Friday, March 25, 2005

A fitting end to the story?

So, here I was earlier this evening. Waiting for the roller-coaster admissions ride of almost two years to finally end, one way or the other. All I had to do was call London and find out what they had in store for me. If it was a Ding or a Waitlist, off I went to Chicago. If it was an admit, I was to spend the weekend mulling over it and make a decision. So, I called a few times and Nada. Voice-Mail. Then, I get the email from LBS.

Dear Yogi,

Thank you for your continuing interest in the London Business School MBA Programme.
We know that you are expecting your Admissions Committee result today, however, we are sorry to announce that your decsion has been delayed. We anticipate you will have an update by the middle of next week. Be assured. this is no reflection on the quality of your application or interview. Please note that the MBA Office is closed until Tuesday for the Easter vacation.

We apologise for this delay.


You've got to be kidding me ! Even better, they have a 4-day long weekend. You read it right - 4 with an f. So, the earliest they will get to sit and start to make a decision on my file is tuesday. Most likely I will hear from them wednesday or thursday. The issue really is that I have to send my deposit to Chicago by April 1. It almost seems like my decision has been made for me by LBS. It feels kinda sad, I must say. To put in all the effort in the app and know now that the result probably matters naught.

However, I think a likely more dramatic scenario will unfold next week. I wait until the last minute (as usual :) to send my deposit check to Chicago, and as I am walking into the Post Office, my cellphone beeps. Text message. Just received an email from LBS, it says. Uh-Oh. Run back to the office, check email. A trying-to-be-funny message informs me that Gmail is down for the moment. Precious moments pass as I try to will it back to life. I will it back to life. Now, I've got to make a decision.

But, all I get is 15 minutes before the post office closes for the day. 15 minutes ? that's not enough time to make a life-altering decision, is it ? well, that's all I get. So, i'm in my zone speed-thinking through my options on the way to the PO, and I've almost made my choice. Look at the time just as I'm about to turn into the street and I still have 3 minutes. Stop for 1 more to make sure I've dotted my i's and crossed my t's. Finally a free man, I walk around the corner and am outside the post office.

Closed.

closed ? Si, Closed. I look around. The sidewalks are empty, the traffic sparse. I look at the time and there is still a minute to go. What could have happened ? In that moment of panic, a blinding clarity dawns on me. This is comeuppance time. Every single application I have submitted has been either at the very last minute, or just after the deadline, or in London's case last year 3 days after the deadline. I've asked my recommenders for overnight submissions. Fedex next-day was my only recourse when I had to send any materials to schools. If that is how close I cut the applications, I guess it's only apt that I get to make my final decision that way also, no ?

As I turn to walk away, I can't help but smile. I know now why the post office was closed; I was late. After all that I'd been through, I was late sending in my Chicago deposit ! But, wait, wasn't I there a minute before closing time? The smile gets wider as I look at my watch again.

It's set to Chicago time.
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