Well, I hope it’s not a complete disaster, but it is a very unfortunate event.

I had a grant due today. Now, this was not a huge grant; just enough to support some of my salary next year so that I can keep doing some research and try to develop a career. But it’s not like it’s a big NIH career development grant or anything.

But it was pretty important to me. The sooner I get some kind of funding, the easier it’s going to be for me to get an academic position, and get more funding in the future.

So the short story is that someone let me down. As always, I needed a couple of recommendation letters. No problem. There are people around who are happy to write letters, and the two people I got are people who I work with; one is someone I’m actually doing research with.

The deadline was 5:00 pm – it had to be uploaded to the internet site so that I could submit my application. Despite 24 hours of nagging, it didn’t make it. The application could not be submitted without it. This is especially irritating to me because the letter was completely done, in the correct PDF form, and was sitting in his mail box. All he had to do was go to the site and upload it. I think he got hung up on another letter that I needed him to write for the same application. It was not as critical. Maybe I failed to make that clear.

I take blame for this. I should have sat down with him weeks ago and helped him get the letter uploaded. I should have made it much clearer how important this was. I should have made it clear that I could not submit the application until this letter was uploaded.

None-the-less I’m mad. There was nothing to write. It was a matter of reading my email and uploading the document.

This could be a deal breaker. I’m not sure yet, but it could be. I’m not sure that I want to work with someone who let me down this badly. But I’ll think about it over the long weekend, talk to my main boss (who I respect more and more by the day – he hasn’t let me down yet), and go from there.

There will be other grants though. In fact there’s one due in 2 weeks. So maybe there’s hope yet.

But, sometimes I really wonder if I shouldn’t just go out and be a doctor. Find a nice rheum practice in a nice town; maybe close to the mountains …