I’M SORRY, TWO PEOPLE WHO MESSAGED ME ABOUT THIS. I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. YOUR ASKS WENT AWAY TO THE TUMBLR GRAVEYARD AND I CAN’T GET THEM BACK.
so this isn’t really a “story” so much as a “PSA about email safety,” but when i was in undergrad i wrote my thesis on translations of shakespeare’s hamlet in spain. but in order to do that i needed to actually, you know, get my hands on some of those translations, which were like… hundreds of years old. you can’t really download an epub of the 1772 de la cruz.
- trust me, i tried. i was like, “yo amazon, what do you have with regard to like 18th-century hamlet translations?”
- amazon was like, “….have you considered protein powder shakes? i also have these mini skeeball machines.”
the bad news about buying old-as-balls books is that OLD-AS-BALLS BOOKS ARE SO FUCKING EXPENSIVE.
like? guys. i was buying the $.99 KNOCKOFF MAC-N-CHEESE from the 24-hour mart across the street from my apartment. wtf are you smoking that you think i can afford a $300 book??? my idea of a “fancy dinner out” was getting an EIGHT-DOLLAR PIZZA. i didn’t even get GUAC if the GUAC WAS EXTRA.
- "what’s your job?"
oh, i’m a full-time student taking a higher courseload to complete my double major/double minor on time, but i also have an unpaid internship, but also i work as a tutor that gives me a smooth $350 once every 2 decades but sometimes i babysit for a family in brooklyn??? idk mostly i lay in my bed with all the lights off and pretend i am living in that jean m auel book valley of horses, in which her protagonist ayla rescues a hot dude with the help of her pet mountain lion and they have a lot of sex and fall in love.
- "oh, i’m still in school! :)"
so in order to afford these books, i applied for a grant through the university. i filled out the 2,000 forms, agreed blindly to terms and conditions, cut off my arm, swore allegiance to a shadow organization, and promised the university the head of my first born.
- you know, the standard grant application stuff.
and then i waited. and waited. and waited.
and THEN IT CAME: the email that held my WHOLE THESIS in its lil’ hands. i was in class, which so happened to be with a fine young scholar-gentleman named NOAM for whom i had briefly but seriously considered asking to marry me.
"unfortunately, we are unable to approve your request for funding due to your application being incomplete. we never received your letter of recommendation from your adviser, and as such must deny your application."
- I’M SORRY, YOU MUST BE CONFUSED. I MUST BE CONFUSED. WE’RE ALL CONFUSED. WE ALL DRANK A LITTLE TOO MUCH FROM THE CONFUSION PUNCH BOWL AND ARE NOW DRUNKENLY STUMBLING AROUND SAYING THINGS WE DON’T MEAN, LIKE “YOUR GRANT REQUEST HAS BEEN DENIED BECAUSE YOUR ADVISER DIDN’T TURN IN HIS LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION.” HAHA. WE’LL HAVE A REAL LAUGH ABOUT THIS TOMORROW.
i forwarded the email to my adviser. i was very chill. super chill. the chillest. did he think there might have been some kind of housekeeping mistake that i should follow up with or appeal?
"these things happen," he said in his reply. "i’ll look around and see what other grants i can find for you."
i forwarded his email to my roommate prachi.
"THESE THINGS HAPPEN?????????????" i wrote. “WHAT THE FUCK? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? WHAT DOES—WHAT IS THE WHAT. WHAT. I AM ASTOUNDED. ASTOUNDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING IS RUINED FOREVER, I’M GOING TO JUST GO BUY 40 CORGIS AND LIVE WITH THEM IN THE WOODS BECAUSE LIFE IS MEANINGLESS, PROBABLY. “THESE THINGS HAPPEN”????? WHAT A FUCKING ASSHOLE.”
- ~*~*~*~*~*~~*~*~EXCEPT OF COURSE!!!!~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
have you ever done something so monumentally stupid that you can’t even, like, process it????? like your brain just shuts down.
- "oh, well, i guess we’ll just go ahead and die here," your brain says. "we’ve had a good run. this feels like a nice comfy way to quietly exit the universe."
as you have probably guessed, i did not send it to my roommate prachi! i sent it to MY ADVISER. this is the PROBLEM with EMAILING WHILE ANGRY. you do NOT ALWAYS CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOUR EMAILS ARE GOING TO THE RIGHT PLACE.
- ALWAYS CHECK!!!!! ALWAYS CHECK TO MAKE SURE! YOUR EMAILS! ARE GOING! TO THE RIGHT! PLACE!!!!!!!!!!
"oh my GOD," i said, in the middle of class. the professor looked at me. i looked at my computer, and then the scholar-gentleman noam, and then my professor. "OH MY GOD," i said again. "OH NO."
- here’s the problem with sending emails from most email clients: YOU CAN’T UNDO IT. there is no “SHIT I FUCKED UP, I FUCKED UP I FUCKED UP,” button. there is no, “i just have to take it BACK before he READS IT,” button. you just have to FRANTICALLY send follow up emails that you hope he reads first, with increasingly panicked subject lines like, “oops!” and “i’m so sorry” and “PLEASE DON’T READ ANY OF THE EMAILS I SENT BEFORE THIS ONE” and “GOD IT WAS A MISTAKE OKAY IT WAS A MISTAKE WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES WE’RE ONLY HUMAN.”
like what do you even say???
"i’m so sorry. that was—i’m very frustrated right now so i was trying to email my roommate, i’m so horrified, please don’t…read that…other email. please forget you read it. please forget that i exist. please forget the last five years. i am going to do everyone the favor of erasing any and all record that i have ever been in this city or even alive at all. thank you for your time, again, please forget me forever. best, mollyhall ofgeography."
"are you… okay," noam whispered. he looked very concerned.
"SURE AM DOING 100% ABSOLUTELY GREAT," i said. "GONNA QUIT SCHOOL AND BUY LIKE 40 CORGIS, THOUGH. THAT’LL BE FINE. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEVER SEEING OR SPEAKING TO HUMANS AGAIN, JUST DOGS."
s-g noam blinked. “you have to go talk to him,” he decided after class as he kindly walked my dead zombie corpse out of the building while i explained why i needed to be immediately eradicated from academia and the planet writ large.
"i think you must have misheard that entire story, top to bottom," i said.
"oops, too late, we’re at his offices," said s-g noam, like a fucking SNEAK. i TRUSTED YOU, scholar-gentleman NOAM. "oh look, there he is at the elevators! i’ll wait here for you."
"PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS," i begged. s-g noam shoved me in the direction of the elevators. "I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS. YOU INVITED ME TO A JEWISH HOLIDAY PARTY ONCE. DIDN’T THAT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU."
"mollyhall, i’m glad you’re here, let’s go to my office," said my adviser, looking concerned. "i got your email."
"oh," i said. "i sure do wish you hadn’t."
ETA (YOU GUYS SEEM VERY STRESSED ABOUT THIS): i don’t remember what happened in the meeting bc to be honest i was blacked out with fear the whole time, BUT when i came to an hour later he had agreed to fund my thesis out of his own budget??? just… like, gave me money for free, no forms or human sacrifices required???
"HOW did you do that?" noam asked.
DUNNO. JUST DID. THE UNIVERSE FELT BAD AND DECIDED TO THROW ME A BONE, I GUESS.