Welcome To The Real World

Welcome To The Real World

by Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

In May my neighbor, Jonathan, will be graduated from the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University. No, he didn't enroll in September and pay full tuition; he waited 30 days and was given a discount. His major: master's in haggling. Just kidding!

Jonathan's parents are convinced that ALL of his success is due to the fact that six years ago he read the book titled, "How To Get Into and Graduate From College in 4 Years with good grades, useful major, a lot of knowledge, a little debt, great friends, happy parents, maximum party attendance, minimal weght gain, decent habits, fewer hassles, a career goal, and a super attitude, all while remaining extremely cool!" by Westgate Publishing and Entertainment.

His parents are "shepen naches" (Yiddish for "drawing pleasure"). They're aware of two facts: of people who earn B.A.'s only half of them complete the requirements in four years, and approximately half of those who begin college never graduate. However, they're also concerned because Jon is under "mouse arrest"--he was kicked off America Online for violating its terms of service.

At graduation, Jon will probably introduce his parents to several of his classmates. Marisa, who did an internship at "The Daily Grind Coffeehouse," has already been offered employment as a "barista" at Starbucks. A "barista" is a title given to one who has mastered the art of making espresso beverages. (Her parents still think that espresso is an overnight delivery system!) Jon keeps telling them that GOD represents "Guaranteed Overnight Delivery."

Directly after graduation, Marisa is headed to Seattle to attend a Specialty Coffee Business Seminar where she'll learn how to extract perfect espresso shots consistntly. She had planned to work at a Starbucks in Tel Aviv, Israel, but just learned that the Starbucks Coffee Co. is closing six stores in Israel and is ending its partnership with the Delek Group of Israel.

The class of 2003 is free to do anything; their choices are limitless. Amy, another graduate, will continue her education. She'll become a "mohelet"--a female mohel. Josh, #3 in his class, will become a Mezuzah inspector. This job entails visiting the homes of Jewish people to see that the Mezuza is affixed to the upper one-third (eye level) of the right doorpost of a home and most rooms in it. The Mezuza is hung in a slanting position (about a 30-degree angle) with the top pointing toward the interior of the home or room.

Larry is using the Internet to find a job. Using JewishJobs.com, he is searching more than 125,000 job listings by employment category, state, keyword, description, or any combination of these. He desires to work in a synagogue, JCC, Hillel, or Federation. In the meantime, he's hoping to have a piece published on Gantseh Megillah.com

Gerald seems a bit discouraged at the moment. It seems that there are numerous openings for"graffiti-removal trainees." "ceramic engineers" (AKA "dishwashers") and pothole repair persons--an unfulfilling job. According to a March 3 New York Post article based on surveillance of five New York City Department of Transportation road crews, many of these workers have been repairing potholes with considerably less aggressiveness than they should be. One crew they observed, failed to fill a single pothole between 7 a.m. and 12:50 p.m.

Gerald finally has an interview for a company which compiles the stats for the "Smoothness score" and "Jolt score"--the number of significant jolts encountered per mile in Manhattan. It is a count of street irregularities, be they potholes, ridges, uneven repairs, bumps,plates, utility covers, etc. that produce a severe jolt when a car encounters it. His other option: installing signs on the Southern State Parkway on the way to Long Island. The signs read: STEER CLEAR OF AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS

Alan, who is into "plurking" (combining play with work), has been offered a high-paying job as a quality assurance playtester for a software company. Rachel's headed for Silicon Valley, where she's obtained employment as a software test engineer. Rona will be a "Cybrarian"--an online librarian at a major university

Seth whispers when he discusses his job: a "urine validator" for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Marty is considering a job at the Snap-On Tools factory.

Max has two interviews. One is a Mickey Mouse job with the Disney Corporation for the recently created position of "Vice President of Corporate Synergy." The second interview is for a job as "VP of Progress" at Amico.

Shana has a job as a perfumer with a prestigious fragrance house. She'll be studying market research and trend reports to help predict the next wave in fragrance. Rumor has it that her company is developing a perfume named "zapy," which mimics the smell of a computer monitor at the end of the business day.

Shelly has a job as an assistant foreign currency trader on Wall Street (AKA "Las Vegas East").

Bradley is into "floral bondage" (n. the use of security devices and other measures to protect plants from theft.)

And then there's Joel, the 22-year-old friend whose unwashed hair has a Krameresque look to it. He is examining a number of recruiting brochures and has no idea what he wants to do AFTER he leases a spiffy red Range Rover. (His dad is co-signing the loan, of course!) He probably will be telling his concerned parents, "Don't worry. Brad Pitt once worked as a giant chicken in front of El Pollo Loco, a fast food chain...and look at him now!" His father, a member of the "oppies" (older professional parents) will quote Richard A. Moran: "The photos in recruiting brochures never reflect real life on the job."


Marjorie G. Wolfe is a retired business educator from Syosset, New York.


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