I love ya. Really I do. But you’re making me crazy. Is it really that hard to put a reason on a rejection? No, seriously, is it? I don’t know. That’s why I ask. It must be really hard. So hard, in fact, that it’s less hard to reject something twice. So hard that you’re willing to make double the work for both of us in order to avoid it.
See, it’s like this. If you don’t like something I’ve submitted I’m okay with that. We don’t all like the same stuff, that’s why it’s called “art”. I don’t even very much care what your reason is for rejecting it.
I just want to know that you’re rejecting it.
When you make one click to reject, and don’t make the second click to say why here’s what appears in my Moderation List:
A big fat bucket of NOTHING. Yeah, that’s right. I don’t know anything about it until I bring up the page with the work on it, click Edit, click “Add to Groups”, scroll down until I find you and then I see… (wanna guess what?)
Next to an empty check box.
As if I never submitted it.
Which is a distinct possibility. With sixty-something check boxes to make a call on, I could’ve missed yours easily enough.
Or maybe I checked the box but forgot to save the changes.
Or I might have even accidentally submitted it to the group right above yours that has almost the exact same name.
Or I could have fallen victim to the unCheckBoxAtRandom() function that seems to be so commonly called in the RedBubble software.
Or I might have submitted it exactly like I thought I did and you rejected it but it was too hard to pick a reason. So in order to save yourself the extra click, the one sure to induce carpal tunnel syndrome, you left the reason blank.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. You didn’t save yourself a click. You just deferred it for a while. Because in a day or two, or a week, or anyway at some point in the future you’re gonna get that very same piece again. And because I keep pretty good notes on what’s been submitted to whom and what became of it, I’m gonna pay special attention this time. And assuming that I don’t accidentally delete my note to self or lose it in a sort-tastrophe I’m gonna figure out when it comes back with an empty check box for the second time that you probably didn’t like it. And I’ll file it under “Assumed rejected, but they couldn’t be bothered to say so” (no, seriously, that’s the reason I assign to it if you don’t give me one).
Because here’s what I’ve discovered. In about 50-60% of cases where I thought I’d submitted something but it comes up blank when I look at it, it’s because the group rejected it (I assume). The other side of that coin is that in about 40-50% of such cases the work is accepted when I submit it “again”, suggesting that either I didn’t actually submit it in the first place or that my powers of persuasion are so robust that I can convince you to change your mind by simply sending it in a second time. Since I’m not that charming, I have to assume that the former is the case. The problem is that whether I submitted it and you rejected it or I didn’t actually submit it (no matter how sure I am) it looks exactly the same on my side of the conversation.
And you’re gonna get it back again.
Because I’m not willing to assume my own infallibility. Which is what I’d have to do to make the assumption that if the box is unchecked, and I’m sure I checked it, then you must have un -checked it.
So does that mean that if you put a reason on your rejection that I won’t re-submit the work? I’d love to say that’s true, but fact is I miss stuff. I know, right? Shocking. But true. So I can’t say with 100% certitude that I won’t submit something twice if you give me a reason for rejection. I can however say with a pretty high level of confidence that I will resubmit it if you don’t.
The choice – as always – is yours. If you don’t have the time, the inclination, or the sack to read the verdict out loud then you’re certainly entitled to reject in silence and slink away into the darkness hoping I won’t notice. That’s your prerogative and I wouldn’t dream of telling you how to use it. Just don’t complain when you get the same familiar work again in a few days or a week. Because I will almost guarantee that you will.