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Oct 05 2009

Nicholl Debacle: A PM from Facebook

Ashley,

I just read your blog and wanted you to know I had a similar experience. I am 2009 semi.

I got the same three emails and wrote to Greg Beal for an accounting. It’s a monumental screw-up that slammed 84 other semi-finalists.  First of all, they’re not the most gracious folks over there… except if you’re a fellow.

With that said, the response you got on the phone was just plain rude and inconsiderate.

When I mentioned to Greg that perhaps one monumental computer error might also indicate another…as in the calculation of semi-finalist script scores. He quickly wrote back saying he was sorry I felt a fraud had been perpetrated upon me. I never used the word fraud. I was however implying incompetence.

He quickly shifted blame to an unnamed database supplier.

The response of course was inadequate for what happened to all of us. Beal and staff were last week scrambling to cover their butts. I’m sure they’re still working extra hard to hide this mess.

Hang in there. I feel your pain.

I’ll not post their name, as I’ve no permission to do so.

It’s frustrating, I was shocked at the phone call, especially because Greg Beal seems so open and on top of things.  He is always gracious in e-mails.  I don’t know who the woman was but I was, well, embarrassed for them that they’d hired someone so clearly unable to manage the phone calls the mistake was getting them.

I don’t feel like I was mistreated intentionally, and I think that’s important.  I do think that these hiccups do happen when an organization makes the switch to a computerized system, though it’s shocking it took them til 2009 to do so.  I got an apology, and while that isn’t quite satisfactory, I’m trying to be understanding and just accept it as a mistake that affected a whole lot of people, myself included.  I’ll still apply to the Nicholl next year, if I’m still eligible.  So I guess that speaks volumes.

3 comments

  1. 1
    Cynthia

    I haven’t decided if I’ll apply next year, eligible or not. There’s no excuse for rudeness – except that they don’t really care about us. And I’m finding that hard to swallow, because Beal has always been kind and gracious.

    I think this is a bigger mess than they’re willing to admit. I’d fire that IT guy.

  2. 2
    Lori

    Just came across your website. This happened to me as well. I was a Semi-Finalists and received the three emails with contradictory information. While I accept that I was not a finalist, I think their computer glitch warranted an email that equaled in size to the disappointment and not one that felt self-serving and random. There were a monumental 6000 plus entries and the Semi-Finalist group this year means that those screenplays were probably strong contenders for being finalists in any other given year. That said, I’m very disappointed in the treatment and will not apply again. For everyone who made it to Semi-Finals, it’s a great accomplishment!!!

  3. 3
    Ashley F. Miller

    You should e-mail Greg Beal and let him know this is how you feel. I think it’s important that he realizes how poorly we were treated. I’ve spoken with him, and while it didn’t make it OK, I felt better about it.

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