Friday, March 28, 2014

College Graduate Working As A "Specialty Janitor", Much To Mom's Dismay

Dear Tazi:

My son graduated college last month with a degree in Philosophy. His plan was to go on to law school, so this major made sense. Unfortunately for him, his grades fell short of gaining admittance into a top or second tier law school. He has been accepted at a few places of little note, without scholarship, which means I would be on the hook for his tuition. I told "Mason" I would not pay his graduate tuition (as I did his undergraduate tuition) until he showed he was willing to put in the work to improve his grades. He is planning to register for a few graduate level classes at the state university for the fall, and in the meantime he has taken a job at the only place that will hire him: a disaster clean-up company that cleans up the aftermath of personal tragedies.

My wife is mortified that our son is cleaning up what is left at home invasion and murder scenes, and busted crack houses. She wants to pay our son's law school tuition starting this fall. I say the unenviable work is good for him and will teach him that this is what he will end up doing for the rest of his life if he does not work harder in school. The job pays well and he is given protective gear to wear when he is on a clean-up scene, so I am not worried about his health, physical or financial. My wife, however, is worried about what people will think if they find out our son is working for a specialty janitorial service. I say hang what people think. What do you say, Tazi?

Third Generation Ole Miss

Dear Third Generation Ole Miss:

Is your son a fourth generation at Ole Miss? Does the answer to this question have something to do with why your wife is willing to ignore his lackluster academic record? I realize that tradition runs deep down South, especially at places like Ole Miss! If your son is now an alumnus, people are going to be asking about him at the next class reunion or event. Are you prepared to tell your friends why your son is not in law school, as planned? I ask because it is apparent that your wife is not.

Personally, I think an education in the school of life is what your son needs. If he enjoys his job as a specialty cleaner and is able to support himself with the money he makes, and there is room for promotion, than I see no reason why your wife should be ashamed of what your son is doing. He is providing a valuable service that not many would be willing to provide. Furthermore, your attitude towards his Philosophy degree - claiming "the only place that will hire him" is short-sighted, considering the competitive economy we are currently experiencing.

If your son is embarrassed to be doing the kind of work he is doing, I suggest the following compromise: one semester of graduate level courses, which your son will pay for out of his own earnings. If he can prove that he is ready to make the commitment to graduate level learning, you and your wife can offer to pay for his continued schooling, provided that he maintain a minimum grade-point-average that you and your wife will set. Should his grades fall below the mark, he will be responsible for his own education expenses. I believe this is a compromise that all can live with, as well as one that will allow your son to prove his academic worth.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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