I finished my bachelor’s at a public university that has been experiencing budgetary shortfalls in recent years. I did my graduate work at a fabulously wealthy private university and I haven’t found a job yet. Although the poorer university has more legitimate reasons to doggedly solicit potential donors in the spirit of eternal friendship, the people working there clearly possess common sense and behave themselves. Today’s post is a tale of the latter school.
So, my friends at the University of Money’s development office come calling again (and again and again) seeking funds. Even though I’m unemployed, they seem to have this strange idea that I’m somehow a potential large-sum donor who just needs to be reminded of his alma mater’s glory to make the dollars flow.
Love is in the air and all that crap.
And so I mention that my undergraduate institution provides superior job search assistance to alumni while the wealthy school offers virtually none. I’m told that the career office is understaffed at wealthy university and I could swear that a lack of funds was implied. But later, I’m supposed to be inspired by the multimillion dollar student activity building (or something like that) they just built. The building, from that I can tell, is fun and sexy and that’s why it’s important. Everybody’s happy now on campus and that should make me happy too, I suppose. The conversation closes with her commenting that “at least you got a first-rate education.”
Well then, please, let me bounce you a check, o mighty University of Money.
After all, your minion got her script right. She mentioned important programs that need more money (which, to me, reflects misplaced priorities in allocating funds), the luxurious new building (which seems frivolous to those of us without jobs or with huge student loans), and the quality of education (which she seems to have forgotten because she’s treating me like a moron).
But I digress. What we have here is a fundraising professional (not a work-study student) whose job is to convince the unemployed that their money is more appropriately housed in the university’s overflowing coffers. Let’s review: if I don’t have an income, where exactly does she expect the donation to come from? And how did she get a job that requires at least a second grade understanding of finance?
“Little Johnny has zero dollars. If he gives Mrs. Davis six dollars, how many dollars does Little Johnny have left?” You never saw that word problem in second grade because even second graders know it’s idiotic.