Monday, August 03, 2009

The Entitled Generation 

I don't know whether this story is terrifying or laughable, but here it is in a nutshell: an April 2009 grad of New York's Monroe College is suing her alma mater for her tuition costs of $70,000 plus $2,000 for stress because... they haven't gotten her employed yet.

Read that again. Student graduates, three months later she isn't working in her dream job, so she wants, basically, a full refund.

Did I mention that the litigant, Trina Thompson of the Bronx, is 27? Now I don't know whether anyone explained it to her, but that's strike one and is no fault of the university's. I've been involved in some hiring and recruiting in my day, and when a résumé comes along showing that someone received their first undergraduate degree five years after most people generally get it, my first question is "Why?" Now, if they were in the military or the Peace Corps, or working to save up to pay for school or doing something similar in their early twenties, that's one thing. But if they've been to five or six schools, changed majors several times, or just couldn't be arsed to go to college for five years after high school, then that résumé is going in the trash.

But perhaps the most telling line in the story is this one:
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.
Blink. Blink. I'm sorry. What?

Last I checked, a 2.7 GPA was a C+ student -- barely passing, doing just better than average work. In other words, a crappy student. And, as a recruiter, I'm supposed to stand on my head and shit nickels? I don't think so.

But it gets better. Oh, it gets better...
(Thompson) suggested that Monroe's Office of Career Advancement shows preferential treatment to students with excellent grades. "They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement..."
(Mangled grammar of that statement aside...) Well, which part of "duh" don't you understand, Ms. Thompson? Of course they do. That's how the real world works. The people who work hard in college and get 4.0 GPAs have earned the right to get in front of your slacker ass in the job reward line because they've proven what they can do. And, by the way, "solid" attendance works against you with a 2.7 GPA. I'd be more impressed by a 4.0 student who missed half their classes. Why? Because, while you were apparently there all of the time, you were only getting half the information. That means, as an employee, you'd be twice as much work for me, so... thanks, but no thanks.

There's one other bit that Little Miss Give Me What I Don't Deserve doesn't realize, though, and it's this: if she's found it hard to find a job in the last three months (during the slow summer hiring season, no less), she'll find it all but impossible now, because every single employer she goes to is going to google her name and find out that she's the type of person who will whine and stamp her feet when she isn't handed what she wants on a silver platter, then run to the courts to sue. Quoth Ms. Thompson:
"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."
But get used to it, Ms. Thompson. The world does not owe you a living. You have to earn it. Then again, you'll probably sue the judge who takes one look at your suit and laughs your sorry ass out of the courtroom. The same judge who probably graduated law school at 25 with at least a 3.9 GPA and passed the bar on the first try. And who doesn't scream "It's not fair!" when they don't get what they haven't earned.

One other note for Ms. Whiny: I graduated from college summa cum laude -- that's fancy Latin for really high GPA. I did it at 22, on schedule. I didn't have some college employee pimping me out for work, and it took two years to find my first job related to my degree. For those two years, I kept the same job I had senior year in college. Did I whine and bitch and moan? No. I worked hard for my employer, kept my eyes out for opportunities, then grabbed the first one that came along.

And, by the way, "the first one that came along" was not a corner office with a view. No... it was the IT equivalent of writing out trouble tickets from help desk calls, then passing them along to the qualified techs. It took another two years to move from that to the corner office spot -- which I achieved, I might add, ahead of a bunch of "C" employees, because I kept up the "A" work.

So, sorry you're unemployable, Ms. Thompson. But I can tell from reading this article that it has nothing to do with your school, and everythng to do with yourself. When you learn to not blame others for your failings, then maybe you can join the adult world with the rest of us. Otherwise, you just show yourself to be a whiny little bitch who's not good enough to flip fries at an off-brand burger joint.

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