February 23, 2006


From the "If I could make stuff like this up I'd be a much wealthier person," files:

This is a somewhat truncated transcription of a voicemail that our office received yesterday. Name has been changed to protect the dangerously stupid, and drunk, recent graduate who left it. Read it and weep--weep!--for our future.

Voice Message received at 6:49 a.m.

"Um, hi. This is Cynthia, C-Y-N-T-H-I-A Simmons, S-I-M-M-O-N-S, but really my friends just call me Cindy, C-I-N-D-Y. And yeah, your voicemail system is good with the emergency number to call and everything even though I haven't spoken to a human being."

"I graduated in 2002, if you need to look that up. I majored in Philosophy and Business."

"But I'm calling because I need to talk to someone about a refund? Because I only work 15 hours a week at this job that pays $7 an hour and it's just not working for me because who can live like that? So I want a refund of the money I spent because it's not helping--like, I want all my tuition money back."

"So someone needs to call me, Cynthia, C-Y-N-T-H-I-A, Simmons, S-I-M-M-O-N-S back at 111-111-1111. Or if you could tell me if your office is hiring, because I need a different job. Thanks."

Ah, Cindy's got her crunk on. It could explain why she's working 15 hours a week for $7 an hour. Although the more likely explanation is the fact that she got a Philosophy degree from a land grant university that specializes in agriculture and engineering.

So maybe the next time Davidson calls me for a donation I'll ask for a refund. Because obviously I should be pulling down 6 figures simply because I went there and got a degree! My own ambition, work ethic, and abilities have nothing whatever to do with it!

Just think! Cindy, C-I-N-D-Y, and her buddies will be running the country when we're old!

Posted by Big Arm Woman at February 23, 2006 01:15 PM

Actually Cindy won't be running the country. That will fall to some of the engineering and ag grads. And Cindy will be living on their largess because she can't figure out how to be sufficiently productive to earn a decent living.

Posted by: Locomotive Breath at February 23, 2006 02:30 PM

Tell Cindy she can have her refund when she returns the hours of the instructors' lives wasted trying to impart knowledge to her.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 23, 2006 04:58 PM

Hey, BAW, you do know that philosophy majors have the highest scores on the LSATs, don't you?

The best students I've had were the ones who, regardless of major, took their studies seriously; the worst were either elementary ed majors or engineering majors.

Posted by: Michael at February 23, 2006 08:23 PM

I still say that if we had a federal tax on employing college graduates -- $1000/yr/BA, $2000/yr/MA and so forth -- most employers would soon discover that all that education wasn't really necessary after all.

Posted by: PersonFromPorlock at February 23, 2006 09:18 PM

Oh, that poor child. She has been lied to. Somebody told her that "do what you love" chestnut and she bought it. People going into college do not have the sense of a bessie-bug and they do not need people lying to them about the way the world works.

(I blogged about do-what-you-love here.)

Posted by: Laura at February 23, 2006 10:01 PM

Laura, it's not a chestnut; unfortunately, you forgot the rest of the statement: "and get to career services soon so that you can get both an education and a career." If you love finance, major in it, but if you love history, but ignore history classes to major in finance because you think it will result in a job, you shouldn't be in college.

Posted by: Michael at February 24, 2006 09:23 AM

Perhaps Michael's third comment will explain what his first two comments have to do with the subject of this post.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 24, 2006 09:38 AM

No excuses for Cindy..but I think she's a leading edge of a trend. There are tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of people who bought into the academic kool-aid, went not just to college but to grad school, and now are working at Borders. Many of them are no doubt highly pissed. The question is, do they have the sense to be pissed at the academics who suckered them in, or will it be a more diffused pissedness, directed at the society as a whole?

Posted by: David Foster at February 24, 2006 09:53 AM

We should weep -- weep! -- because these little darlings will be the folks who have to answer the call buttons or sort out the meds in the hospitals when we're in there too sick or injured to defend ourselves. Let's hope she can spell out medication names as well as she can spell out her own.

Posted by: Roxanne at February 24, 2006 10:14 AM


C-I-N-D-Y, I got yer refund *right here.*

I really like Annoying Old Guy's comment, especially after fielding e-mails from students who skipped class, want to make up the work they missed, "can't" come in to talk to me, and who end the email with "what are you going to do about this?" (My reply: nothing, unless you value your education enough to be able to find a time in your life when you can come in and see me).

I've adopted my dad's teaching philosophy: "Teach for those who give a sh!t"

Fortunately, I get at least a few of those each semester, so I don't fear (quite so much) that the future of the world will be totally in the hands of the C-I-N-D-Ys. (But yeah, about the "they'll be the ones trying to count our meds in the hospital" thing - that does scare me.)

Posted by: ricki at February 24, 2006 11:28 AM

The Japanese have got nurse robots that roll in every now and then and check if you look okay. They can read lips, eg. MY STOMACH HURTS is in the repertoire. They then notify central nursing. So you should be okay.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 24, 2006 03:04 PM

Michael, I've seen "do what you love" espoused many, many times and I've never the addition of what you say is the rest of the statement.

Posted by: Laura at February 24, 2006 06:41 PM

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Posted by: Alessandro Gomes de Carvalho at February 25, 2006 11:45 PM