So I left a university last year. If you weren’t around, I had a complex relationship with that university and was pretty glad to be leaving my (adjunct) role, as the (full-time) role I wanted wasn’t available.
WELL RIGHT AFTER I LEFT, THE PERSON WITH THE JOB I WOULD HAVE KILLED FOR PROCEEDED TO GET THEIR DREAM JOB AND NOW THEIR REJECT JOB AT MY OLD UNIVERSITY IS FUCKING OPEN AND I’M NOT THERE.
The timing is comic, if also vaguely horrifying. It was fine, because I thought I had a tenure track position at my new school on lock. And I kind of did. They totally want to offer it to me! But budget cuts? So I may have a job, but I may also ... not. I’ve been waiting a month, with no end in sight. The deadline for my old university’s new opening is this week.
I find myself in the awkward position of applying for a job at a university I hoped to never see again. This guy still works there. One of these people still does, too, but one assumes I’d get my own office?
How does one go about addressing the weirdness in a cover letter? (Does one?!) Right now, I am (very sarcastically) thinking something like:
“I USED TO WORK HERE. But I left because my husband resigned and you spousal fired me (your Chair is still a douche ... but we all know he’ll go soon).
I didn’t like working here - but it was because you kept me locked in a basement office with literal mushrooms growing on the door frame, and seldom acknowledged that I was a musician in addition to an adjunct who taught some junky classes. So maybe you thought I was pleasant, in which case, TAKE ME BACK. But maybe you thought I was unpleasant (I might have been), but it was because I WAS MISERABLE. This would probably be different!
I totally did this job when the outgoing person was on sabbatical. You trusted me to do it then, for pennies on the dollar. TRUST ME NOW!!? But y’know, with like ... an actual salary? And maybe benefits?
P.S. FluterDude is not a package deal. Speak to him separately.”
Of course, I could also just enumerate all the amazing things I did while I was there, without ANY GODDAMNED UNIVERSITY SUPPORT and heavily imply that WITH UNIVERSITY SUPPORT, I’d probably be fucking unstoppable, which is sort of my standard cover letter anyway. Merits: debatable. See: Current state of employment.
Do I even want to do this? I don’t know. I need a job. That place might have been nice, if I had been a different person on the totem pole. Or it might have been as awful as I thought.
I don’t know if I want advice or reassurance, or a box of matches.