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Anyone with an experience of a very bad LOR?

CornHuskerUNL

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    Please share your experience with any bad LORs.

    Adcoms's opinions are particularly welcome.


    I had worked with a PI who had a love me hate me relationship, so I want to know, in the worst case scenario, how bad these letters can get.
     

    LuciusVorenus

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      Please share your experience with any bad LORs.

      Adcoms's opinions are particularly welcome.


      I had worked with a PI who had a love me hate me relationship, so I want to know, in the worst case scenario, how bad these letters can get.


      There is a service you can pay for that reads your letters of recommendation and tells you if you should include them or not.

      If you're that worried, maybe it's worth the 25 dollars.

      http://www.admissionscouncil.com/blend/index.html#Services
       
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      CornHuskerUNL

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        P.S.

        If it is a bad letter, and you've worked this person for a long time, then it gets bad. Very, very bad. So be careful.


        I worked with him for about 2 years. There are times where he called me into his office for a chat on my "below average performance" - which I have explained to him its not my fault because the buffer/machine was multifunctional, so I couldn't get any results.

        Then, there are positive times, where I was asked to train everyone in the lab, get praised for my findings (which I got to present at a national conference). He *seemed* to like me when he invited the lab to his house/restaurants, and we chatted alot and he seemed supportive.
         

        CodeBlu

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          I worked with him for about 2 years. There are times where he called me into his office for a chat on my "below average performance" - which I have explained to him its not my fault because the buffer/machine was multifunctional, so I couldn't get any results.

          Then, there are positive times, where I was asked to train everyone in the lab, get praised for my findings (which I got to present at a national conference). He *seemed* to like me when he invited the lab to his house/restaurants, and we chatted alot and he seemed supportive.

          Invited to house/restaurants? He probably likes you a lot, just has a short temper.

          Honestly some people just suck. They can't play nice with others. It's not your fault the machine wasn't working properly. He sounds like a decent enough guy, but I don't know if I'd trust him writing a letter for me.

          I would definitely pay for the service where your letters get sent somewhere and they tell you if they're favorable or not, especially if you're unsure.
           

          CornHuskerUNL

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            Honestly some people just suck. They can't play nice with others. It's not your fault the machine wasn't working properly. He sounds like a decent enough guy, but I don't know if I'd trust him writing a letter for me.

            I would definitely pay for the service where your letters get sent somewhere and they tell you if they're favorable or not, especially if you're unsure.

            Ok, I guess I should also add there WERE times where I screwed up, such a due to sloppy work because I was rushed or because I had to share something with another lab member.
             
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            deleted390966

              Before you get the LOR from him, perhaps you can ask him if he can write a GOOD letter? There aren't too many people who would say yes and then write a terrible letter at that point.
              Some people will not be honest with you.
              I had an advisor who told me (without me asking) that she would write me a STRONG letter. I figured out later that it's mediocre to say the least (luckily it's not negative). Why the heck would anyone do that? I would appreciate it if she simply told me she couldn't write a strong one... Without second thought, I trashed this letter (still, I had sent it to 3/10 schools before knowing this). Thankfully I still have very strong letters from other profs.
               
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              Morzh

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                Not a med admissions story, but my PI was on the graduate school admissions board for several years. He tells a story of once when an applicant's file had the shortest letter he's ever seen: "I do not recommend this applicant."

                All of my letter writers seemed to like me and I specifically asked if they would be able to write a strong, positive letter for me. They all agreed. But in the back of my mind I'm terrified that one of them has a deep-seated, albeit very will hidden, hatred of me and saw their best opportunity to sabotage my future when I asked them... :scared:
                 

                Barcu

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                  Some of you guys are way too obsessed with this LOR thing. You don't seem to realize that is EXTREMELY RARE for someone to actually sabotage you through an LOR (now mediocre ones, that's more common).

                  You should ask him for a letter. It would be a huge red flag if you don't. When you ask him, ask him if he could write you a strong one. If he says yes, let him do it.

                  He asked you to train others, and you presented at a National Conference. Seems like a good LOR to me. So he sometimes gets mad at you. That happens all the time in these types of situation, and it doesn't mean you shouldn't get a letter. It's probably worse if you've never been chewed out by your PI. It shows they don't really care much. Everyone will do something wrong or stupid, so not being yelled at or criticized is unrealistic (unless they don't care). Yeah, he may seem to go a little overboard in the case you mentioned, but there could be many reasons behind that.

                  You have provided very little evidence that he actually doesn't like you and would write you a bad rec.
                   

                  1TB4RKSB4CK

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                    Not a med admissions story, but my PI was on the graduate school admissions board for several years. He tells a story of once when an applicant's file had the shortest letter he's ever seen: "I do not recommend this applicant."

                    All of my letter writers seemed to like me and I specifically asked if they would be able to write a strong, positive letter for me. They all agreed. But in the back of my mind I'm terrified that one of them has a deep-seated, albeit very will hidden, hatred of me and saw their best opportunity to sabotage my future when I asked them... :scared:

                    I would cry.
                     

                    Morzh

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                      Some of you guys are way too obsessed with this LOR thing. You don't seem to realize that is EXTREMELY RARE for someone to actually sabotage you through an LOR (now mediocre ones, that's more common).

                      Yes you are very likely right. I think the heart of the issue is that this process can unfortunately make one very neurotic. And as neurotic control freaks we like to be in total control, or at least aware, of every possible aspect of our application. The letters are the one area where we have very little direct control over what gets written. That uncertainty, however small it is, can drive you crazy during the stressful waiting and incessant email checking days on end while waiting for an interview invitation or offer of acceptance.

                      All my schools have my letters now so I'm too scared to do the letter review service thing since I can't change a thing anyway.
                       

                      LuciusVorenus

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                        Scumbag professor?

                        10036743.jpg
                         

                        CornHuskerUNL

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                          An update, I asked him to write me a *STRONG* LOR last night, and this morning he replied "Sure, when do you need it?"

                          I will give him 2 weeks, and then send it to interfolio, and then send it to The Admission Council's LOR evaluation service.
                           

                          girlofgrace7

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                            I had a couple people I was a little iffy about getting letters of rec from because they were very hot and cold (they are the type of people who no one can ever get a good read on). I knew that, if they wrote me supportive letters, they would be the strongest in my application but that, if they wrote me a negative letter, it would break my application. I weighed pros and cons and ended up taking a risk to ask them if they could write me strong letters. I assume they were positive since I got into med school.
                            Also, I know for a fact at my med school that, if you receive one letter that is negative with other really positive letters, they will call and talk to the negative letter writer to get more information. If they decide to extend an interview, they'll also pay particular attention to what the interviewer says. If you get two bad letters, you're done. It's pretty rare to get negative letters though.
                             

                            raltima07

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                              I had a couple people I was a little iffy about getting letters of rec from because they were very hot and cold (they are the type of people who no one can ever get a good read on). I knew that, if they wrote me supportive letters, they would be the strongest in my application but that, if they wrote me a negative letter, it would break my application. I weighed pros and cons and ended up taking a risk to ask them if they could write me strong letters. I assume they were positive since I got into med school.
                              Also, I know for a fact at my med school that, if you receive one letter that is negative with other really positive letters, they will call and talk to the negative letter writer to get more information. If they decide to extend an interview, they'll also pay particular attention to what the interviewer says. If you get two bad letters, you're done. It's pretty rare to get negative letters though.

                              I didn't know they call - thats interesting.
                               
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