You know you’re a grant writer if… You’re reading the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Service Area Competition (SAC) and discover that the deadline is July 6.
You’re frustrated because Monday, July 6 is a holiday for most people: the Fourth of July is Saturday, so the “holiday” part is the Monday after, which means that you won’t get much tech support if you need it on that Monday. You probably won’t get any tech support on Friday, July 3, either, since everyone in the federal government will probably have left—most of the Feds count that Friday as the holiday this year.
The real deadline is probably closer to July 2, chiefly because whatever genius at HRSA picked this deadline probably didn’t realize it was a holiday weekend, or simply decided to play a cruel trick on applicants. There are two possible reasons for this snafu: incompetence or malice. Neither portrays HRSA in a positive light. Oh, and applicants for this program are “Section 330” nonprofit community health centers, which are perhaps not the best targets for a HRSA practical joke, especially given how tremendously complex and difficult the applications are.
You know you’re a grant writer if… the same SAC RFP further irritates you because you have to submit a preliminary application using Grants.gov for a June 23 deadline, then submit the full application using HRSA’s Electronic Hand Books (EHB) system with a deadline of July 6 July 2. In other words, you have to learn yet another esoteric electronic system, although one that’s at least somewhat easier than Grants.gov.
You know you’re a grant writer if… you find Grants.gov’s failures and quirks amusing, causing you to write about them with some frequency.
You know you’re a grant writer if… the budget you receive from your client has no relationship to the narrative you’ve written, based on what the client told you in the first place. Actually, the budget has nothing to do with little if anything to do with anything whatsoever.
You know you’re a grant writer if… you’re the only person in America working on a holiday, other than cops and escorts.
You know you’re a grant writer if… you don’t even realize that tomorrow is a holiday—Memorial Day—and have to be told to hold the Seliger Funding Report for another day.
You know you’re a grant writer if… you’re outraged when you find that a deadline is on the holiday you hadn’t realized was there (see: first paragraph, above).
You know you’re a grant writer if… you’re inclined to write lists regarding when you know you’re a grant writer, and you actually think they’re amusing.