That's the quote I got from a friend when mentioning that my referrers (referees?) have been getting solicited for letters of recommendation.
I applied to a crapload of schools. I mean, a lot, a shitton...a bunch. I did this to hedge my bets. In industry (and probably other places) we call it 'minimizing risk'. I figured a small portion would be contacting me, so I needed to apply to a ton to maximize my chances. It turns out that when several schools are interested in you, they will all email those on your List of References. And those references have to tailor the letter to each school. I'd imagine it's time-consuming so I feel kind of bad. Should I feel bad? My spouse says no because these people want to see me succeed. But I know I would be peeved if I was getting new requests every week to put out letters of recommendation. When I write letters for people it is time-consuming, and getting ten requests from different schools would tax every last bit of patience have. And I'm not sure if they're going to get more. The applications were due three weeks ago, and I thought letter requests wouldn't go out until December at the earliest. I have no idea about timescale for these things.
I'm not 100% sure of whether asking for letters is a good thing or just a formality, or what percentage of applicants get pushed to the letter stage, but I'm feeling optimistic. I don't want to get all bundled in a warm blanket of hope only to get it ripped away, leaving me exposed to the elements, but dang-it, I'm going to get excited! Or maybe I won't. There's nothing I can do about this but sit on my butt, since my advisor said it's bad practice to email the committee just to check up on things. This is really different than the industry job search, where I cyber-stalked my way to multiple job offers.
The only thing now, is what's the best way to show my appreciation to my references for writing all these letters?