Saturday, November 6, 2010

What I Just Told My Wife

Me: So you see all that (pointing at the Interfolio entries in our online finances)? Each one is a chance for me to get $50,000.

Wife: *Shrugs*

Me: It's like winning the lottery.

--Second Suitor

10 comments:

SLACkerProf said...

I've been closely following the conversation on Leiter about how the new online systems can be murder on letter writers because they have to respond to individual institutional requests for letters. Some people suggest that Interfolio takes care of this. Fine, but I am concerned that Interfolio is a huge financial burden on students especially, but that the new systems will make it more and more important, and thus increase the pressure to take on those costs.

I have no dog in this fight because I'm not on the market, nor do I have to write letters for job applicants, but I do think it is a matter the APA needs to address. So, is there a way I could find out how much Interfolio costs for individuals by polling folks on this site? I'm assuming those costs are going to go up because of the charges associated with online apps, but perhaps I'm wrong. I'd like to convince the APA to put together something that Math already has (check out mathjobs.org), and I think showing the folks at the APA just how ludicrously expensive the job market is getting for folks who are quite poor might help. If the APA doesn't respond then the next step is to convince one institution to host a system like mathjobs, which would be non-profit.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

$50,000 is a low estimate. It's more like one of those lotteries with yearly payments until you die, only with the payments going up each year. Tell your wife it's more like winning $2-3 million.

zombie said...

Oh dear god no. APA can barely get their job listings straight. I wouldn't trust them to send my letters no way no how.

Interfolio charges $6 for emailing letters, and $6 to mail them. Charges increase for priority/express mail and such. To upload directly to a website, they charge $6 for the 1st letter and $1 for each additional letter for the same application.

I've finished about 40 applications so far this year. Not all of them asked for letters right off, so I would estimate that I've spent about $220 so far, and I can expect to spend another $60 or so. So let's say an even $300.

When I used my grad school's career center two years ago, they charged me $7 to send out letters, and they only sent by mail or fax. No email, no websites. And they required me to fax or mail my requests to them (no emails), and pay in advance. Since campus was an hour's drive for me, this was a huge pain in the ass, since everything got delayed while I mailed checks to them. And I never had confidence that the letters were really going out in a timely manner. It was terrible. I love that I can manage my own letters and deliveries with Interfolio, and send them out when I need to, day or night, and get that email the next day telling me my letters went out.

So, yeah, compared to schools that send dossiers and stuff out for their students for free, Interfolio doesn't seem like a great deal. For me, it is cheaper and way more convenient than having my school do it. I just consider it the cost of applying for jobs. In the big picture, if I get a job, the money is nothing. Would free or cheaper be better? Sure. But only if it is fast, convenient, and reliable.

Xenophon said...

Let's see, wouldn't it be 50,000+(50,000*(1+r)/(1+i))+(50,000*(1+r)^2/(1+i)^2)+. . . (50,000*(1+r)^n/(1+i)^n)? Anon 4:43 is forgetting to discount future salaries, which can be a real problem when raises don't match cost of living increases.

Anonymous said...

Your wife should divorce you and marry a hedge fund manager. Better odds, better payoff.

Anonymous said...

Your wife should divorce you and marry someone who plays the actual lottery. Shittier odds, but much better payoff, and he can play the lottery wherever your wife prefers to live.

Anonymous said...

I say your wife should stay with you.

zombie said...

What's your point? Lotto tickets are my backup plan.

Polacrilex said...

Given the odds, playing the lottery should be your full-time plan; getting a tenure-track position AND securing tenure, the back-up plan.

Anonymous said...

As a non-academic wife, I love my philosopher husband and would not leave him for a lawyer, broker, or doctor. I would, however, stalk the online philosophy job market community in hopes of a life in a different city with a lower cost of living... a life where I do not have to work 50 hours a week in an administrative position I dislike, while he is forced to teach classes (not of his choosing) part-time... a life where we don't have to use our (dwindling) savings to pay for rent, daycare, and groceries...