Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I Have No Words

I'm sitting here trying to write a blog post, because I have something to say. But I have no words. I can't... I'm just... There's so much anger gathering inside my rib cage right now. It's palpable - I can feel it resting there.

Because I woke up this morning to read this on CNN.com:

This is the most entitled piece of bullshit I've seen in a long time. Trina Thompson graduated from Monroe College three months ago, and after only three months of looking for a job in one of the worst markets this country has ever seen, she decided that she deserves to be reimbursed her full tuition because clearly her college isn't doing enough to get her a job.

Excuse me? Are you fucking serious?

The article isn't very long, but in case you don't feel like reading the whole thing, I'll give you my favorite excerpt:

"As Thompson sees it, any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record. But Monroe's career-services department has put forth insufficient effort to help her secure employment, she claims.

"They're supposed to say, 'I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right -- can you interview this person?' They're not doing that," she said."

What the hell is wrong with people in this country? When did we decide that we deserve everything we want in life on a silver platter, and you'll be sorry if you don't give it to us? What happened to the idea of the work ethic?

Last I checked, it is no one's responsibility but my own to get myself what I want and need. If my school or family or friends want to help me achieve those things, then I am one blessed woman, and I should thank my lucky stars, but I don't deserve to have anything handed to me without working for it first.

Or have I been doing it wrong?


chibent said...

This is the sound of me nodding my head during your entire post.

I also love her quote at the end, referring to other unemployed college graduates: "It doesn't make any sense: They went to school for four years, and then they come out working at McDonald's and Payless. That's not what they planned."

Of course not! Because the only people who work for minimum wage are those who planned to! Their first day of school each year, they told their teacher, "Give me the education necessary to work at McDonald's." They wanted a life that hung like wet laundry from the poverty line. Long shifts on their feet, performing menial and repetitive tasks, receiving inadequate - if any - health care; this was their dream.

Seriously, though; where does such a severe entitlement mentality come from? On what planet do you grow up thinking the world owes you a living? Yes, the job market sucks. But it sucks for everyone. You are not the only college grad without a job in your field. There are people out there with Master's degrees and Ph.D.s working in jobs far below their skill level, at embarrassingly low wages, because food and rent and bills don't just pay themselves.

And I'd love to know her basis for the statement: "They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement." Why does she think that? Does she hang around outside the job counselors' offices, keeping track of who they see and how often? Maybe she's stalking the 4.0-students to find out how soon they get employed?

Or is it just that she sees honor roll graduates with jobs, and assumes they only got there with help? Sorry, Ms Thompson; the kids with the high GPAs got hired instead of you probably because they were more attractive to the employers.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Ms Thompson grew up in a coal mine, saving money for college by working every moment she wasn't in school. (No playtime for her - old enough to walk is old enough to work!) And maybe her college years were bricks of studying, working, volunteering for charity, taking internships, and rescuing kittens from fires. Maybe her resume shines brighter than Bill Gates's, Mother Teresa's, and Barack Obama's combined.

But somehow I doubt it.

Welcome to the current US economy, Ms Thompson.

B.Graham said...

This girl is a lazy lout and she disgusts me. That is all.

David Pratt said...

When I originally saw that headline I didn't read it too closely. Now that I've been brought up to speed by this post, I sincerely hope someone in our legal system remembers the term "frivolous lawsuit."

Seriously, 3 months of looking and she decides to sue? I'm forced to wonder if that had been her plan the whole time.

ali d said...

@chibent - Exactly! You found my missing words! I cannot agree with you more - thank you for elucidating my point even more fully.

Dennis said...

Sickening. Another frivolous lawsuit, it's not even surprising anymore. They are symptoms of the sense of entitlement, lack of personal responsibility, and ownership of your actions that plagues America.

"It doesn't make any sense: They went to school for four years, and then they come out working at McDonald's and Payless. That's not what they planned."

That comment reminds me of an article I read on yahoo.com's main page a few months ago. It was about a man who went from making 700,000$ a year at a long-term job to delivering pizzas. It discussed how scared his family was for their future and how embarrassing the situation was.

1. You aren't better than your pizza delivery guy or your McDonald's drive through attendant. You may be more educated, more affluent, more whatever, but you are not OWED more than these people. They have families to support too.

2. How do you make 700,000$ a year for a prolonged period of time, lose your job, and then have so little money left over that you have to work at a minimum wage job immediately? and COMPLAIN. Over a billion people in the world live on under one dollar a day income. and we're COMPLAINING.

America has grown fat, lazy, and arrogant. Something has got to change (it won't) or our country will no longer continue to exist as it does today.

Morgan said...

Like really? Are you serious? I'm moving out of this country if crap like this keeps up.

My boyfriend's dad has finally found a job after 6 months of searching and his resume is far more impressive than her's! This market is tough. And sorry sweetie, but no one finds a 2.7 GPA all that impressive.

I find it funny that she blames the college for not following up with possible employers. Does she realize that it's possible no one actually want's to hire her? And that it's not the school's job to force people to interview her?

Honestly, I hope she get's nothing from this whole things and it just get's thrown out. Diplomas don't guarantee anything, they just help sometimes.

Ozkirbas said...

I actually hope this does go to court. No judge in their right mind is going to find for these people. I just hope it doesn't settle - that'll open the flood gates for every ethically ambiguous lawyer hoping to get a whopping 30% of the finding.

Entitlement is a problem - in multiple aspects of human society.

It's just sad that a case has to go to court just so a judge can come back and call it frivolous. If the University representation has any sense, they'll file for "a failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted." If not, hopefully the judge will nudge them in that direction.

Anonymous said...

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE 100% with your post ... justifiable and righteous anger, by all means. Every time I think I've heard the most ridiculous and irresponsible thing ever, something exceeds the most ridiculous and irresponsible ... and this lawsuit is it! What a sham! I can only hope she's filed pro se. Otherwise, SHAME on the attorney who agreed to take on such a case!

I could rant on, but my blood pressure is already spiking!

Beverly Daniels (Ali's mom)

ali d said...

Nope, she has no lawyer - "Thompson says she has not hired an attorney to represent her because she cannot afford one. When she filed her complaint, she also filed a "poor person order," which exempts her from filing fees associated with the lawsuit."

Also, second mom comment! Awesome!

Capt. said...

WOW a 2.7 from Monroe college OOOoooOOO. First let me say I have nothing against Monroe college, I'm sure it is a fine institution. However, she is acting like she graduated Kum Bi Ya whatever from Harvard or Yale.

This is America, where you can be anything you want, if you put in the work. Parents teach your kids responsibility and to work hard for what they want. Otherwise your kids will be shocked when the rest of the world doesn't bend over backwards to give them exactly what they want.

WORK HARD, do your best, strive to better yourself. If you don't like your situation CHANGE IT, it may be hard but you can. Laziness is a disease and to many people have a terminal case.

I think we need to go back to the classic If you don't work, you don't eat.

Ms. Thompson I hope not only do you not get your tuition back, but Monroe College sues you for making it appear that they accept, graduate and pass out diplomas to any moron standing on a street corner. I further hope that any employer you interview with knows of what you are trying to do to your college and will take it as a warning and not hire you so they are not the next one you sue because your job is to "boring" or it didn't make you "happy".

Anonymous said...

What I hope comes from this joke of a "lawsuit" is that this woman is as thoroughly and intelligently ridiculed as she has been here, but to her face, repeatedly, and publicly, to the point that she sees the insanity of her current outlook on life, and comes to understand that the world owes her nothing and that what she wants, she needs to work for herself.

Sorry, that was a long sentence, but this whole situation is bananas, and it merits a run on sentence or two.

Also, I love that the school should pimp her out thusly: 'I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right -- can you interview this person?'
Potential Employer: "Oh, so she'll be there most of the time, and give us average work whenever she is there? How do we snatch this young go-getter right up?"

I say this, channeling all 24 years of my life experience: What is wrong with young people today?

nevie said...

i saw this article in the newspaper today, and the headline read, "she'll sue the lawyer when she loses."

take comfort in the fact that the vast response by "people in this country" would probably smack this woman.

even if she hires OJ's lawyers (which clearly she can with all the money she's made from her... oh wait) and somehow wins, no one else takes her seriously.

Max Nova said...

A few thoughts to echo everyone. Once I saw the 2.7, that's kinda it for her validity. "Well I got mostly Bs, except when I didn't" isn't going to fly in a job interview.

And the fact that she doesn't have a lawyer means to my mind this should have never been in the news. We can't just run an article about every crackpot in America. It'd be like a large group of people claiming our president wasn't born in this country . . .

Stephen said...

Did anyone read the court filing attached to the article? In the filing Ms. Thompson misspells "tuition" as "tutision" at least twice. What a winner. I could see the school's defense now; "WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TUTISION IS! DOES NOT COMPUTE! YOU GET NOTHING!"

Despite this, I feel like the article lacked significant detail, so I did some quick research (obviously the article is gunning for readers rather than a pulitzer). The college bills itself as a career-building institution. Its website gives Monroe a trade school feel. I could see a situation where someone with no support system is lured by the promise of career opportunities, which may have been overstated by the school in specific circumstances.

While it may be a stretch to assume that the school misled this student, it's quite clear that this article doesn't cover all the angles. Overall, this is a fascinating post by Ali. I hope to see a follow up in the future.

Scotty said...

I bet she gets a job on the heels of this story.

Speculations on what kind of job to follow.

Jason Heat said...

Honestly, in the hands of someone else, this is actually brilliant.

I'm sure tons of screenwriters (myself very much included) are wondering why they didn't think of this first - it's the next in a long line of concepts like "kids create their own school to fool their parents into thinking they got into college" and etc. Except, someone is ACTUALLY doing it. As dumb as this person obviously seems to be, that takes some major balls. And in the hands of someone else, who knew they were going to lose, and wanted to make an ironic point on the national expectation for college success or our priorities of white collar over blue collar jobs, there's something spectacular there.

Yeah, I think she's probably an entitled moron as well, but at the same time America has ALWAYS been just as much about hard work as having a great deal of igenuity in how to put one over on the system and other people, often using the system itself. Fair or not, the big guys do it all the time.

And from a purely structural plan, 3 months makes perfect sense. If you want to sue someone over having no job, why wait and give yourself more time to find one, thus ruining your own chances? Search as hard as possible for the minimum amount of time to show effort. Preferably in a cool montage set to some upbeat 80s song with a worrisome sidekick.

This doesn't offend me so much as greatly amuse.

Ozkirbas said...

Jason! WRITE IT!