That's a sad and scary story.Ugh, I had a terrible time with my key letter writer, he is extremely busy and unorganized. I told him like 3 months in advance that I'd need one for my top choice secondary app, then kept giving updates on how my AMCAS app was doing. I was applying early decision so it was all very crucial, so when it was coming up to the due date and he still hadn't sent it, I called to remind him - thinking that I knew I wasn't the most important thing on his mind, so I just wanted to give him a friendly reminder. So, that was fine. Then a week later, still no letter and it's like 4 days until it's due, so I call again. This time he flips out at me, telling me it's not professional, I'm way out of line, etc. So I feel like **** and tell him I understood he was busy and I was just trying to help; he hangs up on me.
Finally comes the day the letter is due, a Friday. And his is not in. I am terrified about calling him again, so I don't. The weekend passes, no change of course. Then it's Monday, and it's a holiday (Labor day, actually). So of course it's not in then either. Tuesday rolls around and I am sick of waiting so I give him a call, figuring now I had the right to. He says, everyone knows that if something is due on a Friday before a 3-day weekend that the due date rolls over to Tuesday. I'm thinking, well then why didn't they just say it was due Tuesday? But whatever, he finally turned it in that day, a full 4 days after it was due, and a full like 4 months after I asked him. GRR!!!
The story does have a happy ending... although I did NOT get in early decision (thanks a lot, key prof) I did get into my #1 in the rolling phase, finally. But how frustrating!!!
Moral of the story- definitely get some backups in the works. The letters were the hardest thing for me to get together for my app. Especially if you go to a large university, this task is practically insurmountable when every single one of your courses has 400+ kids in it Even when teachers want to help, they sometimes vanish into that seventh dimension!