just received this email - always a nice thing to wake up to:
If you are receiving this email, you submitted for ___'s 2009 season. I apologize for the mass email, but I wanted to take a moment to let you all know that we have chosen not to accept your script for next year's season.
"wanted to take a moment?"
what lovely phrasing. i'm glad you could work my rejection into your busy day. a mass emailing must have cost many precious seconds of your time. i'm pathetically grateful for your attention.
I found it kind of insulting. In fact, had I gotten it, it would have sucked the air right out of my day. And that would have hurt me very much.--especially if it came from a theatre I had held with respect and high regard. Or maybe not. It's just that I'm tired of being delicate with my feelings regarding rejections and I have been known to hold grudges against theatres and I don't submit anything to them in the future. I've decided to turn over a new leaf and, for the love of God, try my hand at being stoic.
I've gotten ones akin to that, especially from larger theaters whom I've forgotten about long ago. I'm not sure the phraseing indicated 'take a moment', but it is insulting.
I think part of it is their thinking they're doing you a favor by providing closure. Personally, I'm fine mentally accepting declinations without confirmation as opposed to getting something like that. It comes in various forms - most often (and irritating) is finding myself on mailing lists for these groups and learning that way of my non-inclusion.
I’ve become, over time, quite hardened to rejection letters/emails. I’m still disappointed, but more often than not I just acknowledge that, for whatever totally understandable or utterly inane reason, my work wasn’t for them. Often, I’m just glad that they took the time to let me know (so many don’t even bother). Others, I never really cared whether it was accepted or not (nice if it was, no big deal if it wasn’t). But there are times, when I’ve sent something that seemed such a perfect fit for what they were looking for, that I had justifiable high hopes for, and I get some lame, completely impersonal, mass-email that makes me wonder if it wasn’t read and wasted on some indifferent, temporary intern paying scant attention to the big pile of scripts they’d been asked to wade through. Then I feel pissed.
My reaction? The anger motivates me to submit my work to all of those places that I’d been procrastinating on. This somehow refuels my energy levels and makes me feel like a fighter still in the ring, keeping his eyes on the prize, rather than a victim of the vicissitudes of a flawed system.
Having recently sent a rejection email to about 320 unfortunates who did not make it through to the final selection for a festival I am coordinating I have to tell you that the composition of that email was my most challenging piece of writing in a long time!
I think I did a reasonable job, and I did get a few replies thanking me for my 'considerate' wording but it always difficult giving bad news and I struggled to try to sound encouraging without being patronising.
Having said that, the email quoted by Spiny Norman was pretty bad. I think I would have rather heard nothing than had such a cold message.
Hey spiny, if it makes you feel better, I got that exact same e-mail.
It appears we were both rejected by the same person in the same "moment." (Along with a couple hundred others.)
Actually, my email detected this rejection as SPAM, probably because it was such a bulky, mass e-mail. Anyway, I glanced through my spam-mail and found it among the Viagra ads and bogus off-shore bank account notices and other such trash. I cursed my oversensitive mail filter as I moved it back into the correct folder and opened it.
I've never gotten anything that bad, but i've gotten some pretty goofy replies in my life.
one was from a theatre that informed me that they were a presenting, not a performing theatre. it made me think of elementary school plays where the lines are fed to the actors by the teacher off stage whispering them loudly.
one was from a theatre who sent me back my synopsis. that was it. no letter, no note on the synopsis. nothing. and they didn't put a return address on the SASE, so I had NO IDEA where the heck it came from.
but that one definitely takes the cake as far as bad responses from a theatre or contest.