Dear Annoying Higher Education Book Sales Reps, 

I hate you. Go away. 

It’s the week before the week before finals. That means we professors are happily madly grading papers, assignments and exams in preparation for the onslaught of grading that will need to take place in the very near future for people to, say, walk across a stage in a scratchy polyester gown and matching cardboard Frisbee hat that gives you sweaty, unsexy hair.   

We are also in an advising period which means my already sparse and precious blocks of time for grading and prep and email and committees and eating and urinating and writing are filled with 50+ students and their need for a six-digit code to register for classes in the Fall. Also, some may want to actually make a plan to graduate. That takes time. And patience. And perseverance. And preparation. None of which you give me when you traipse the halls looking for a sale. 

YES, we are teaching classes in the fall. YES, I’ll need a book in which to support the curriculum. NO, I haven’t prepped my new class for September. YES, I know the book I’m using because the bookstore has already requested my choice. NO, I DON’T HAVE TIME TO SPEAK WITH YOU for “just a quick minute” while you open your laptop, engage your wireless device and proceed to show me other book options for my class. YES, indeed I do think it’s rude to ignore my perfectly polite but firm “sorry, I don’t” response to your “do you have a quick minute” question. NO, I do not want to discuss using your online platform because, quite frankly, it doesn’t seamlessly integrate with our platform and YES THAT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL FOR MY SANITY   THE QUALITY OF MY COURSE    MY SANITY.

Why in the world do you come right now? Are you expecting us to have time to meet with you about things that will happen six months from now? Shall we fling open our creaky doors and say welcome, oh sales person of knowledge! You are the keepers of the things with words on which we completely rely for our entire course creation process. You, oh purveyor of test bank questions and bland chapter PowerPoints, may come right in and sit down for an hour in my already cluttered office. Let’s chat about your children too, while we’re at it. I’m so interested in that. 

Summer is coming. That’s all we can think about right now. How can you not know this, oh sweet ones? You are the antithesis of summer break. You are a walking reminder of Fall and we’re just not that into you. Didn’ t you see that movie? 

Please, please go away. I just saw you in my department chair’s office and hid from you. I specifically told my student worker I’m not here. I’m that boss now. I’m the guy from Mad Men. 

All of the things you are going to tell me I can peruse in exactly 2 minutes on your website. I can request a sample book online. I don’t need you to sell it to me. I can research new books on your website. It’s kind of my job, you know. Research. Books. Finding information. Making my own presentations that don’t suck the life out of an already difficult-to-communicate subject. 

Just send me an email so I can delete it


(really… I’m being completely honest and sincere, here)

Dr. Craft