Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Updates: emails and a bizarre conversation

First the big one: the boss continues to not be a jerk! I suspected as much, but am very relieved. He was supportive of my pregnancy, although sounded a bit surprised that it came so soon after the last one. He says money is not a problem if I need to take a bit longer to graduate: not sure if this is good or bad, as I had half expected him to say I should hurry up and graduate before the baby, however, that will be a couple months before he was thinking I would graduate. I don't think he meant to say that this will delay my graduation, only to say that it would be alright with him if I let it do so. (I don't think that will be necessary or a good idea.)

Second, the postdoc emails are rolling in, some later than others. I am feeling pretty good about repsonses, and have one seminar to give and someone to meet with at the upcoming March conference. One disconcerting thing is that ONE KNOWN EMAIL TO ME DID NOT COME TO MY INBOX. Luckily, a friend from that lab who was copied on the original, after I asked him about why I had not heard a reply, forwarded it to me. The email was from the top person on my list, so it was really important to me. I had a somewhat bizarre conversation with tech support regarding this problem, and I will paraphrase for you:

Setup: I have previously explained the loss of the email to a person on a lower rung of tech support, and now am talking with someone who has to decide whether to send it up for further review or close my case. My goal, as stated to tech support before, is to find out whether I have lost any other emails, but it was previously explained to me that that is likely not possible. So I really don't care where the conversation is headed. I would also like to point out that I am not angry with this person at all; I have a favorable impression of him generally.

Tech Support: So, I see that you lost an email, and . . . [details].

Tinkering Theorist: Yeah, I am on the job search so I wanted to know if there's a way to find out if I have lost any other emails. I guess I should have taken you seriously when you said not to do X [where X is thing with email programs which is known to cause email deletion in rare cases].

TS: So, this is a known problem?

TT: Well, you [tech support generally] sent out an alert about it months ago.

TS: So you do X and it can potentially cause emails to be deleted?

TT: That's what it said. But they also said that about [other email program which the last tech support person told me to switch to].

TS: (Explains that it would be hard to find out if I had missed other emails.)

TT: (Explaining that I really don't care that much anymore.)

TS: So, the problem is when you do X?

TT: That's what the alert said. I think I had done X around the time of the missing email. I guess I won't do that anymore!

TS: Alright, well since this is a known problem, I advise you not to do X.

TT: Alright. . . thanks.

TS: Thank you. Have a great day.

TT: You too.

Did you have to be on the phone to feel the strangeness, or is it apparent here? I explain problem X, state that I shouldn't have done X in the first place, and later comment that I won't do X anymore. He has clearly not heard of problem X, which he characterizes as a "known problem" anyway (well, I guess I knew about it) and asks for clarification at least twice. Then, he explains problem X back to me, and tells me not to do X, and that then everything should be fine. In his resolution email, it basically says that the resolution was, "I told her not to do X anymore".

I just wanted to say "What? I just told you about X! I had to explain it to you twice! It is not your idea that I not do X. Trust me, I do not plan on doing X anymore!"

Oh well. Hopefully I have not lost any more emails, or capella's metric that I not pursue any people who do not respond to my first email suddenly becomes hard to apply.

1 comment:

capella said...

Yay, congratulations on the emails "rolling in"! (I have no emails rolling in...) And also the boss being supportive. It looks like everything is going well!