Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Even a Yale Pedigree Could Leave One Unemployed
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | 3/19/02 | Shawna Gale

Posted on 03/19/2002 6:45:37 AM PST by marshmallow

I worked hard in junior high. I worked harder in high school.

I took home more straight A report cards than any kid in my class. I scored just shy of 1400 on my SATs. I rode horses. I played tennis and basketball. I taught English as a second language.

I had no social life until I was 17. But I got into Yale. Then I worked harder than I ever had.

I was sure the payoff would be a multitude of attractive, not to mention lucrative, job offers upon graduation. Then the bottom dropped out of the economy.

So far, my Yale degree has secured me an e-mail forwarding address and a lifetime of alumni dues notices. Not exactly what I expected.

I was an English major which, for most people, roughly translates into "I have no marketable skills." But that's not so. I have many valuable skills honed during my days with Dickens, my nights with Nabokov, those wee hours with Woolf.

First of all, you know I can read. And I don't mean read like "Hooked on Phonics" read. I can read long, wordy, small printed works with relative speed and what's more, I can remember what I have read and write long, wordy, papers about it without any trouble. I have developed impressive analytical skills. I am trained to think -- really think -- about everything I read. And I am accomplished at putting those thoughts on paper.

So where does that all leave me? Unemployed.

I have taken that Yale degree to marketing firms, publishing companies, advertising agencies, and it has not worked any magic. If I leave the degree behind, I am hired on the spot to wait tables for $10 to $20 an hour depending on tips (and since I have well-developed public relations skills from that internship with the Commission on Human Rights, I will get closer to $20 an hour).

Erase Yale from my past and with little trouble I land a retail position helping rich ladies whose most prized degree is their "Mrs." find handbags to match the only type of investment they know how to make: shoes. Take that degree off my wall and I easily obtain a position at a local Starbucks, serving up nonfat lattes to busy professionals and harried college kids who don't know that the degree they are currently working their butts off for will be worth less than their stainless steel coffee mugs.

So I can earn $0 an hour not working at a marketing firm with my Yale degree, or potentially earn a couple of hundred bucks a night serving up fajitas at Chili's.

I can forfeit a paycheck while not employed with a publishing company, or I can earn seven bucks an hour plus commission folding sweaters at that boutique down the street. I can be broke while the ad agencies keep sending me letters beginning with, "Thank you for submitting your résumé. . . ," but you get the picture.

Will someone please tell me where I went wrong?

Shawna Gale lives in Atlanta


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:
Ma'am you're overeducated. A Yale English major is enough to scare the dickens out of the illiterate public school graduates from whom you're requesting employment.

Tone it down a little and act dumb. You'll be hired in a skinny minute.

1 posted on 03/19/2002 6:45:37 AM PST by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
You need a course in resume writing and jub-hunting. You sound very employable, and only seem to lack job-search skills. I fear you are looking for jobs in all the wrong places.
2 posted on 03/19/2002 6:52:05 AM PST by samtheman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
What did you expect to do when you graduated? Where do your fellow students with the same major get jobs? You must have put some thought into it.
3 posted on 03/19/2002 6:59:42 AM PST by 2banana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Will someone please tell me where I went wrong?

Sure thing, lady. You went wrong when you adopted the belief that the world owes you a comfortable living in the profession of your choice, when in fact it owes you JACK SQUAT. HTH.

4 posted on 03/19/2002 7:04:45 AM PST by Physicist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Actually, being overeducated is not the issue. The real issue could be framed as "what did you expect to get out of Yale (or any other good college or university for that matter)?

If the purpose of going to college is to "get a good job", then the young lady was ill-served by her choice to major in English, since it is well known that most employers today are not looking for liberal arts graduates, without more. Those who go to college to 'get good jobs' should major in subjects with more immediate practical application to entry level middle management jobs: accountancy, engineering, management, marketing and such. However, one need not attend Yale to study such things. They are perhaps even better taught (with more urgency at least) at most second and third rank state colleges. That's where the young men and women with intelligence and ambition, but not independent means, go to learn the trades that will ensure them a middle class life.

On the other hand, if the purpose of a university (or college) education is to educate oneself, that is to say, to study the Western canon and to learn the high culture of America and Europe, its history and the like, or to study the pure sciences out of a love of learning or curiousity about the world, they the young lady was likely quite well-served by her decision to go to Yale. Were she interested in further study, or even finance or business or law school (i.e. having obtained an education as an undergraduate, learn a trade as a graduate student), she was also probably well-served, for that is the traditional path of liberal arts graduates into the practical world or, if they are so inclined, into the professoriat.

5 posted on 03/19/2002 7:06:00 AM PST by CatoRenasci
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Where you're going wrong is your attitude of entitlement, Shawna. Just because you worked hard to get through Yale doesn't mean you can coast for the rest of your life.

Your credential may unlock doors, but you still have to find them, and open them, and walk through them for yourself.

Mondonico (Yale BA 1985 (English))

6 posted on 03/19/2002 7:06:28 AM PST by mondonico
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Perhaps learn to write without using the person pronoun "I" so often?

Perhaps employers see the self-absorbed, egotistical, elistist personna behind all those wordy words.

7 posted on 03/19/2002 7:07:23 AM PST by Seeking the truth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
"...since I have well-developed public relations skills from that internship with the Commission on Human Rights Commission,..."

Well....there's your answer.....what constitutes "well-developed public relations skills for the Human Rights Commission" is most likely skills in one thing - ahem...rearranging facts well.

8 posted on 03/19/2002 7:09:17 AM PST by goodnesswins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Will someone please tell me where I went wrong?

Go back, Get your Masters, and Teach. Or Write.....

9 posted on 03/19/2002 7:12:26 AM PST by hobbes1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Ma'am you're overeducated.

There's no such thing. The purpose of a liberal education is to enable one to live a free and examined life, something that is independent of one's job. Apparently what this girl wanted instead was a trade school of some sort; by that standard she's undereducated.

A man walked into an office and asked for a job. A salary was agreed upon, and he was hired on the spot. When he asked what his first task was, the boss told him to pick up a broom and sweep the floor. He said, "oh, no, you don't understand: I have a Ph.D." The wise boss replied, "sorry, my mistake. Here, let me show you how."

10 posted on 03/19/2002 7:14:47 AM PST by Physicist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
internship with the Commission on Human Rights

Hell, that would stop me from hiring her six days a week.

Hi, I'd like a job. And if you don't mind, in six
months or so, I'll sue your ass off for some perceived
mistreatment. Oh, and I'd like 6 weeks vacation a year.

11 posted on 03/19/2002 7:15:04 AM PST by the
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
bump
12 posted on 03/19/2002 7:19:33 AM PST by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Will someone please tell me where I went wrong?

You have an English Degree ma'am. Congratulations, you are now qualified to teach English. Other then that, your degree is worthless.

You should have majored in Business and minored in English or at the very least minored in Business. You would then have a chance to break into the publishing field or any other field of your choosing. Sorry, but there are few jobs available in any economy if you are just talent.

a. cricket

13 posted on 03/19/2002 7:21:18 AM PST by another cricket
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
This article is written in the first person. So you appear to be employed at a newspaper.

What do you want to do?

14 posted on 03/19/2002 7:24:01 AM PST by Calamari
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
A liberal arts education is worthless. Go to law school. Ivy league educations are quite helpful in getting one a good legal job. Only problem, though, is then you have to be a lawyer.

I've told my kids that if they want to study liberal arts in college they'll be paying their own tuition.

15 posted on 03/19/2002 7:28:03 AM PST by KevinB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KevinB
You're right. That's what I had to do (go to law school, and pay for it).
16 posted on 03/19/2002 7:30:06 AM PST by mondonico
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
A few tips for the author:

Take the waitress job. I bet most managers would be more impressed by someone who is willing to take to support themselves than someone who sits at home and whines. It shows you're willing to work.

Lose the attitude. Nobody likes someone who thinks he or she is smarter than everyone else.

While you're looking for a job, take a business or an information science class. You would be sending the message that you understand you have a lot to learn.

Learn to market yourself. That stuff about the Human Rights Commission just screams to many employers "Oh, no. This woman must be a b***chy feminist who's going to complain and file a lawsuit." That's not fair, but that's reality. You can get around that by being ready to cite examples where you were a team player. Also, make sure your interview suit doesn't scream "uptight feminist." Avoid pantsuits, for one thing. Especially black ones.

Companies have real difficulties finding people who can write, so you want to emphasize that skill. But you have to remember that a "pure writer" is not of that much use. You have to understand the subtleties of what you're writing about. If you get a job at a software company, you have to prove you're willing to learn all the details of the software products.

Many years ago, I was in a similar position to this woman. I had my attitude, and was unemployed for a year after coming out of college. I blamed others for not appreciating my skills. The truth was that I didn't understand how I could take my skills and make them useful for an employer.

17 posted on 03/19/2002 7:37:10 AM PST by Our man in washington
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KevinB
I've told my kids that if they want to study liberal arts in college they'll be paying their own tuition.

Amen to that. Too bad those high-priced "academic advisors" at Yale didn't sit Miss Shawna down and explain the Liberal Arts Facts of Life to her when she was still a dewy-eyed freshman. Apparently her parents didn't do it - but my kids are going to hear it in stereo.

This is what I would tell her: You want to major in English? Fine: be prepared to either go to graduate school, or take a double major, or get yourself a minor in an area with some demand, like Chinese or Arabic. Minor in technical writing and go to work translating engineering documents into readable English. Get one of those one-year teaching degrees (like this one at Truman State University in Missouri) which do NOT require an undergraduate degree in education.

Of course, that would mean giving up the idea that someone should pay you because you can read Nabokov and Foucault.

18 posted on 03/19/2002 7:39:51 AM PST by ikanakattara
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Call a democRat, maybe they'll give a s##t. Stop the whining, if you didn't prepare for a job that's your fault.
19 posted on 03/19/2002 7:40:45 AM PST by bfree
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Physicist
The purpose of a liberal education is to enable one to live a free and examined life, something that is independent of one's job.

Nicely put, much better than the similar thoughts I expressed in #5 above.

People forget (or never knew) that the original purpose of the liberal arts was the vita contemplativa. A traditional liberal arts education, or its equivilent focusing on the pure sciences, is the greatest gift one can receive from one's parents or give one's children. At no other time in one's life does one have the opportunity to explore so much and discover the glories of civilization unencumbered by the cares of the daily need to provide for oneself and one's family.

The difficulty is that too few students understand the importance of the liberal arts or how truly difficult their serious study is. Surely, one can pass through even a good college and accumulate enough credits to obtain a liberal arts degree without ever engaging deeping in serious work. That is the fault of faculties and another day's topic. Serious, creative work in English, classics, history or the like is every bit as difficult and rare as serious and creative work in mathematics or science. Of course, a real liberal arts education would include serious work in mathematics as an integral part.

20 posted on 03/19/2002 7:40:55 AM PST by CatoRenasci
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Everything she needs to know, she learned at Yale: You want fries with that?
21 posted on 03/19/2002 7:41:33 AM PST by Malesherbes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Part or maybe the whole problem is the notion that some how Yale provided a 'Pedigree.' $20/hr is an annual income of $40,000. People who do real work like police and fire fighter and construction would consider that annual income a good deal for entry level positions or even a standard for some areas of the country for long term employment. The problem here is elitism. No sympathy for the PediGREED.
22 posted on 03/19/2002 7:53:00 AM PST by RWG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CatoRenasci
A traditional liberal arts education, or its equivilent focusing on the pure sciences, is the greatest gift one can receive from one's parents or give one's children.

I have to disagree. The greatest gift a parent can give a child is the ability to survive in this world.

23 posted on 03/19/2002 7:55:54 AM PST by KevinB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
So I can earn $0 an hour not working at a marketing firm with my Yale degree,

I can earn the same $0 at marketing firm and I didn't go to Yale.

As a matter of fact, I am so talented, I can earn $0 at many careers.


24 posted on 03/19/2002 7:59:26 AM PST by razorback-bert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KevinB
Good move. I am a chem major, considering law school.

Amazing the flexiblity that chem degree will get me.

25 posted on 03/19/2002 8:00:56 AM PST by jude24
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
You are a little TOO impressed with your own resume. I'll bet anything that you have a "YALE" sticker on your VW...

Seriously, your mistake was majoring in a field in which there are really very few jobs. If you as intelligent as you sound, and a good career after college was your goal, why didn't you pick a harder (but more valuable) major?

You made a poor decision- get some education and training that will be useful to an employer, and you will be employed.

It's really that simple.

26 posted on 03/19/2002 8:06:24 AM PST by RANGERAIRBORNE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RWG
Part or maybe the whole problem is the notion that some how Yale provided a 'Pedigree.' $20/hr is an annual income of $40,000. People who do real work like police and fire fighter and construction would consider that annual income a good deal for entry level positions or even a standard for some areas of the country for long term employment. The problem here is elitism. No sympathy for the PediGREED.

I'm not defending her or her attitude, but the $20/hr figure was for waiting tables and included tips. Ten years ago, I lost my job and after some soul-searching, decided to make a career change. For two years after that, I went to tech school full-time days, and bartended/waitered at night.

Yea, I made the equivalent of $35-40K/yr., but that was a tough way to make a living. Many a night I came home with a headache, sore feet, and dried out hands wondering about the path I had taken.

Like I said, I'm not defending her, but I can understand why she would be less than excited about this option. Additionally, this women made the commitment to attend Yale and get a degree. Nobody requires a degree to wait tables. I can certainly understand a little "why did I bother" self-questioning on her part.

With that being said, I agree with the poster who said take the waitressing position. At least she'll be making money while showing she has some ambition.

27 posted on 03/19/2002 8:28:08 AM PST by Cable225
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Cable225
When I left college I felt the same way. For me, I decided to get a Master's degree. I figure it would be a signaling device that I was serious, different, and specialized. I had a liberal arts undergraduate degree so I went right back for a technical Masters. The result? It worked. I got the job I wanted at the salary I wanted. My advice is for you to think practically about what you enjoy doing that you can make money at and use the Masters as a tool to help you focus on that.
28 posted on 03/19/2002 8:33:35 AM PST by NewYorkCity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Part of it is that you are looking in Atlanta. If you were further north and northeast, where the Ivy is more worshipped...try DC or Baltimore? Philly?
29 posted on 03/19/2002 8:33:40 AM PST by crystalk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Reminds me of the old joke about the Harvard graduate: The employer offers a Harvard grad a job, he accepts and agrees to start on Monday.

Monday comes around, and our hero reports to the boss's office at 9:00 AM.

The boss looks up from his work to ask what the young fellow wants.

The young fellow says, "Sir, don't you remember me? You hired me last week."

The boss replies, "Oh yeah. Here, take this broom and start sweeping the floor."

The young fellow responds, "But sir, I'm a Harvard Graduate."

The boss answers, "Oh alright--I'll show you how."

30 posted on 03/19/2002 8:44:48 AM PST by Age of Reason
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
As an old man with almost no formal education, I would give her this advice: Make your own job!

I could start all over tomorrow mowing lawns, cleaning pools or something, and make enough money to get by until I ran across an opportunity to do something that I liked that would utilize that education. Then I would soar like an eagle, never looking back and would someday bore the hell out of my grandkids with tales of hardship.

31 posted on 03/19/2002 8:57:48 AM PST by Howie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howie
Your advice is excellent, and your point differentiating formal education from knowledge and learning is a profound one we should all ponder.

While one of the purposes of formal education -- by which I take it you mean as a student in school or a college -- is to have one's studies and learning directed by educated men and women who can save one untold time and trial-and-error efforts, many who have achieved greatness have been self-educated. Schools have no monopoly on learning. It is the inquiring mind that seeks knowledge, and the enterprising spirit which enables one to make an opportunity in almost any situation. Neither gift is common. Once, this country emphasized the enterprising spirit and respected the inquiring mind, especially in combination. For many years, however, we have succumbed to an emphasis on formal credentials rather than the knowledge they once represented.

32 posted on 03/19/2002 9:06:44 AM PST by CatoRenasci
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
I took home more straight A report cards than any kid in my class. I scored just shy of 1400 on my SATs.

Same here. I graduated college in a recession and spent months looking for work. Ended up taking a part-time tech writing/office assistant/guy friday job that was "beneath me". But I didn't go whining about it, and guess what, I parlayed the experience on that job to a full time position with the same firm, then took that to a Fortune 500 software company that paid for night school. I took that and parlayed it into a good programming career.

My point? The lady should stop whining, start small, and work up. That's the way it happens in real life.

33 posted on 03/19/2002 9:13:17 AM PST by RogueIsland
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Physicist
The world owes her a bucket of ice water thrown over her head and shoulders, and you just provided a nice one.

LOL!

34 posted on 03/19/2002 9:19:51 AM PST by Travis McGee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
This woman needs a verbal b*tch-slapping in the worst way.

I graduated from Yale in 1964. I also majored in English, plus a separate complete major in Political Science. I also worked my butt off.

There was not an economic downturn going on when I entred the job market. But I chose to move to San Francisco, where jobs do not grow on trees. So, what was my first job as a Yale graduate?

I sold Fuller Brush products door-to=door. That's right, lady, a sample case of brushes, well-shined shoes, trudging up to the doors of house after house. It sure as heck wasn't what I expected when I got my sheepskin in New Haven. But I had a wife to support and a child on the way.

I did not have time to whine about people not bowing down and offering me money when I waved my degree. I needed honorable income. I needed it now. And whining about anything would have done me and my family no good.

Since then I've done many things that I thought better justified the excellent education I got at Yale. But I will never forget the experience of my first job as a graduate.

I have zero sympathy for you, lady. You have a rotten attitude to go with your degree. Maybe if you sold some brushes door to door for a few months you would wake up and smell the coffee. In the meantime, take your whining elsewhere. This homey don't buy it.

Congressman Billybob

New column: "The Truman Factor."

Post Script to my friends on FreeRepublic: I am bone wery of trying to communicate with or through the Atlanta Constitution. But if anyone wants to send them by response to this article, feel free. If they had the guts to print it, I would cheerfully give them my name, address, phone number, social security number, identifying moles, and a description of my supervisor at Fuller Brush in the fall of 1964, who was a fine boss, by the way.

35 posted on 03/19/2002 9:34:51 AM PST by Congressman Billybob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All:
Thanks to all of you for your replies. I am certain that they will help the new crop of "off-to-college" students and their parents to put perspective into the process.

This is the time of year when Seniors are waiting to know whether one college or another has admitted them. Perhaps this will enable them to perceive that not being admitted to "THE" school is not only not disastrous but may be advantageous long term.

36 posted on 03/19/2002 11:18:16 AM PST by Spirited
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Spirited
First, take whatever job you can get that will put beans on the table.

Second, find out what the employers in your field of interest NEED, and learn how to fill that need. No employer cares how great you are. You have to be USEFUL to them.

37 posted on 03/19/2002 11:31:45 PM PST by Jeff Chandler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler
Or better yet...

First, take whatever you can get that will put beans on the table.

Second, volunteer your services to a worthy cause, and start your second career (the one you really want) from there. If you're really as good as you say you are, you will be recognized.

Third, quit the whining!

38 posted on 03/19/2002 11:35:45 PM PST by Jeff Chandler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Our man in washington
I'm utterly amazed that someone with good writting skills can not find a job in the business world. Being able to write is such a valued skill. I consider myself a poor writter, not to mention a poor speller but, my company has promoted me because for one thing I can write well. Not hard to do if you could see what too many produce when they try to put thoughts to words.
39 posted on 03/20/2002 12:06:31 AM PST by PFKEY
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Let's see - leftist, elitist wench "deserves" high-paying job despite lack of demonstrated business achievement. Cry me a river.

Boortz was talking about this the other day. He's ALL OVER this gal, has invited her to call in. Like that will happen! HA!

Here's Boortz's commentary on this from today's Nealz Nuze:

ATLANTA’S “WAILING YALIE”

We first started talking about this a week ago.  Her name is Shawna Gale, and she is a Yale graduate.  (I’ll pause here to let you get over your sense of amazement.)  Shawna wrote a column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution a week ago bemoaning her difficulties in finding a job.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way, you know, because, after all, she graduated from YALE!  With an English degree no less!!!!

If you haven’t yet read Shawna’s column .. here’s your link.   http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/epaper/editions/tuesday/opinion_c3692eaa024a915a00f5.html 

Now … please note the last line of Shawna’s complaint. “Will someone please tell me where I went wrong?”

I bring this up again today because Shawna has become somewhat of an Internet hot-topic!  One particular website has names here the “Wailin’ Yalie.”  Readers of this website have been taking her to task since her column appeared.  No, you don’t have to go search for that site.  Here’s your link.  http://www.obscurestore.com/letters.html 

OK … let’s read her column and take a stab at this “where I went wrong” bit.  

It’s not your Yale degree that’s holding you back, Shawna.  It’s your leftist, anti-achievement, holier-than-thou, snotty, arrogant elitist attitude.  You somehow have developed an idea that you’re really some kind of hot stuff – with your Yale degree and all – and that people should be dragging their butts through ten miles of hot coals just to pick up a copy of your resume! 

Just look at these excerpts from your AJC column: 

“I have many valuable skills honed during my days with Dickens, my nights with Nabokov, those wee hours with Woolf.” 

Well, isn’t that special.  Dickens, Nabokov and Woolf.  Those people who could offer you the jobs you want probably don’t know Nabokov and Wolf from their neighbor’s gardener, and your elitist name-dropping fails to impress them.  Tell them you’ve read The Wall Street Journal and that you’re a fan of Thomas Sowell. 

“I can read long, wordy, small printed works with relative speed and what's more, I can remember what I have read and write long, wordy, papers about it …” 

It’s not the reading, it’s the understanding. And businessmen don’t like long, wordy papers.  Tell them you can read something obscure and complicated and translated it into language that someone with a sixth-grade education can understand.  So, you can write on a Yale level.  Can you write on an Atlanta government schools level? 

“If I leave the degree behind, I am hired on the spot to wait tables for $10 to $20 an hour depending on tips (and since I have well-developed public relations skills from that internship with the Commission on Human Rights, I will get closer to $20 an hour).” 

Take a hint.  First of all – there’s nothing demeaning about making $20 an hour waiting tables.  You’ll learn a lot more about people in this job than you did in your years at Yale.  Secondly, forget that internship with the Commission on Human Rights.  Telling people about this experience is like tattooing “I’m a brain-dead liberal with no rational thinking skills” on your forehead.  If I was looking at your resume I would guess that you think the U.S. is a major worldwide violator of human rights.  I would then toss your resume in the circular file. 

“Erase Yale from my past and with little trouble I land a retail position helping rich ladies whose most prized degree is their "Mrs." find handbags to match the only type of investment they know how to make: shoes.” 

Oh, I see.  You went to Yale. You can read wordy, small printed works.  You have an English degree.  You’re hot stuff and much too good to spend time with those evil “rich ladies” who have done nothing in life but get married and buy shoes.  I can’t think of any employer, save a college or university, who would want an elitist snot like you on their payroll.  You want to work for a publishing company?  Fine --- what if those “rich ladies” want to buy something you’ve worked on?   Would that offend your Ivy League sensibilities? 

Look, Shawna.  Cut to the chase. You’re a leftist.  Private businesses don’t like to hire leftists.  Get a teaching job at a college or university where you belong.  Go look for a permanent paid job on that Commission on Human Rights.   Send a resume to the Democratic Party or the U.N.  There just has to be a place for you somewhere. 

40 posted on 03/25/2002 5:08:15 AM PST by FreedomPoster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Dummy. You should have majored in engineering.

Oh, poor baby. Too hard.

My advice: go out and apprentice yourself to a plumber.

==================

My sister started out teaching school. Burned out after 6 years. Took a non-paying job at an advertising agency for one year. Hired by Disney; soon rose to director of a division called "Disney School House", which sold educational aids for teachers based on Disney characters. Got pregnant with twins. Began working from home as a childrens' book writer. Developed contacts in Hollywood and eventually became a successful screen-writer for childrens' TV, working with Shelly Duval and Jean Stapleton.

Interesting career, eh? Notice she did not feel sorry for herself, explored her potential, and worked hard--ending up doing very well.

--Boris

41 posted on 03/25/2002 6:30:26 AM PST by boris
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Judging from the traits displayed in this diatribe, she's gone wrong in many ways, probably the most obvious being a lifelong condescending attitude.

Add to that a pompous sense of entitlement. Then add in the resentment others are sure to feel when they see you sneering at making only $20 an hour, whatever the job is, and brushing it off because it's not in your field.

And to top it all off, I'd say writing this article was a really huge mistake. One can have that kind of egotistic attitude and still manage to be employable as long as you can feign humbleness. However, what company is going to want to hire someone who will certainly, thanks to the internet, now have a well-publicized and notorious reputation?

42 posted on 03/26/2002 4:53:11 AM PST by tdadams
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
So I can earn $0 an hour not working at a marketing firm with my Yale degree

I'd gladly be an NFL quarterback, a Travel Channel correspondent, or a culinary writer for $0 an hour.

I have no sympathy for this whiner. When I think about cops and teachers in my area making $25K a year and doing it gratefully, I wish her a long and miserable career in food services. Maybe in 5 or 10 years she can move up to assistant manager.

43 posted on 03/26/2002 5:06:53 AM PST by tdadams
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howie
I could start all over tomorrow mowing lawns,

Your comment reminds me of my friend's grandfather. He had a civil service type, 9 to 5 job and was moderately happy. At 65 he retired and moved to Florida. Got bored with mowing his own lawn. Started mowing neighbors' lawns. Pretty soon he had to hire a bunch of people because his lawn service was the largest in the area. At 75 he was having the time of his life!

44 posted on 03/26/2002 5:20:54 AM PST by ladyjane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Will someone please tell me where I went wrong?
Always have a trade/journeyman skill to fall back on.
It may not be what you want, but it will pay the bills.
45 posted on 03/26/2002 5:31:33 AM PST by philman_36
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howie
I could start all over tomorrow mowing lawns, cleaning pools or something, and make enough money to get by until I ran across an opportunity to do something that I liked that would utilize that education. Then I would soar like an eagle, never looking back and would someday bore the hell out of my grandkids with tales of hardship

I couldn't agree more. On March 11, I was told that my job position would be eliminated on Friday, April 5, and that I had until then to either find another job within the company, or outside of the company. Either way, on Monday, April 8, my desk will be unoccupied.

Knowing that the job market for computer programmers in this city isn't that great, I was pretty nervous. But within a week, I had secured 2 part time jobs. The pay from them, added to my paycheck from weekend drills with the National Guard, would keep my income level about the same, and still allow me time to search for a job.

Neither one of those jobs was anything even remotely related to the degree I spent years working for. One of them was a warehouse job and the other was working for a janitorial service where I would actually be cleaning the office building I used to work in.

As luck would have it, I actually did find another job, working in a different division in my company, and so I won't be laid off on April 5. I still intend to work the part time job in a warehouse, the hours won't interferre with my full time job, and the money will help pay off my massive student loan debt.

Take away my job if you want to. It won't slow me down. There are plenty of jobs out there that are left unfilled because people think they are too dignified to work them. But it's hard to retain that dignity when your hungry and homeless.

So now, armed with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems degree, I find myself employed as a computer programmer, a forklift driver in a warehouse, and as a medical supply specialist in the National Guard. Hmm, maybe I should take up a paper route.

46 posted on 03/26/2002 5:55:47 AM PST by JavaTheHutt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: JavaTheHutt
My very much younger brother was within a year of hard work of gettin a degree in computer science and dropped out of college. He worked for one summer in my air conditioning contracting company. I gave him the toughest jobs, digging trenches, crawling attics, installing scratchy insulation, etc.

After a few months of that he went back to school with zeal and now makes more money than you would believe if I told you. He laughs and says he owes it all to that "first job".

47 posted on 03/26/2002 7:30:10 AM PST by Howie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson