Thursday, January 29, 2009

Buck up, snowflakes

Thank you, Mr. President, Malia and Sasha,* for pointing out the obvious.

These snow closures have puzzled me for years. As a child, visiting relatives from a region that regularly claims the lowest temperatures in the U.S., I would listen to the Chesapeake area morning news shows in disbelief.

Snow? What snow? You can still see the asphalt.

It's January. This is not Jamaica. Snow and ice is a surprise somehow?

Do DC children ever attend school in the winter? I think it's a conspiracy between the weathermen and the child-care providers.

Later on, I spied this WSJ article about parents paying money to give their children the opportunity to be an intern.

No, no, no, no....that's not how it works. First of all, in America, the job pays you.

Not only do some parents pay good money to these ingenious companies to get the kids out of the house from 9-5, they fork out thousands to mount the equivalent of a marketing/PR campaign - with direct mail, writing, editing, strategic consulting, everything but the trade show booth with the booth babes and free branded golf balls. Because raising your kid = product development.

It may be tempting for teens to want to delegate the drudgery of a job search - searching for a job is hard work, after all. It may be tempting for parents to fear eternal living-in-the-basement slackerdom and cocktail-party humiliation, and hire a consultant to market "the brand called Snowflake" like the next ShamWow.

But perhaps this new era in America will be defined by flinty toughness instead. As one interview subject in the story put it:

"The type of students corporate America wants are the students who can find their own internships," says Claudia Tattanelli, CEO of Universum North America, Philadelphia, which consults with employers on recruiting.

* Though not mentioned in the article, likely Michelle was pointing out the window shaking her head with a "WTF" as well.


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