Read It and Weep

Right after you pick your jaw up off the floor.

To the [NYT] Editor:

As a 22-year-old college graduate seeking employment in the seemingly nonexistent entry-level job market, I can’t help but notice the profound disrespect inherent in the expectation by some that young people like me should spend two to three years “gaining experience” (filing, copying and answering the phones) in unpaid or underpaid internships at either nonprofit or for-profit enterprises.

A slow economy is no justification for placing financial and emotional pressures on young people, many of whom cannot afford to spend several years with little or no compensation.

Emily A. May
Takoma Park, Md., March 21, 2011

The writer is a recent graduate of Middlebury College.

An “Emily”. Of COURSE she is. (By the way, tuition, room and board at Middlebury per year for Emily set somebody back a schweet $52,120+.) (Worth every dime, eh?)

Then again, if you feel full throated swearing at the vacuous nature of Emily’s letter is in order, by all means. Let fly. myspace graphic comments

25 Responses to “Read It and Weep”

  1. Gunslinger says:

    Welcome to the adult would kid. Enjoy your K-Mart cashier career with your lousy attitude.

  2. JeffS says:

    Cry me a river, sweetheart.

    But this letter is heartening:

    “To the Editor:

    Matthew C. Klein writes about the job search frustrations of those under 25. For the 25-to-30 age bracket, it doesn’t get easier.

    Many of my friends and I are unemployed. There is no pattern to indicate who will find a job. World-class education, enviable résumés, internships, volunteer work and excellent people skills offer no guarantees. Nor do teaching English abroad and seeking even higher education. I know because I have tried both.

    The solution: Don’t be ashamed to work even if the pay and position are lower than you hoped. Pride cannot pay the rent.

    Michelle Bennett
    Chattanooga, Tenn., March 21, 2011 ”

    Not all of the young’uns are fools and layabouts.

  3. spot says:

    Then again, if you feel full throated swearing at the vacuous nature of Emily’s letter is in order, by all means. Let fly.

    What he said*.

    *warning – sweary

  4. NJ Sue says:

    What an idiot. She put her name to this whiny screed. Does she think any employer would hire her for an entry-level position now?

  5. RHJunior says:

    Then again— her point was about UNPAID or underpaid internships…. I can kind of see some of her side of it here. “Here, you spent 4-5 sinking a fortune to get the degree we told you to get, now we’d like you to basically work for free for us for a few years, doing our scut-work… and then maybe we’ll give you an actual job. Maybe.”

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    RH, I imagine Her Majesty would consider most entry-level positions to be “underpaid”.

  7. tree hugging sister says:

    And she’s apparently unfamiliar with Gilbert and Sullivan’s…

    …I polished up the handle so carefully,
    That now I am the ruler of the Queen’s Navy!

    …”Make the BIG TIME from cabin boy” work ethic song.

  8. tree hugging sister says:

    I lurves that other letter, JeffS. Don’t think THAT kiddo isn’t getting some letters of his own…

  9. ricki says:

    Yup, you see this attitude on college campuses. Luckily not as much where I’m at now as at some I’ve been on, but seriously, I’ve had C students who worked way below what their capabilities were, and had the attitude of “If I’m offered less than $60K as a start, they can kiss my ass.”

  10. Gary from Jersey says:

    No surprise here. I knew Middlebury entitleists 30 years ago and they were exactly the same: spoiled, elitist brats who did pretty much what they wanted on daddy’s truckload of dimes.

  11. Rob says:

    On one of my first entry level interviews, I was told I would not be paid for the first day’s work. I politely declined. About a month later after I had been on my first job for three weeks, that same interviewer called me and asked if I would take the job if he paid me for the first day. It gave me some joy to say no thankyou but I’ve always wondered what happened to change his offer.

  12. major dad says:

    It took THS all of about ten minutes to post on this idiot after I read the letter to her from the Sunday Times. I had to read it three times to finally believe what I read. Anyone like to guess what sort of useless, non-marketable degree this twit has?

  13. tree hugging sister says:

    I think sometimes that “not paid for the first day” is a test, which you are more than welcome to decline. It’s a free country and, nowadays, if I had ZERO job prospects but a roof over my head at mom and dad’s (which I’m betting sweet Emily does), I’d take that “UNpaid” job specifically FOR the experience and references, while keeping my VERY thin resumes rolling out the door. But I’d have to be undouchey enough to realize the benefits of a plan like that, and I don’t think Emily’s massive education and equally sized sense of entitlement have prepared her for situations that might benefit from some strateegery.

    I’ll bet economic circumstances were a little different then as well, weren’t they Rob?

  14. Rob says:

    When it comes to prospective employees, it’s a buyer’s market now, ths. Don’t remember what it was then but, personally, I think we’re all better off when the market doesn’t tilt toward buyers or sellers.

  15. Yojimbo says:

    Mmm. Don’t think “strateegery” was a basic component of her studies. To follow-on MD’s non-marketable question.

    English/American Lit
    Art Appreciation
    History of the Americas
    Cultural Anthropology
    Peace Studies
    Something with “nonprofit” in it
    East Asian Studies

    Probably missed a bunch.

  16. Yojimbo says:

    Now an American female graduate in engineering could probably get paid for just showing up at an interview.

  17. Laura says:

    People just keep getting lazier don’t they?

  18. mojo says:

    If I was Dad, I’d send her a bill for 200 grand.

  19. JeffS says:

    Anyone like to guess what sort of useless, non-marketable degree this twit has?

    Political science.

  20. grannie elbow says:

    Emily A May find all sorts of unfair things will block her path. Of course Emily A May have to marry someone like daddy and keep on being a brat. In twenty two years we’ll all read Her daughters whiny screed about why she has to lift her own spoon to her own mouth.

  21. nightfly says:

    Yojimbo – you are, unfortunately, not a winner. Ms. May was an environmental studies major. Click under “2009 Funded Projects” and hers is very near the top.

    She also helped with a no-mow zone project as part of her studies, and she planted a Pollinator Garden to those ends.

    She actually sounds like she’d fall under Ricki’s discipline based on her coursework.

  22. JeffS says:

    Environmenal studies, huh? That’s almost as bad as political science, in some ways.

  23. major dad says:

    Environmental Studies, a worthless degree IMHO. Now if she was a Biology major doing environment work that would be a little different, regardless, she is going to have to do some grunt work first to pad that resume`. Of course she may be thinking she can walk into some cush corporate job just because well, she’s Emily!

  24. Yojimbo says:

    Well, I did say I probably missed a bunch!

    How on earth could I have missed “enviornmental studies”. Sheesh! Hey, maybe she can start a consulting firm to help farmers with the new EPA spilt milk program.

  25. nightfly says:

    I may have inadvertently insulted our dear friend Ricki. I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to mistake faux-pantheistic philosophy courses with hard science. The whole “studying cross-pollination patterns” thing fooled me.

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