And the Winner Is...

...okay, I couldn't give it away that easily, now could I? If you're following this, you deserve some drama, after all.

Plus, I'll give you vague references to ninth grade algebra.

First, word slipped out here by virtue of a phone call to one of my references. Word at SLAC spreads like wildfire, and so moments after that call was made, my relentless checking of Facebook statuses and apartment prices was disrupted by a rapping at my open door. First, my department chair. Then my Dean. Then a colleague who lurked in the hallway long enough to figure out what the parade through my threshold was about. All of this before I'd actually made my decision. Injected into the middle of the process was the awkward question from on high about whether a counter offer might somehow change things.

I always say to myself that I wish the dating world worked like this: that at some point, we could just pause and say "Is this working?" The honest answer could be given, and we'd move on, a little stung, but okay. It doesn't work that way in dating, and it doesn't work that in academia either, apparently, as my Lily Allen homage ("It's not me, it's you.") didn't seem to have quite the effect I'd intended.

That's actually harsh. If I could lift my department and place it where I wanted, things would be perfect. You've heard this before. And so, there wasn't an answer actually possible about what an attractive counter-offer would look like. This was hard to explain.

What I realized in the process was that I wasn't really capable of evaluating Job 1 and Job 2 in comparison to each other, as I'd tried elsewhere. There were really three jobs being compared, and this was part of what made things so thorny in previous comparisons. Also there was a nasty time crunch involved. If I made the comparison formally, it would look something like this:
Job Prime ‹ Job 1/Job2
And so each job had to be thought of in those comparisons. Really, the categories that went into things probably went into my decision went something like this:
Job Prime ‹ Job 2 ‹ Job 1

Proximity to Family
Job Prime ‹ Job 2 ‹ Job 1

Proximity to Friends
Job Prime ‹ Job 1/Job 2

Cultural Life
Job Prime ‹ Job 1/Job 2

Teaching Load
Job Prime ‹ Job 1 ‹ Job 2

Research Support
Job Prime ‹ Job 1 ‹ Job 2

Travel Support
Job Prime ‹ Job 1 ‹ Job 2

Department Goals/Make Up
Job 1 ‹ Job 2 ‹ Job Prime
Of course, I'd love to say that I was that methodical in making my decision, but alas, dear readers, I was under the gun, and so many of those things didn't get formally worked out. Instead, the process was a lot muddier and involved a lot more phone calls, gnashing of my terrible teeth and attempting to roar my horrible roar (also, there was a lot of rolling at and rubbing of my terrible eyes: Sendak, add that to the next draft!).

So, readers, here's your drama: before I reveal, with those facts, what would you have done?


6 Responses to “And the Winner Is...”
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Ewan said...

Did you ever tell us that Job 2 had been offered?

Anyway, based on data there Job 2 looks like a shoe-in. UNless salary disparity is such as to markedly affect quality of life, which I would not expect, especially given that you can tell Job2 folks "look, I have this other offer" and they will generally match it, no?

February 12, 2009 at 7:33 PM
Brigindo said...

You're kidding me right? I've been waiting for the decision and I get archaic 9th grade algebra?

Are you sure you aren't the 5th cylon?

February 12, 2009 at 11:53 PM
ash said...

you owe it your public to SPILL IT, doc!

February 13, 2009 at 9:06 AM
kermitthefrog said...

This post needed the soundtrack to Lost: slowly throbbing drums getting louder and louder until a big climax, which will reveal...

and here's a word from our sponsors!

Reminds me of the old Interrupting Cow joke.

Anyway, I'm going to guess Job 2 as well.

February 13, 2009 at 9:34 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

I tried to float the idea that not only was I the fifth Cylon, but that we all were. But, no, evidently, the show is insistent on the 5th Cylon's identity.

I didn't ever say straight out that Job 2 had made an offer, largely because of my fears about anonymity - particularly in the midst of a negotiation process.

February 13, 2009 at 10:14 AM
Anonymous said...

I was for job 2 all along. But I was afraid only job 1 would offer, and that you might not take it. So barring job 2, I was hoping you'd at least take job 1.

February 13, 2009 at 11:43 PM