Fairness: why I delayed the letter

“But even the most cynical secretly admit that success exists; that achievement counts for a great deal; and that the true myth is that the actions of men and women are useless.”

After three months delaying, I finally finished T’s reference letter. It need not be so: Half day is enough.

So why the delay? Excuses abound: hectic moving, busy schedule, etc. But these would not matter if I were convinced of her merit.

Our profession is largely meritocracy. Like any other professions, it has its dark side of dirty politics. But if you are talented, if you work hard, you will succeed.

Unfortunately, T is more into the political rather than meritocracy side. All she cares is the comfort of living, rather than the excitement of the profession. Despite my constant reminding in the past five years, I have never seen the sparks of burning curiosity or ambition from T. On either talent or effort ground, I am not convinced.

It is disappointing.

With two publications, I have already helped T on top of her cohort. To be fair, now I’ll let the matter run its own course.


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