Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Profile of a jerk

A disturbing update faced me as I logged onto Facebook for my hourly fix(!) last evening. A classmate from grad school who did his undergrad from Penn State and who is my grouse companion about the job scene here, posted this response to his follow-up mail on a job application: "Pedophile Penn State? I really don't think so." !!!
My first reaction (and most reactions, going from the comments on his wall) was 'WTF??!' Are you kidding me? What sort of a person can honestly think it a reason for rejecting a candidate? It's juvenile and pointlessly insulting. After mulling over it for a while, I noticed other disturbing aspects to this response. On the surface, it seems like a crass case of generalization; some jerk shooting off his mouth. But consider this: the guy leads a top NYC architecture firm and is a Harvard alumni - the cream of the crop, so to speak. He appears confident he'll get away with it too (airing views over an email where a simple 'forward' or 'tweet' can do much damage.) Confident that a low blow at a struggling grad will not hurt him. As long as he holds the promise of employment, he is untouchable by the wrath of the young architecture community. While I hope my friend does something more about it than just a nasty email back, I am more convinced in my belief that in many cases, education is a superficial condition. It is not always an enhancement of the mind, as one expects it to be. Prejudices run deeper.