Friday, December 14, 2012

Online Forms .... RAGE!!!

I've spent a good chunk of the last 2 weeks applying to jobs and writing letters of rec for my students applying to grad school. I HATE online forms.

Let me start with the positive:

There is one system (ApplyYourself?... I can't remember) that makes life very easy for the letter writer. One username. One password. They send you the link, you see ALL of the students you need to write letters for in this system on one screen. Click on student. Fill out school specific questions. Upload. Submit. Click on next student. Continue until done. LOVE!!!!!!

I am applying to several posts at University A. I have a login for their jobs page. It brings up all the positions at this university I have EVER applied for. It gives me an option to copy all the personal and rec details from a different application if I choose. I change the relevant information. Upload the appropriate documents. Done. LOVE!!!!!

There is another system for uploading letter that sends me a username with a jumble of letters, and a password that is my last name. I click on the link. IT ASKS ME TO CHANGE MY PASSWORD! Why, I ask you. All the security is in my username. I'll never be able to log in again without my link. I'll only use this username for ONE student. Once I'm done, you can trash the login. I've had three different logins in this system this year. A-NOY-ing!

University B's graduate admissions fails to recognize the domain of my previous academic e-mail. REALLY?! This took my poor student a week to figure out. That's okay, I have a different academic e-mail. I do get the link sent to this address, BUT.... I can't upload the letter. Each time I try, my connection times out. Ah, but they have an option to cut and paste the letter into a box. I try this. The connection times out when I try to submit. I really hope they are checking the general contact inbox for the admissions department for letters. If this is a new system, I really hope they fire the group that developed it. RAGE!!!

I am applying to several posts at University C. Their jobs website is down for servicing for one of the job deadlines. I get permission to submit when the page comes back up, but since the deadline has passed, the job is no longer available in the on-line system. I get the appropriate forms from a poor administrator dealing with many requests like this. They require that I download and fill out an application form. The application form is a .doc file with fields. Some of the fields show up as read only when I open it in Open Office on my Ubuntu machine. Trying to save the file crashes OO. But exporting to pdf works. When my partner downloads the form to OO on his windows machine, he can't see the check boxes. I can't set up an account with my current e-mail address. Luckily, I've already set up an account from my previous academic address. When I upload the documents, I can't click on them to check if they look okay. Something about a header information problem with the webpage. OMG I HATE THIS!!!!!!

I really hope to be done with all this nonsense by Saturday.

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