When Abbreviations Attack!

I have a bachelors of science degree from the California Institute of Technology.

Now one of the abbreviations for degree and major that I got used to was to write something like “BS/?”, where “?” is replaced with the abbreviation for your degree. So for example “BS/E&AS” means Bachelors of Science, Engineering and Applied Sciences. “BS/CE” means “Bachelors of Science, Chemical Engineering.” And “BS/AP”, Bachelors of Science, Applied Physics.

I have a BS in Mathematics. And when I applied for a new job at a company just spitting distance from me, I was in a hurry, so I scribbled down “BS/MA”: Bachelors of Science, Mathematics. My resume has it, but in the long form “B.Sc. Mathematics”; the on-line application I checked “four-year degree”–I’ve been very clear everywhere what I have–and during the interview everyone interviewed me from my (correct) resume, which they didn’t even bother to look at, since I graduated nearly 20 years ago.

I got a call last night from a field check company which wanted to verify an error on my application. They told me flatly that I did not have a Masters of Arts degree from Caltech; do I have an explanation? And so now what was a shoe-in job becomes a living nightmare as I get a quick course in security and application verification and the people who do it at Yahoo.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn…

Update: It appears not to have made a difference, which is as I thought it should. I’ve got my offer, which means I’ll be doing a lot more Java in the future–and will have plenty of Java idiosyncrocies to complain about in the future!

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