Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'd better get money out of this

Everything ridiculous about this application I'm working on,* presented in bullet form:
  • On Friday, I'm going to have to courier a 116 page application package to NYC. (They want everything in quadruplicate.)
  • The main webpage's instructions include the instructions to ignore the instructions provided on the last page of the pdf application, and then a link to the instructions I'm actually supposed to follow. Exactly.
  • There is also a spot on the pdf application where I'm supposed to affix my photo, with lots of instructions about exactly how I should affix this photo. But, if you look at the real instructions (provided in the link), you find out that North Americans are not supposed to include a photo.
  • I just filled out a detailed online application, each field of which had a specific maximum number of allowed characters. You only get to see the final pdf that is created after you finalise the application and click "Send." It turns out that some of the online fields are too long for the pdf form, and so my application says I was awarded my MA on "23 Novemb" with no year, and there's no way to change it. It's a good thing they also have my full online application on file and will have all my transcripts in quadruplicate.
  • So, I have to print off a six-page pdf application form that's generated after I fill out the online application. This pdf has a solid green background on every single page. That's going to use up most of my printer's wee little colour cartridge.
  • They required my high school final average (but no high school transcripts, thankfully). It's a really good thing I keep things like that.
If I win this funding, it will all be worth it. (If I don't, I will be pointing back to all the complaints listed here.)

* I think they're a wonderful organization that does so much good for my field. They just also have confusing amounts of red tape and need some employees to manage their online presence better. And after I've dealt with the much-more streamlined Canadian system (it's still strange to say that), I notice it a lot.

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