Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm crying in my... beer?

Seems like it's time to wallow (oh, you have interviews? must be nice...). For anyone else in the same boat, here are the steps I recommend:

Step 1: Pick you poison.

Vodka? What, so you can drink like a freshman, vomit and piss on that car as you're stumbling back home?

Beer? Seems like a better choice - a good variety for any occasion.

Me Tonight: Whiskey. More specifically: Bourbon.

Step 2: Assess your mood.

Need your body to feel the pain emanating from your heart? Visit with your friend Evan Williams (or his slightly more alcoholic neighbor Ezra Brooks). After all, he helped get you through those years of hard work that are not paying off.

Perhaps that hard work should pay off and what you need is consolation. A Woodford Reserve or Knob Creek -- apparently any bourbon with a bottle shaped like an oversized flask. The pain here comes in your wallet, but hey, you don't need to pay for that hotel room at the APA.

Tonight: I don't need pity and I don't need pain. Just a solid, stalwart drink to get proper perspective. Perhaps a Wild Turkey Rye. Or maybe I'll skip the rye and go with the wheated oak-heavy W.L. Weller. Ultimately, I'm actually doing well. It's mainly this whole 'job security' thing that rears it's ugly head every year.. just in time for Christmas!

Step 3: Take you medicine.

Comments on appropriate job market drinks or drinking away your problems are welcome.

-- Second Suitor

53 comments:

tshilson said...

When I was drinking I noticed that the darker the distilled beverage the greater the hangover. I switched to triple-distilled vodka. Smirnoff was the cheapest in my neighborhood.

Drink plenty of water. Alcohol dehydrates. I drank vodka on the rocks. The rocks aren't enough water.

Take a multi-vitamin pill. Alcohol destroys some vitamins, I forget which.

Anonymous said...

When I drank, I mostly drank boilermakers (16 oz. of cheap beer poured into an frosted stein with a double shot of booze dropped right in).

I actually became an alcoholic in graduate school and barely finished my dissertation. Not to be preachy, but you might want to think twice before using alcohol as a coping mechanism for job/school-related stress.

Anonymous said...

W.L. Weller! You don't see that much. I've resorted to a handle of Old Forester. It's only $20 for 1.75 liters. It's way better than Jim Beam and the like.

Anonymous said...

You've got it half right with the bourbon....but try an old fashion made with Basil Hayden instead. Something about it screams lonely winter nights in strange corporate hotels...

Anonymous said...

Two words: Icehouse -- that's one word, isn't it? *hic*

zombie said...

I was always a Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon gal myself. But now I drink tequila. Preferably in a good margarita. The lime chases away the scurvy, dontchaknow.

Pouring one out for my homies who didn't get interviews. Yet.

There's still time!!!!

corans said...

As a native Kentuckian and a grad student, I would recommend the regular Buffalo Trace for the balance of value and test rather than Weller from them. However, I agree with 4:26 that Old Forester isn't a bad deal either. Get the Birthday if you can.

Anonymous said...

I was what I thought an awesome grad student--and ultimately the only one in my PhD year who got a TT job. But while going through prelims, I was the only one who had aced 6 of 6 of 8--no one else had. So I went in on my specialty--metaphysics--along with metaethics--and failed my metaphysics exam. Total unfounded overconfidence. Went to the Copper Cellar (hint on location) and had six double scotches (Regis) and questioned my career choice. Ultimately everything ok--but sometimes you just gotta climb into that softening of the blows that can only come from the supervenience of the mind on physical causation. Sometimes I think that only drinkers can fully appreciate the force of such supervenience.

Anonymous said...

The right beer is never a bad choice (Smith's Oatmeal Stout, for example).

But, for the moment, it's a nice Balvenie Doublewood single malt. It's fairly cheap for such a good scotch and it gets the job done nice and smooth.

Failing that, wine. Wine works. Facing the prospect of another year of adjuncting, maybe wine won't be enough.

Anonymous said...

For celebration, or consolation, I go for the cheapest Islay single malt scotch I can find. In college it was usually Bowmore, now it's usually McClelland's, probably depending on the contingencies of the particular liquor stores I lived near then and now.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget a pack of cigarettes to numb that broken heart. Goes well with the alcohol too.

Anonymous said...

You should try mead.

Disclaimer: it may cause you to go vikingr and raid the APA anyway.

Anonymous said...

Tullamore Dew. Nectar of the gods.

Anonymous said...

Two questions.

Is there still time or am I being delusional?

2. The Eastern meeting is the 27-30. What day exactly is the smoker? Is it every night?

Thanks,
Clueless

Anonymous said...

@10:31 -- Ah, the memories. I was a 2 pack/day smoker in graduate school. I practically needed electroshock therapy to quit.

I hope getting the Ph.D. was worth all the coffee, booze, and cigarettes. I probably took a decade off my life living that way... shit.

Anonymous said...

There are two smokers. The one on Wednesday (28th) has free beer. The one on Thursday doesn't.

You can find this information in the program, if you remember that the smokers are now called 'receptions'. Also, it always works the same way: free beer reception the evening of the first *full* day, second reception the next full day.

Anonymous said...

If you have no interviews and are on the market, I _highly_ advise you to avoid the Smoker and the APA. If you've already bought tickets, just let the money go. There is no pain like being interviewless at the APA (if you're on the market).

zombie said...

Clueless -- there is still time. But not much. This week is pretty much it. I got the call for my first ever APA interview on the 22nd.

Anonymous said...

This is my second year on the job market and it looks like it will be another strikeout.

The thing that drives me nuts is that my buddy has 2 interviews, even though he is still ABD and has less publications than me!

I'm happy for him and all, but fuck me!

So yeah, it's countdown to liquor day.

Anonymous said...

Remember there is also time for those schools that have decided not to do the Eastern APA thing. But my count, there are a bunch of them this year. They might be on a very different schedule than those people racing around right now to get candidates in time for the Dec. meeting.

Anonymous said...

I had 2 APA interviews last year and 3 post-APA interviews. The 3 post-APA interviews were all scheduled January and later. All but one of my interviews were for TT jobs. So you can definitely strike out pre-APA, and get a job post-APA.

I want to know odds. I ended up jobless last year. This year, I have three APA interviews. What're the odds I end up jobless again this year? >50%?

Anonymous said...

There's no reasonable way of estimating these things.

But here's how I view it: lets assume each school is interviewing 15 candidates (some will be less, but some will be more). With 3 APA interviews, you're looking at 9/45 chance at getting a flyout (like %20). Even if you're a *very* good interviewer, I'd still put your chances of landing a job at less than %10.

(For what it's worth, I have 5 interviews for 7 TT positions -- one of them is a flyout! -- and I'm worried about being jobless, too.) Somebody please tell me that this is overly pessimistic.

Anonymous said...

5 interviews for 7 TT positions? How's that work?

Also, is the average # of interviewees really 15? A SC member on a previous thread (forget which one) said 12 is usually the max, and 8 is more normal.

Anonymous said...

5/7: Two of my interviews are for schools that have two positions but are only running one search.

I have no idea what average is, but my guess is that 8 is too low. I know at least one school that is shortlisting 20 this year. Last year I had an interview with a school that shortlisted 18. Even if the average is 10, then 3 APA interviews means around a %10 of landing one.

closet bayesian said...

10:46,

No, if the average number of interviews is 10, then three interviews obviously gives you a better than 10% chance of landing one. Having one interview would give you a 10% chance! Higher, really, because you could get the job by being second on the list to someone who accepts another job.

It's hard to aggregate the chances over three interviews, because (a) there is now more chance that some of your competitors for one job are competitors for another (which makes your overall chances higher), and (b) there is some chance you could get two offers, and (c) it is very doubtful that the probabilities are independent.

(For what it's worth, I've been on some search committees, and my guess is that the average number of interviewees per job is 12.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe there's no normal # of interviewees. If I'm located in an undesirable location but I want to hire a high-output philosopher, I'd probably interview a lot of people, on the assumption that I'll have difficulty luring high-output folks to my backwater. But if I'm running a search at a teaching-oriented school in a sunny, happy, lovely land, I'd probably interview relatively few people, on the assumption that I won't have much difficulty finding an excellent teacher who is hungry for a job in paradise. So maybe the variety of different circumstances means that the # of interviewees varies widely.

Anonymous said...

So has it been better or worse to watch all the job interviews get posted online at the phylo wiki? I'm going with worse, personally, since it makes it harder to wish away the despair.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the number of interviewees is typically determined by practical constraints. Interviews are exhausting for SCs as well as interviewees, so it's tough to do more than 6, maybe 7 per day. Over two days, that's 12-14 total; maybe 15 tops. I've been on a few SCs, and that's about the number we look to interview, all else equal.

(Of course, all else is not always equal. One year we interviewed for two positions, 10 or 11 candidates each, for a total 21 interviews. It was brutal, absolutely brutal. But we did end up making two very good hires.)

machine for brains said...

First, a thought about the typical # of APA interviews a particular school will schedule. There's a reason why so many SC's schedule about 12. Interviews take time, they are exhausting and frankly you can only fit so many into a 3-4 day period. One year, we couldn't narrow our list down from about 14 and later decided it was just one or two interviews too many.

On the other hand, I have a hard time imagining actually opting to interview fewer than 12. It is ridiculously difficult to shrink the pool of candidates to such a small number. My feeling is that most (normal) SC's end up with about 20 or 30 candidates that they'd happily interview for the job. The trick is getting from 30 to 12. So I can't see a plausible scenario where we'd interview just 6 or 8 people.

Second, 9:26 writes: "The thing that drives me nuts is that my buddy has 2 interviews, even though he is still ABD and has less publications than me!"

I feel your pain 9:26 and I don't mean to pick on you. I am however always surprised to that anyone actually thinks this way. Search Committees don't compare candidates by, say, tallying up numbers of publications. Typically they start by reading CV's and letters of recommendation. Letters play a huge role in distinguishing candidates. And candidates really have no way of knowing how the profile that emerges compares with that of others. Moreover, you really don't know what the difference-maker is. It might be something as random as your dissertation topics. Who knows.

(And I wish I could stop myself, but.....aghh...uhhgnn...gasp...'fewer' not 'less'. sigh. Not that grammar would ever be a difference-maker. Let's not have that conversation again.)

Anonymous said...

I interviewed for a position a few years ago that had interviewed 20 candidates. They could only afford to send one interviewer, too, so she had to make all the interviews and conduct them all solo.

Anonymous said...

Some of the recent comments are puzzling to me. Especially machine for brains 12:42.

According to machine for brains (as I read him/her), if you've made your initial cuts and you're left with 20-30 great applicants, then it's somehow relatively easier to cut down to 12 than to cut down to 8. Why?

Why not just randomly eliminate people until you've got your desired number of interviewees (whether that is 8 or 12)? Is it believed that you can't cut an applicant without finding fault with that person?

If I were running a SC (note: something I've never done), I'd just want to interview as many people as needed in order to get a good hire--no more. Giving interviews is taxing (as machine for brains notes). So, I imagine, if I felt that I could find a good hire in 8 (or less) interviews, I'd use random elimination (if necessary) in order to get the number down to 8 (or less). But machine for brains has me thinking that the elimination process is a little more complicated than I'd been imagining it.

Anonymous said...

10:46 -- what school is shortlisting 20 people???

Anonymous said...

211. I'm pretty sure 10:46 meant "long-list" (assuming short list = on campus visits; long list = APA/ initial interviews)

Anonymous said...

Funny story. This year, I applied for a job at a state-run university in the Middle East. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited for a phone interview. I was told that I would receive a call within a specific two-hour interval. That two-hour interval arrived, but the call didn't come. Then I got an email saying that their phone system wasn't working. We rescheduled for another two-hour interval three days later. That two-hour interval arrived, but the call didn't come. The next day, I got an email saying that their interviews with other candidates went long. We rescheduled again. The call didn't come. Then they stopped answering my emails. Dag nabbit, I always wanted to live in the Middle East. :(

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if Central Washington University has scheduled on campus interviews yet?

machine for brains said...

1:36 writes:

it's somehow relatively easier to cut down to 12 [from 30 great candidates] than to cut down to 8. Why?

I didn't mean to suggest that it's easy to go from 30 to 12. It's difficult to cut anyone at that point. But you have to. You can't interview 30 people at the APA.

So then, why not just interview 8? I believe the thought is that since it is perfectly possible to interview more people at the APA (up to about 12), and since we want to gather information, we can achieve this at this stage by interviewing more candidates (within reason).

Why not just randomly eliminate people until you've got your desired number of interviewees (whether that is 8 or 12)?

I suppose it's possible that random elimination would be more honest (assuming that whatever one's methods for elimination are -- at this late stage, where all the candidates seem great -- the methods you choose aren't likely to be more reliable than random culling). But it's very hard to operate that way. SC's are not one mind; each member conceives of the process differently. Most members believe that even at this stage, they are capable of making principled discriminations. And there is also a general belief that we owe it to the candidates.

In short, I see your point, but it's generally impossible to get a group of people to act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

4:42, I'm not sure about Central Washington. I don't know if it's appropriate to say this, but there appears to be a visiting person who fits the job ad extremely well. So even if the on-campuses aren't yet scheduled, I'd be cautious about that one. Sorry :-(

Anonymous said...

5:24 - 4:42 here. Yeah, I too noticed that. But, it would still be nice for my psyche to get an on-campus interview. They said they'd have made a decision by now, but the wiki has yet to screw me, so I still have some hope.

Anonymous said...

Any word on the Gettysburg position in political philosophy? Have they scheduled on-campus interviews yet?

Anonymous said...

6:51, Gettysburg went up on the wiki earlier today. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

7:13 -- no, that's the other search they're running (in peace and non-violence). I'm talking about the one in political philosophy.

Anonymous said...

machine for brains 4:48: thanks, that clarifies matters for me a lot.

Anonymous said...

"Service Engineers will be carrying out a planned upgrade, on the University Email system this evening. This work will take place between 17:00 - 21:00 on Wednesday 21st December 2011. As a result the University email system will be subject to some short outages and will be at risk for the whole period."

Perfect! Can this week get any better?

Anonymous said...

7:19

SCs don't usually make decisions on multiple searches on different days. If a school has more than one search and only one of them is updated on the wiki, this likely just means that no one has updated the other search yet. Abandon hope.

Anonymous said...

7:05 -- Um, that's not true at all. Last year my department did two searches and the on-campus interviews were not scheduled on the same day.

Anonymous said...

8:15

Just curious, why the difference in dates? I would imagine that the different committees would report to the general faculty at the same time and a decision would be made. Are some of your colleagues just slower than others?

Anonymous said...

9:26 -- Decisions for Search A were made by Committee A. Candidates were contacted and interviews were scheduled for Week X. Once that was taken care of, decisions for Search B were made by Committee B, candidates were contacted, and interviews were scheduled for Week Y. Yes, Committee B was slower.

Anonymous said...

9:48

Further evidence that the idiosyncrasies of various departments make generalizations impossible. Where I am, the search committees make recommendations to the faculty. The committees are not completely autonomous. Now, most of the time the faculty just rubber stamps their recommendations. But decisions to interview are departmental decisions.

we have the committees report to the faculty at a single meeting. This has several advantages that I don't need to go into. So at least where we are, the earlier commenter's claim about wiki updates is correct (I'm not that person). But it isn't universally true. So seeing one job on the wiki should dampen hope but might not be enough to annihilate it.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that there has been almost no movement on the wiki today. I was still holding out hope that some jobs would still be moving today, tomorrow, and Friday.

Anonymous said...

You should call this blog 'Alcoholic Philosophers Anonymous'. Yep. I'll drink to that.

Anonymous said...

10:45 -- I don't think a candidate for job A at College X should read too much into a wiki announcement about job B at College X. For one thing, the wiki is unreliable. For another thing, even if the announcement is reliable, unless and until there is an announcement regarding job A, no one is in a position to speculate about whether an interview has been scheduled for job A (unless s/he has inside knowledge about the particular search, or about general hiring procedures in College X's Philosophy Department). If the Candidate A starts speculating, s/he will needlessly worry him/herself sick, which is silly. If others start speculating (and saying foolish things like "abandon hope"), they are making Candidate A needlesly worry, which is sadistic.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Waterloo, in Canada, has scheduled APA interviews for their open/mind/ethics job?

CTS said...

@ tshilson:

Yes, darker liquors usually have more tanin. This not only causes worse hangovers for many, it also is a trigger for migraines in many sufferers.

VODKA!