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Is the Whole World Stupid?

December 19, 2012

The Department of Labor mailed me a job posting for an internship with the American Museum of Natural History, which sounded perfect for my background (which is why they matched me to it), but it’s 25 hours a week, requires only a diploma, and had no stated salary.  Since they used postal mail, by the time the letter got to me, the link to apply was no good as it was. The Department of Labor worker admitted to me that she thought that it was probably unpaid but that they wanted me to apply for it anyway, even though I’ll be 37 next month and last attended college in May 2005.

I love AMNH, and for several years made a visit there a birthday present to myself, so I don’t want to accuse them of anything illegal.  The workload for this internship was unquestionably illegal if it is unpaid, but since the ad didn’t actually say it was unpaid, I have no grounds to actually accuse them.  Here is a link with information about the federal legal requirements of an unpaid internship:

Yesterday, when my time was up on the computer at the Mid-Manhattan Library, I limped over to unplug my phone, went back to my chair, put my backpack on it, rolled the cord around the charger and put it in, and started putting my coat on.  The woman who was next in line for the computer came forward and said in a very obnoxious tone, “Here, let me help you with that!”  She grabbed my bag and carelessly threw it on the floor.  I was concerned it might have impacted on my pitch pipe (fortunately, it didn’t), and I said very loudly, “Oh, that was real helpful, bitch!  What the fuck is wrong with you, throwing other people’s belongings?”  The security guard, a medium-sized black man with a bushy white beard came over to the computer and took her side.  I asked why he let her get away  with throwing other people’s stuff.  He didn’t answer, and told me I’d be barred from the library if I used another vulgarity.  I’m kind of glad he intervened, because I might have smacked this young woman with my cane if the situation had been allowed to intensify further.  I couldn’t stop thinking about Up afterwards, in which the inciting incident is Ed Asner striking George Wendt with his cane after the latter damages a mailbox with enormous sentimental value, bearing as it does both his hand prints and those of his late wife.  

In my concept of feminism, if a woman, particularly a young woman, instigates a fight with a man, the man has every right to fight back.  Smacking her with the cane would be kind of excessive and emotion-driven, though.  I also think of the shoving fight in Robert Altman’s A Perfect Couple, in which the civilized men who are mad at each other don’t really want to get in a fight, and keep it restrained to shoving.  If a woman were to punch me, for example, she is implying that she knows martial arts and is assuming entering a fair fight, which it probably wouldn’t be, given that I’m physically impaired.  It’s true that she didn’t touch me, but throwing someone else’s belongings is never appropriate and should, at minimum, have gotten her computer privileges suspended for the day.

  1. Educational Testing Service permalink


    Mr. Hutchins, we regret to inform you that your verbal SAT scores are hereby revoked due to your frequent and careless butchery of the English language. As evidence, we cite the following examples from this blog post:

    1. “The Department of Labor sent mailed [sic] a job posting…” (extraneous word)
    2. “She grabbed my bag and carelessly through [sic] it on the floor.” (misspelled word)
    3. “What the %*&# is wrong with you throwing other people’s belongings. [sic]” (incorrect punctuation)

    If you wish to have your scores reinstated, you’ll need to retake the exam.

    Your Friends at Educational Testing Service

    • Again, someone with too much time and money on their hands. When there is a timer counting down, there is little time for me to reread and proofread what I’ve typed. This was a non-issue when I was getting my access at Brooklyn College. At NYPL, the lethargic computers with their countdown timers that don’t slow when the rest of the computer does just do not provide enough time to do a task properly.

    • You remind me of my imgecilic ex-boss, Phil Jacobus, who demanded that I bang out and print a particular dictation as fast as possible without taking time to proofread, and then complained that it had typos, knowing full well that I am not a touch typist.

    • The idiot who thought s/he was being clever with this post doesn’t realize that ETS, which is a former employer of mine, is, not .com.

  2. Excuses Excuses permalink

    All I hear are excuses from you Scott. You cant type, do manual labor, sell, what are you good for? Now instead of some snarky remark, how about a REAL answer. What job would you actually be fit for?


    • Someone telling me that I can’t type who can’t even put an apostrophe in the word “can’t?” How absurd.

      I have already discussed jobs that are a good match for me elsewhere on my blog, but it’s a rare day when I am actually allowed to interview for such a job, and the last time I got one, I was laid off due to budget cuts. The Department of Labor sent me a similar job, but it was an internship and most likely illegally unpaid, and because they used snail mail, it did not get to me before the posting, which required applying online, was taken down.

    • You have demonstrated with your posts that you are functionally illiterate. You present me with comma splices, questions ending in periods, and make the claim, “you cant type,” which not only contains an apostrophe error, but is an erroneous conclusion derived from the statement, “I am not a touch typist,” which is not in any way the same thing as not being able to type. (In fact, I’m generally tested at 57-63 adjusted words per minute. When I test at 57, there is usually one error, when I get faster, there are usually 2 or 3 errors. This comes from not being especially dexterous and developing my own de facto typing style that has served me too well to put much time and effort into learning touch typing. I once interviewed for a job that required only 20 words per minute, and I was not hired. I think the result of my typing test at that interview was 58–not my best, but far better than they needed. Perhaps they were concerned that I would run through the work too quickly and they would have to pay me for time spent when there was none. I once had a temporary job transcribing dictation tapes of mental health evaluations for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. They said that I was the fastest person that they had ever had do the job, and I finished it more quickly than they were expecting, and I would proofread it about three times while listening to the dictation just to make sure that it was precise. They could generate only as much dictation as new children were admitted to the program, which was not frequently enough for it to be a regular position.)

      If you are employed at all, Selma, it must be in some sort of manual labor position where competent reading and writing are not required.

      The “Accusations” post contains a list of positions for which I thought I was qualified, but from which my application received no response, and many others are referenced throughout my blog and my about page. Perhaps I need to compensate for this with a FAQ page as well as an About page.

      • Employed permalink

        Perhaps they didn’t hire you because they thought you were a jerk.

        Perhaps they were concerned that you think them to be stupid given that you are wondering if the whole world is stupid.

        Perhaps they just didn’t like the cut of your jib.

  3. Excuses Excuses permalink

    snarky remark and no answer,not surprising. It’s no wonder your homeless , I think you dont want to work.

    • You are functionally illiterate and drew several conclusions from no evidence. Do me a favor and actually READ my blog before you make snarky comments.

  4. Excuses Excuses permalink

    Your are an idiot.

  5. Thanks for following my blog :-). About the question/title ‘Is the whole world stupid?’ – I’m afraid, yes, pretty much of it. It takes a lot of courage to live the way you are having to live these days, and most of these comments show a lack of experience and depth – and maybe general knowledge. It’s partly the crap you’re enduring now, that eventually will mean you’re living a fulfilling life. About that young woman who behaved so obnoxiously, when someone acts like that with me, I try to remind myself to pause, and think of them as being in some distress themselves — there’s a good chance they are. Good luck my friend! 🙂

    • I didn’t even think of smacking her until I was back on the first floor (the Internet area is on the fourth floor), and it took less than two seconds to decide that going back upstairs to hit her would be one of the stupidest things I could possibly do.

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