Nightmare in the Admissions Office: 8 Horror Stories From The Road

by Molly McCracken on Oct 29, 2017 2:00:00 PM

There's no shortage of hilarious and horrifying stories from the recruiting and admissions world. 

Fall recruitment season has its own basket of tricks and treats, along with plenty of travel. We've highlighted a few of your stories for this year's edition of Nightmare in the Admissions Office!

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In the past, we've highlighted applicant horror stories, applicant parent horror stories, and now this year, we were impressed, shocked, and genuinely frightened by your submissions for horror stories from the road.

Thank you to the fearless storytellers who shared their experiences! If you'd like to add yours, please do so in the comments section! 

1. First Flight Fright

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"Last May we had a new team member join, and we thought we’d get him stuck in straight away with a recruitment trip to Lagos, Nigeria.

During his overnight flight from London, an elderly passenger very sadly passed away. Due to the rather sudden and final nature of the incident, the captain decided to continue. The flight was half-full and he was sitting next to an empty row of seats, so the cabin crew asked if he wouldn’t mind if they placed the corpse there for the remaining 4 hours of the flight - and duly did so. I tried to reassure him that this was fairly unusual."

– Anonymous Submission

 

2. Ghosts of Dinners’ Past

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"I was at dinner right before my event, and dripped sauce on the front of my right breast on my shirt. I was prepared with my Tide Shout packet and cleaned it off. It looked clean and knew that when it dried, it wouldn't be noticeable. Later, when I got to my hotel and looked in the mirror, there was not only a very noticeable spot where the sauce had been. Not only was there a dark circle where the sauce was, the Tide shout left a circle around it, looking like a nipple and areola."

– Anonymous Submission

 

3. The Nauseous Neighbor 


"I had just taken off on my flight to Peru for a recruiting event, right as they were serving dinner on the plane – the guy next to me threw up everywhere! And then he proceeded to throw up repeatedly during the entire 6 hour flight. I have never headed for an airplane exit faster."

– Anonymous Submission

4. The Awkward (and Inappropriate) Applicant

 

"At a recruitment event, a candidate asked me what my ethnicity is. Very unprofessional and completely inappropriate."

– Anonymous Submission

 

5. The Coffee Addict

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"At the Ontario Universities Fair (OUF), a student from the GTA had asked "Is the City of Waterloo large enough to have Tim Hortons, because if it doesn't I will not be applying." The student was needing to know this not because he wanted to go to school in a metropolitan city, but rather because he was "reliant on 3 to 4 large Tim's coffees to get his day going.""

– Patty, University of Waterloo

 

6. The Persistent Parent

"I met a parent at 3 separate university fairs in BC. At each meeting, the parent was getting progressively more stressed.

Mtg #1: Her daughter was stressed that she wasn't academically strong enough with a 96% average.

Mtg #2: Her daughter was anxious that we would not consider her because she wanted to take an online course.

Mtg #3: Her daughter received her first midterm grade in Accounting at 89% and felt that because it wasn't over 90%, we wouldn't consider her for admission."

– Patty, University of Waterloo

 

7. The Curse of the Black Cat


"On an early morning cross country flight, I was seated behind a lady who brought her black cat on board. Throughout the boarding process and early in the flight she was warned to make sure the cat was confined in its carrier.

Despite this, she left the carrier zipper open. After she fell asleep, the cat crept out of the carrier and then took off in the cabin. Imagine being fast asleep and feeling something brush past your calves startling you awake! The cat ran to First Class to avoid capture."

– Melissa, Saint Mary's College

 

8. The Elevator Escapade

"We teach MBA students to craft their elevator pitch.

Early on in my recruiting career, I developed my personal recruiting elevator story (and suit).

I was on my first Latin America recruiting trip. While in São Paulo, there was a blackout at our hotel that occurred just as I boarded an elevator from a 20+ floor to join the tour group in the lobby for a business visit.

Dressed in a brand new off-white suit, I started to sweat as the only one in the pitch dark, airless elevator that had sputtered to a stop. Note this was 2001, before ubiquitous cell phones. I groped the walls for the phone and relying on my Spanish, in “portuñol” was able to convey to the front desk person I was stuck in one of the elevators. I understood that the hotel generator would soon come on, which it did not. Not wanting to sweat on my new suit, I was tempted to remove the top piece but decided against it, lest the doors suddenly open and I would be standing there topless. After many minutes alone in the dark the elevator started to free-fall as I braced my knees against impact, the car dropping to the lowest level, the hotel garage.

I could hear a lot of yelling and chaos and was able to pull the doors apart enough to stick my nose out for air. Employees ran around the garage turning on car lights to be able to illuminate the garage. Since 9/11 had happened merely a month earlier,  I was especially on alert. The chaos of the yelling and ignitions firing up made me wonder if this were a terrorist attack.

With one eye peering out the door crack, I could make out that the elevator was stuck between two floors with a row of motorcycles parked in front of the space where I landed. I was able to yell loud enough to catch the attention of a parking attendant who jumped down and moved motorcycles before twisting open the doors with a space only large enough through which one could shimmy.

Not about to soil my new off-white suit on the doors, I made limbo moves to wiggle out of the elevator. The attendant was so thrilled that he rescued me he gave me a big hug. His dirty handprints all over the cream seersucker led to the creation of my elevator suit story, shared amongst our international recruiting community over the years." 

– Kim, Vanderbilt University


Have a story to add? Share your horror story from the road in the comments below.

Happy Halloween, folks! 

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Written by Molly McCracken

Molly is the Content & Communications Manager at Kira. She strives to create helpful articles, emails, and resources for admissions teams, and is an avid supporter of the Oxford comma.