're going, they'll never know, and if they think you are hard to pin down, they might not want to put in the extra affort they think it will require when they have other applicants.

    Anyway, sorry about the long comment, and Good Luck!!

    By Blogger April, at 11:57 AM, July 18, 2004  

  • Well said, Riley. Answering a week-end request by the start of the following week is completely reasonable, in my opinion. If they had asked for more complete information on the application, they could have called you. Their misstep, not yours.

    Hang in there, they are probably playing the waiting game with you because you took a couple of days to respond.

    By Blogger Rita, at 12:30 PM, July 19, 2004  

  • Oz, if you still haven't heard by now, ignore them. You deserve better than this uncommunicative outfit. Enjoy your trip, the ball's in their court and they haven't returned it. Their loss.

    By Blogger Tim, at 6:18 PM, July 19, 2004  

  • I had to respond to this post-
    1. Because I just got finished posting about slightly similiar, job related frustrations.

    2. Because I have been in situations like this before. In fact, I can write a blog alone on it. Long story short, the fact that they are just dealing through email might be a little shady. It's unfortuate, but many freelance writing jobs I have gotten that required an online means of communicating solely have been disappointments. Getting two responses back to back also tells me that they don't know what they are doing.

    I am actually dealing with a similiar situation right now. I answered a freelance ad for music reviewers online a few months back. The word PAID was in capital letters. They responded right away and it turns out it it is paid, but in music. So, I decided to do it anyhow, for exposure. Months later I have still yet to receive more than one thing from them to review. In fact, the only review of mine that is on their site is one that I supplied to them as a sample.

    I could go on and on with examples, but I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, I feel your pain.

    By Blogger Janet, at 3:49 PM, July 20, 2004  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Miss Storyteller, at 11:46 PM, July 20, 2004  

  • Thanks for all of your comments. Actually, a different big wig called yesterday, and we will speak on the phone tomorrow. We'll see what happens. It turns out that they actually want me to do the part of the job that I'd be the best at (the job is split into two), so I am quite interested. BTW, this is a physical publication (only the application was online). This company has many titles in print already. I am confident that they will print this one as well.

    Here I am in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, loving my wireless card.....

    By Blogger Oz, at 3:07 PM, July 22, 2004  

  • Congrats on making it to the next phase! Please ignore us jaded souls. Nothing to see here...

    By Blogger Janet, at 3:20 PM, July 22, 2004  

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