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Bad email response from a prof...

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I graduated in 2016 with an econ degree and now I'm trying to apply for sociology PhD. I never took a sociology class since I had no idea I was interested in sociology until after college. I have good GRE/GPA and decent work experience, but the biggest problem is that I didn't try to build relationships with professors at all during college thinking that I'd never go to grad school... and fast forward 3 years, now that's the only thing I want in life. Smh. 

I'm visiting my alma mater for 2 days next week and I was planning to talk to a couple professors who might at least remember me and ask for recs. I sent an email to two professors, telling them about my current job and my decision to pursue grad school, and saying that I want to stop by and talk to them and hear some advice (didn't even mention that I want recs, although they might have inferred). One of them was my reference for my current job so I'm not too worried, but the other one replied with a very curt response: "Dear ___, thank you for your email. A note just to let you know that unfortunately with time constraints that won't work out."

She was never a warm or talkative person, but I'm a little shocked tbh since she once told me to let her know if I need a recommendation letter when I ran into her on campus back in college. Maybe I disappointed her by ignoring that and not ever contacting her...? That response probably means that she doesn't want to write an LOR for me, or that even if she does it will be negative, right?

I'm panicking bc one other prof who could maybe write a letter for me went MIA after not getting the tenure and everyone says she just got pissed and decided to fuck it all..


Should I just be brazen and reply with a request for a rec?

Or Should I try my French professor that I took 3 classes and wrote papers with, even though it's not related to sociology?

Or should I just get 2 recs from my job? (I'm a research assistant, i.e. Excel slave, at an international organization)

I feel lost...

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