Well! I'm less likely to respond to people flaming each other if I don't seem to be the one flamed, but I will answer some questions. Oh, and to clear things up, these segments are from different people's posts.
So Rejecter, if the personalized rejection comes five months after sending a requested partial which in turn came five months after sending a query, do I punch myself in the face or tell the agent's assistant (who, by the way, had no idea what he was talking about with respect to the subject matter - believe me, I know: I've heard from enough agents who DO understand the subject matter)to get F'ed?
You waited five months for a response from a query? Wow. The partial thing is not a surprise to me. Response time on requested material is slow. But if the whole process took 10 months, yeah, that is a little obnoxious, but surely you submitted to a ton of other agencies at the same time, right?
You can tell the assistant to get fucked only on the condition that you supply the money for the prostitute, with the understanding that the assistant might go spend it on a new hard drive instead. Or some DVD box set. Either one.
Here's to the fucking assholes of the world: they'll always be there and so will the professionals who see this whole process as a business.
We do classify our work as "business," at least to the IRS. Then books become a "business expense." Also agents rely on author's proceeds to pay the rent and electricity bill and stuff, so it actually needs to be a profitable business.
The agent in question has a blog where they blabber on about their vacations, and stuff they're doing with their kids and how they've been to this conference and that looking for clients, yet they can't keep their "house" in order with respect to projects they've requested. ... This agent reminds me of a part-time real estate agent - they were that unprofessional.
Not all agents act professionally all the time. Just like anyone in any other business.
I once got a rejection back from an agency on a partial after 3 days. The (requested) partial was 50 pages. No way they read it. And there were no sticky fingermarks, coffee rings, mustard stains or dog-eared pages on the pathetic pristine pages I got back. Nah, they didn't read it.
I would put my money on the idea that they did. We tend to treat submissions fairly professionally, especially if you supplied return postage for the entire submission. I don't smoke, drink coffee, wear lipstick, or dog-ear pages, and my hands are washed on a regular basis, so for the most part the partial looks the same when I'm done with it as when I started, and if it's going back to the author, I generally put it back together and make the neat before it goes in the envelope.