There are two numbers in a window on my desktop. They sit in the corner of my monitor. One if for my GradU department's office manager, the other for the chair. They are on my desktop for the duration. And why, might you ask, would a post-academic have the numbers to the direct lines of the top two decision-maker's in their Grad U department? That would be because I do not have a degree yet.
Let me say that again: I do NOT have my degree yet.
That smell of hell and brimstone wafting out of the midwest is the smoke coming out of my ears. Sorry.
I have the number for the admin folks in the dean's office too but that one is not on my desktop. You see, the dean's office sent the final form to my old department for a signature...and have not gotten it back yet. No one in my department is answering their phones. No one is responding to email.
I cannot legally say that I have a degree until it is actually conferred. So if someone evaluating one of my job applications decides to verify my degree before calling me for an interview, it comes up that I don't have a doctorate degree. Now I'm sure that won't be a problem at all.
I did the work. I finished. I did the research, wrote the book, defended it, and got it accepted. No degree.
I have no degree because no one in my GradU department is willing to take up the slack left by our departing graduate secretary. She got a better job in a department that isn't nearly as snake-filled. I wish her the best of luck. However, no one has stepped in to fill the gap. All the other secretaries and admins are overstretched. No one is keeping track of which forms need to be signed and sent to who. The result is: I have no degree.
Given the circumstances, I thought my email to the department chair was very measured and polite. You can be sure that I will be calling and emailing every day until the nice folks in the dean's office let me know they have the form they need. And if you're curious, the dean's office admins are also emailing and calling for me. There may be people in the grad school calling too.
Incidentally, the reason I know my degree has not been conferred is because the former grad secretary at my department checked. Yeah, the person who left the department and did not need to do a damn thing checked and got me numbers to call to figure out what the hang-up was.
Not happy. So not happy.
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