We get it: the job market is tough. You’ve sent out résumé after résumé after résumé, and you haven’t even gotten so much as a response. If a response ever comes, it’s too late for your liking. It’s rude. It’s offensive. It’s humiliating. It’s demeaning. It’s insulting. You DESERVE a job. You’ve EARNED it. You’re, dare I say, ENTITLED to a job.
Except you’re just a 1L. If you think you’re entitled to anything at this point, then you’re sorely mistaken. You’re just another whiny law student who thinks that people, even potential employers, should bow to your demands for respect and courtesy. But we don’t need to tell you that — thankfully, Miss Manners already did it for us.
This is what happens when you bring your “woe is me” complaints for civility in the job market to a seasoned etiquette professional….
Here’s the set up: A first-year law student applied for a position as a research assistant with a professor at his law school. This student found out through the grape vine that a classmate had been chosen for the position, but apparently the professor didn’t notify him in a timely enough fashion for the 1L’s liking. When the professor finally emailed the student — two weeks after the initial interview, and one week after the student learned this wouldn’t be his summer job — the gunnerific 1L had this conundrum:
The professor then sent me an e-mail telling me that he was sorry not to choose me, but, etc. He neither acknowledged nor apologized for not responding promptly. I felt and still feel very insulted.
Am I right to feel insulted? Should I tell him that I feel insulted? In reply to his e-mail, I sent him a note thanking him for his consideration and saying that I thought that his choice of student would be excellent in the job. In an aside, I mentioned that I learned of this the previous week.
Was this note improper? Should I talk to the law school’s Office of Career Services and ask them to have a word with him? What should I do besides stew?
Oh yes, you should definitely tell the people at career services that this professor failed to acknowledge that he was passing on your superior legal mind at the speed of light. We’ve seen things like this before, though. Remember the kid who told a hiring partner that “a day will come when I command a level of respect that would make [sic] idea of standing me up unimaginable”? Yeah, it went about as well for that kid as this 1L’s question did with Miss Manners. Her response was printed in the Washington Post:
Look for another job. But not in the etiquette business, where we do not go around scolding people. Even Miss Manners would not dream of doing such a thing; she gives an opinion only when asked.
Granted, it would have been considerate of the professor to tell you his decision in good time so that you could begin making other plans. Unfortunately, many prospective employers do not have the courtesy to respond at all to applicants whom they have seriously considered.
But it is unwise, as well as rude, to enter the job world with the idea that you can reform the senior people in it.
BOOM goes the dynamite. CLINK goes the teacup, bitch.
Will this special snowflake realize the error of his ways? Probably not — he’s obviously partner material.
Miss Manners: The world of beverages is a wide one [Washington Post]