In addition to the usual end of the semester mix of grading jail, student panics, and tiredness, I've got the special joys of calling references and setting up long-distance interviews with candidates.
The committee laid out times for interviews, and naturally, our schedules don't overlap nicely. Then I started setting up interviews. The candidates all were very cooperative, and we managed, but some are quite busy with teaching and stuffs, and they can't drop everything for an interview.
I started calling the references on my list. I got hold of one person right away, and they were really excited to talk about the candidate, and it was great. I thought to myself, hey, this is way easier than I thought it would be! Then I tried the next person on the list, and the number took me to a veterinary school person. And I looked on line, and the number I found listed there took me somewhere else. Then I looked on line and called the department office, and they told me that the person wasn't around because classes are already over, and I should email. So I did. And that's pretty much how the rest of my calls went.
When I worked as a receptionist, I learned very quickly to answer the phone "Good [morning/afternoon], [Business Name], how may I help you?" I still do a variation. My calls to different departments and such trying to get hold of referees has reminded me that answering the phone with something more helpful than "yeah" does matter. It also helps if the on-line directory has the right phone numbers. (Fancy Pants U, I'm looking at you about both of those!)
Also, if you're going to set up one of those automatic "out of office" messages, put some words there. I got return emails that were totally empty.
Fortunately, the references are all enthusiastic about their candidates, got in touch, and I've now talked with all but one, and we have an appointment to talk on Monday.
But holy cow, it takes a lot of time.
We made some national news outlets this week, and not in a good way. We're in the midst of a variety of political moves, led by our tireless union folks, who can't bargain on our behalf, but are doing good organizing work. Who knows, maybe we'll make the news in a better way next week?