As a supervisor I have been asked to write references for all sorts of jobs, schools and major life changes.
Last night I stayed at work to finish a reference for my friend Matt's med school application (for those of you who have been following along at home, he decided to go the physician assistant route most likely on the East Coast). It was an online form that not only had a "give the candidate a rating from 1 to 5" section, which i hate, but the "additional comments" section had a limit of 4500 characters.
That was 4500 CHARACTERS, not words - spaces, punctuation, carriage returns : they all counted.
I tried and tried to be brief, but my first draft came up at 4,988 characters.
I trimmed, rearranged, edited, cut and cut some more to finally get to 4486.
But when i pasted the letter into the form and hit save i got this
it's okay; i found an errant space, and got the form submitted, but for a moment there i thought i was gonna throw something or cry.
I of course took a picture instead.