Where a University of San Diego degree leads

I seek knowledge of the real world

I’ve been restraining an emotionally disturbed teenager for an hour. It’s midnight and I’m sore. All I can hear are feral screams.

According to the usual platitudes, college should be the gateway to more money and opportunities. I’ve found the opposite. My friends who didn’t graduate from college seem to make more money than I do.

“Graduating class, I hope you make this institution proud,” says some guy wearing a gown. Rows of graduates look like penguins in funny hats. We’re packed inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion at the University of San Diego. I know it as the Slim Gym. Usually it’s full of coeds who work off their insecurities with eating disorders and exercise.

I realize that degrees don’t make people any smarter, confident, or more apt. The sizable numbers of cokeheads and bulimics at USD attest to this. Life at the top of Linda Vista is Beverly Hills 92110. For many students it revolves around getting drunk at the beach, going to the mall, and making cameos on campus.

“Oh, my God, Kim, those are such cute Uggs, you got them at Fashion Valley, didn’t you?” is a typical conversation.

After four years, I wanted out. Grad school and law school were options, but I didn’t want to be an egghead stuck in the ivory tower. A career seemed like a possibility, but most require an advanced degree. Coming from a blue-collar lineage, the life of the proletariat beckoned. My dad worked hard forever. He picked fruit and delivered newspapers in his adolescence, joined the National Guard, tossed lumber at a saw mill, all before working his way through college. I’ve had jobs but never needed them. Graduating from college is something, but real work is different. It’s survival. Bukowski’s books about life in the gutter were calling me. Little did I know I would become a factotum right out of one of his novels. Hell, we could have shared drinks in between the search for odd jobs.

Going from the structure of the classroom to the frenzy of the job hunt is profound, and the rewards are different. Getting accepted into school is remunerated with classes you can skip, drunken nights, and piles of student debt. Getting a job, the only reward is paying your bills.

I scour the ads for restaurant work. Friends say restaurants are where it’s at. Thirty to 40 hours of intense work, tips, and flexible schedules. I need to move out of the dorms by August, and time is running out.

Busser at the Coronado Yacht Club. Perfect.

“So, what’s your experience in the hospitality industry?” my interviewer asks.

“I was a plate waiter at Newmarket Race Track in England,” I reply.

“Sounds like you have some experience in the hospitality industry.”

“Certainly.”

But I was a terrible waiter. I burned a lady with a pot of tea. If it weren’t for the preset menu, vegetarians would have been eating beef tartare, while I made sure to get my fair share. If there was champagne at the open bar, it got drained. I sampled whatever was on the menu. My justification was truly European: the British don’t tip.

I am hired at the yacht club anyway. Boats moored in the marina sway through the panoramic windows. Frantically, I pour water into cups around a crowded table. I grab a glass, fill it, then set it back down. I look at my partner, who does the same thing. We nod at each other.

“Hey, watch this,” says the restaurant manager.

He takes my pitcher and pours a glass for an elderly woman. I look at him.

“I know how to pour water!” I say.

“Oooh!” exclaims the customer.

Her mouth is agape. She’s staring at me. This is the slip that kills my waiting career. After only two days, I am back to the job hunt.

Activists Needed, says the ad. That’s me.

The position is for a door-to-door canvasser with Grassroots Incorporated. I will be collecting campaign contributions for the Democrats. “Hi, my name is Adam and I’m collecting money for the DNC, which will be sent to those vital swing states.” This is followed by all sorts of avoidance and slamming doors. I can’t blame them, I’m a Class A huckster. I’m worse than that. I’m not even selling a bad product, I’m offering nothing.

Many of my coworkers swear differently. They believe we are electing peace and justice. Maybe even pie in the sky. My sole consolation is I’m good at the job.

“Wow, Adam, you raised a thousand dollars, how’d you do it?” asks a coworker.

“I was in Cardiff, and people were just writing me $200 checks.” I smile. “Yeah, I met with this one guy for 45 minutes and we were talking about Buddhism, Nepal, and the Four Noble Truths, and as I leave he writes me two $200 checks — dude, funny thing is my degree is finally working for me.”

Like any sales job, there are days where I rake in less than $30. That hurts when you earn minimum wage and depend on your commission, which is 60 percent over quota. Even with the commission, spending six hours outside in the San Diego summer sun, traversing and getting lost in every liberal enclave in the county, is grueling. And I hate harassing the neighbors for political donations. When I’m sent back to Cardiff, I realize I can’t do this. These people just gave us a barrel of money. It seems wrong that we’re asking for more.

“Hi, my name is Adam and I’m with the DNC and we’re collecting money for those vital.…”

I’m interrupted by a lanky, bearded man with close-cropped hair. He stands in the opening of a sliding-glass door.

“Hey, I’m not a Democrat and I don’t vote,” he says.

“Why not?” I ask. I need to break quota today. This neighborhood has an ocean view. It can spare a few bucks for a college graduate.

“It’s all a façade…and I’m an anarchist,” says the man. He looks to be in his late 20s.

Surprised, I ask, “Who have you read?”

“Well, I like Malatesta, Goldman. But I also read a little Gramsci.”

We’re sparring, but on an intellectual level.

“I’m a big fan of Kropotkin myself,” I say. “Mutual Aid was good.”

He looks at me stoically and bounces his head.

“You know, I’m not a Democrat either,” I say. “This is only a job.” I say this like I want to join the cool kids’ club.

“Yeah, we all got to make a living somehow,” he says.

I walk to the next house. I have no interest in continuing this work, but the bills are calling. Before I quit, I have to get mine.

I’m sent out with the wrong maps to a previously canvassed area. When I complain, my team leader, a recently separated sailor who looks like Marky Mark, gives me a new map and drops me off in University Heights. He tells me that this is a confidential mission. He gives me an ETA for the rendezvous. I start my rounds. Knocking on the first couple of doors, I learn these houses were solicited minutes before. I bump into Kenny, a coworker, who is equally frustrated.

“This neighborhood was canvassed last week,” he says.

“Do you think we should keep going?” I ask.

“I don’t know.”

I convince him to come with me to 1834 Madison Avenue — my future home. This is the only address we will canvass today. I knock on the door.

My old friend Jim answers. “Hey, what are you doing here?”

“Working,” I say.

Jim guides us to a refrigerator stocked with beer and soda. We spend the afternoon drinking on his front porch, red-faced, and laughing. Kenny and I eventually cross the street and grab a case of Bohemia. It’s the best day of work ever.

A week later I give Jacob, the campaign coordinator, my resignation. He looks at me with disappointment.

“So I’m going to need your shirt,” he says.

“You serious? I don’t have another with me.”

I never thought I would say this, but the Democrats took the shirt off my back. I leave the office head high, half-naked, and a little confused.

Movers Wanted, I read on craigslist.

I apply because my friend told me he made good money. But I’m not strong or hardened enough to be part of this crew. Halfway into a move from City Heights, my arms turn to spaghetti. I scream for my partner. I am stumbling with a 12-inch television. He looks at me, bewildered that somebody could be that weak. Rumors spread around the shop.

“I shouldn’t have to deal with your shit, “ says Ira, the manager. “I got a kid and then my own criminalistic instincts to take care of.”

The crew chuckles and hollers in agreement. We are assembled near the loading dock for our weekly meeting.

“Gentlemen,” says the owner, “if you guys ever have a problem with each other, we can clear a space in the warehouse. When the first guy goes down, we’ll consider the issue resolved.”

Everyone looks around the room, silently shaking their heads. I wonder if I could attend this meeting via security camera. But then they call my name and tell me I’m scheduled. I’m put on a crew with a portly mover named Adrian and a squat one named John.

We’re directed to a condo downtown and asked to pack its contents and take them to somewhere near Sorrento Valley. I’m excited. Even though I preferred the old downtown, before the redevelopment bonanza, this sounds like fun. Adrian and John work like oxen but also make time to crack jokes and gawk at women.

“So what are these for?” asks the client. She picks up a pair of binoculars that are hanging in the cargo compartment of our truck. We look at her. She’s in her 30s, professional and attractive.

“Bird-watching,” says Adrian.

“You guys,” she says, “don’t look like the type.”

“We’re always on the lookout for the Californian red-headed big breast,” says John.

We all smile. On the ride up to the new place, Adrian and John crack jokes. John shows off the picture of his fiancée.

“So, you went to the same country club I did,” says Adrian.

“Yeah, for sure, dude,” says John.

“Remember those showers?”

“Yeah.”

“Those were some cold showers.”

They grin at each other, and I suddenly realize I’m the only non-convict in the truck, if not the whole shop. It’s odd. I am getting paid $9 an hour, but only because of my driver’s license.

We work another move, one in the UTC area. It goes way overtime, and many of the shipper’s belongings are damaged. I destroy an oak headboard valued at $1000. In the truck, I’m apprehensive, silent, tired.

“Hell, we messed that up big-time,” says the driver. He has spiked hair, glasses, a look of annoyance.

Everyone in the cabin is quiet.

The driver says to me, “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” I say.

“Why are you doing this? You got a college degree.”

“I need a job.”

“Listen, I can’t do anything else, most of us got records,” says a crew member. “You, you’ve got other options.”

Yes. I graduated from a respectable school with a double major and honors. So why am I in this rut? My parents found decent jobs after finishing school, but a lot of employers now want a master’s degree. My college friends who have good positions did it through internships or connections. craigslist seems to be offering jobs, paying just over broke. Maybe I need to go back to school.

But I still want to see what the real world can teach me.

Working for the post office might be ideal. Steady employment, benefits, and good pay. For me, as a temporary mail carrier, it’s $13 an hour. I imagine the work is enjoying the San Diego scenery and talking to friendly people. The position seems enviable, and some guys from the moving company ask if I can find them a job.

But I learn soon that it’s 60–70-hour weeks and a backache that won’t go away. The regular employees have a union. I have no job security. I deliver mail at night without a flashlight, harassed by dogs. I crash my postal vehicle.

One day, when I start the engine, it dies. Suddenly, I am sliding downhill. I collide with the car parked in front of me. I’m in Mission Hills, and my mail truck has run out of gas. It’s the second time in a month. The first, my truck ran onto the sidewalk and a former Marine let me call for backup. This time, I’m not so lucky. If the car’s owner calls the station, I’m fired.

“No! No! I was ahead of schedule!” I scream.

I run down India Street looking for a gas station. I pray it sells gas cans. Route 66 does, small ones. I buy a gas can, fill it, and run back to my vehicle. After I empty the contents in the tank, I start the engine. It turns, but as soon as I back up, it cuts out again. I roll forward and bump into the car again. And now the truck is stuck, bumper to bumper. I run back to Route 66 and fill the can again.

I run into an old acquaintance. He used to be a barista at Aromas, the coffee shop at USD.

“Hey, what’ve you been up to?” he asks.

“Working,” I say. “Could you come along and give me a hand?”

He follows. Five months ago, I would never have imagined being in this situation. If I had my degree at hand now and it could power my truck, I’d throw it in the tank. Arriving at the scene, I find a man taking photos of the collision. His wife stands beside him. Crap! They’re the owners. I’m fired now. A bystander looks on.

The owner says, “You broke a bracket on my car and scratched the paint on my bumper. What’s your information?”

“You have to call my station,” I say. “But if you do, I’ll lose my job.”

He looks at me, then at his wife. It might have been my words, or it might have been because I look young, or maybe because he works for a living, too.

“Well, if you pay for the price of the repairs, we can keep this between us,” he says.

His wife looks at him in shock.

I think for a second. “You know, maybe it’s better if you just call the station.”

This guy could sue me. Losing my job would be bad, but legal fees are worse. He tells me to think about it. I do. We cut a gentleman’s agreement. I call him after I finish my shift.

“Sorry it’s so late,” I say. “I just got off.”

I’ve been delivering mail at night again without a flashlight. I haven’t eaten since breakfast, and people were barbecuing a roast in one of my neighborhoods. This has been a bad day.

“I kind of thought you wouldn’t call,” the guy says.

The next morning, I meet him at his shop. He’s repainting a customer’s car. I give him $100. He smiles and I go back to my route.

I get an email from my dad.

“Use your degree and not your back,” he writes.

He sends me a link to another job opening. Mental Health Counselor. Required BA.

I can do this, I think.

What I can’t do is keep working at the post office. It’s too crazy. One week I run into a cactus. Three big needles are sticking out of my arm. I pull them out and continue with my route. Part of that damn cactus remained lodged in my flesh for weeks. I am sent to South Park. Walking to the entrance of a house, a dog pounces on me. Its barking goes from playful to aggressive. A five-year-old girl with blond hair is giddy and in the open doorway.

“Go get him!” she yells. “Yeah, doggy, good dog!”

I back up and dig in my satchel. I’m looking for the pepper spray. If the dog attacks, I’m macing that child.

Later, I apply to work with emotionally disturbed teenagers.

My interviewer asks, “So what’s your experience working with children?”

I pause, thinking back. “I was a reading tutor sophomore year?”

Of all my jobs, tutoring at Kit Carson in Linda Vista was the best. The kids were always happy to see me, and there was no dress code. My hair was a spiked/poofy pomp that ranged from blond to pink to blue. The kids said I looked like a Super Saiyan from the cartoon Dragon Ball Z. I liked that. An intergalactic ass-kicker with awesome hair.

My interviewer stares at my application. “You say you can wrestle.”

“Yeah, I wrestled from 8th to 12th grade.” I don’t tell her I was pretty bad.

“We’ll see if we can get something closer to your pay expectations,” says my new boss.

Working at a facility for children with severe emotional disorders and developmental disabilities feels so promising. A full weekend off, along with 20 other full days a year, free health care, and a 401k plan. What’s not to like? Helping at-risk youth is something you can feel good about at the end of the day. I’ll be making the world a better place, while earning a living.

The truth is, I will be entering another reality.

“Now, Janet, you can get out of this, if you calm down,” says my coworker Shannon.

“Gaaaahhh!” Janet screams.

Janet’s legs are wrapped in my arms. Brittany, from Boston, pins the client’s left arm against the floor, Shannon does the same with the right. Meanwhile, Janet slips in and out of lucidity. When she comes around, we’ll know by her threats and expletives. I’m praying she doesn’t wake up the other clients. The commotion started when she whipped Shannon in the face with an extension cord.

Janet is a large teenager who experiences delusions and a profound love for Hilary Duff. We’ve had to restrain her several times today. She is the resident who is closest to being clinically insane. Not that she’s crazy all the time, but when she loses it, reality doesn’t faze her. She is just one of a group of kids. Despite their faults, you can’t help being fascinated. They are multidimensional people, victims who are able to simultaneously victimize.

My first couple of months, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. I initially thought it would be a lot more cerebral, but it’s instead very physical. Most of the time I’m trying to create stability in a dangerous and chaotic environment.

“Don’t come any closer or I’m going to shank you, Adam!”

This plump teenager, who looks four years younger than his age, is making a promise. Now the question is, does Will have anything to cut me with? He has a chair in his hand, but that’s not a knife. The first time I restrained him, he hid Plexiglas spacers in his hands. He sliced me six times. I ended the night looking like a cutter. Will detests me and makes every attempt to make this known. He’s a punk, yes, but I don’t blame him. Considering his history with poor male role models, it makes sense.

“I’m not getting any closer, man,” I say. “I want you to take a time out and go outside.”

Realistically, if he steps outside, he might try to run away from the facility. But right now, I just want him to drop the chair. I’m going to have to go outside to monitor him. This puts me at risk. But being assaulted at this place is like getting pricked at the blood bank. It’s going to happen.

The first assault on my person entails a stuffed monkey to the head and three kicks to the shin. To this day, I see those monkey eyes coming for my forehead. Getting ass-kicked by a plush animal is too much. I end up at the Ould Sod with a pint of Guinness. I talk to the bartender all night as if he’s Freud.

My friends ask why I do this kind of work. I tell them I need it for my résumé. This is partly true. But really, it reaffirms what I learned in college.

As a student activist, I used to proclaim to an apathetic campus about the ills of the world. But I was still a part of the microcosm. Working here, my political philosophy comes to life.

My kids are the canaries of a sick society. They are locked behind closed doors, and they are suffocating from society’s problems. Poverty, abuse, neglect, and drugs are the M.O. My kids are the most extreme examples, but there are others under the radar.

Passing Santana High on my way to work, I make the connection.

Andy Williams, the school shooter, was superficially too normal to be one of my kids. But all of them are just steps away from juvie or the ward. They’re at the bottom, and I am along for the ride.

I think that’s why Bukowski wrote his novels. Factotum is my life. With my college degree, some say I’m slumming. But you’d be amazed what you can see from the gutter.

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Comments

Door-to-door PACs and developmentally disabled "clients," the jobs I did WHILE slugging it through school. ;) Thanks for the memories, Adam. But shouldn't you have gotten at least a few modest teaching jobs with an M.A.?

Yes, the canaries (your kids, my kids, our kids) are sounding the alarm. Of course many have severe emotional disorders! No one in their right mind can placidly swallow the swill this insane society feeds us daily. We have been robbed of our birthrights: clean/healthy air, water & food... and rewarding productivity that is respectful of our natural environment. Families have fallen by the wayside due to lack of time chasing $$$. We have enslaved ourselves with our complacent cooperation with our Masters. etc etc

Thanks for teaching us all with your excellent writing, Adam. This piece should jolt some more people awake. There's so much more to life than getting a pretty little degree in order to rub elbows with the "but shouldn't you...?" peeps.

WOW, Adam (or as we called you in the facility- "Creepyguy")! Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story!!!

1) You never worked with the adolescents. You worked with the little kids. I guess I can see why you lied, it's kinda tough to write such an outrageous story when you worked with 6-year-olds...

2) You were an overnight staff. You had LITTLE to NO contact with the children. You worked from 11 pm to 7 am, wherein you mostly cleaned (albeit while wearing disposable gloves and a surgical mask that you brought in to protect yourself from what you perceived as nasty germs from the children you paint yourself as caring about so much).

3 ) These kids are WONDERFUL children. Although they do talk back and can be assaultive when upset, the picture YOU are painting is nothing but pure hyperbole written solely for effect. You would know that, had you ever spent time with any of the children. You probably could have picked up some extra shifts when the kids were awake and gotten some experience/exposure to them, had you cared enough to do that. You didn't. Instead, you spent you're time running around complaining. Complaining about management, complaining about breaks (I have never heard of any job giving an hour break for an 8 hour shift, even on an overnight), just complaining. You were never remotely interested in the kids.

4) You no longer are employed for this company. You were fired for getting aggressive with a 6-year-old boy who had wet the bed in the middle of the night. Then you complained, attempted to sue, and brought your friends and family down to stand in the parking lot with signs, in order to protest and stick up for you. The facility chose to stick up for the little boy. That's where their concern lay, and yours did not. By the way, I am not management, I am merely a regular staff. I know you're a big fan of conspiracy theories and playing the martyr, but it won't work in this instance.

Grow up, Adam. You were wrong in this instance; it sounds like you definitely have been irresponsible and immature in your previous jobs, and, most of all- you're a liar who could give a damn about the kids. I think you can still write a good story without all the lies and exaggerations. Most of all, re: the expression you used to make yourself in to someone you're not and you never were- "my kids..."...were you referring to the lies you birthed or the kids at the facility- because you were no part of them. How dare you!

Without having read the story yet(waiting for the rain to stop), you voice your opinion about the author yet sign your comment anonymous123. Someone's a coward. I'm not talking about the author, debrr or SDaniels. Methinks people in glass houses shouldn't piss off the wrecking ball operator...

And our government just finished a program to inject mercury into all the toddlers in the country.

Only the children of stupid parents, lenny. I'd say about 90%...lol!

Oh Lord, not another fiction piece!!!! Is this the Reader or Tin House???

pistol pete- I've seen you on here before, read your stuff, and realize that you play devil's advocate for the sake of playing devil's advocate, regardless of whether you actually know what you're talking about or not. Who I am doesn't alter the facts of this issue in any way. I signed "anonymous123" for the same reasons Adam changed the names of the staff in the facility. I currently work there, I don't discuss staff or children, ESPECIALLY names, outside the workplace, unless they write heinously false, self-glorifying stories and publish their own names themselves...

re: #2: "There's so much more to life than getting a pretty little degree in order to rub elbows with the "but shouldn't you...?" peeps."

Your point is a bit unclear, debrr. Is it that higher degrees aren't useful? I don't consider my degrees to be "pretty little degrees." I consider them to be a part of my education for life--an education that I worked damn hard to get. There is more to life than working and making the most money possible--there is also the life of the mind, the intellect, and the aesthetic awareness one gains, not to mention all that you learn about the world that makes sense once you step out into it. I don't know, it sounds like you are a bit angry about this, and perhaps a bit resentful about something? That your degree is not helping your career, or that you didn't get a degree? You'll have to be clearer.

Wow Anonymous123

You are just so dead on.

If you would have read the article you would have noticed the passage where I said passing Santana High School on my way to work. When was Andy Williams and the Santana High shooting near fifth and university? Apparently someone can't find their way around San Diego.

But just the fact you can't read the article well enough to even do a good accurate character assassination shows how incompetent you really are. But hey, it's funny, so keep making me laugh.

To tell you the truth I take your feeble attempts as a compliment. Because I haven't worked for your utterly clean and well run organization for nearly a year. Also according to your profile you just signed up today to post these comments.

Wow, you signed up to come after little ol' me. And I ain't even in California right now.

Believe or not this article had nothing to do with New Alternatives and I have worked with other kids at other facilities, before the year 2007. Kind of the reason I was hired by the Program Manager in the first place. But the fact that you would want to come after me, after I was given the boot shows I must of been doing my job as labor organizer at your facility. Someone struck a nerve.

Anonymous 123 you want to throw in I molested a kid go for it and then stole their milk money go for say that as well. Hey while your at it why don't tell everybody Satan's got a locker full of animal porn waiting for me at the gates of Hell when I die. But you know what, I'm sure we'll enjoy it together.

Also sorry to get some you guys on Univision News on March 13. You know me I just can't help myself . When I see pure comedy I just think it's got to make Primetime--even if it is Spanish. Se hable?

Finally thanks for the unemployment checks, it equals out maybe only a little less than what I was getting when I was working for your organization. Now I can really focus on my writing and hell I might write my next article about you.

Now if I can just figure out which joker you are. But i guess it wouldn't be worth my time.

But Toodles Anonymous 123 it's been fun.

Adam

PS Just remember your mandated by Federal Law to send me my W2s. So if you can send the word out, I will be a calling for them in the next couple days.

Re #3 & 10: I'd be more interested in a refutation of this very particular point:

"4) You no longer are employed for this company. You were fired for getting aggressive with a 6-year-old boy who had wet the bed in the middle of the night. Then you complained, attempted to sue, and brought your friends and family down to stand in the parking lot with signs, in order to protest and stick up for you. The facility chose to stick up for the little boy."

Clearly, this describes a specific event at a specific facility.

"...it sounds like you definitely have been irresponsible and immature in your previous jobs"

Agreed. What a nightmare of a mail carrier. Just a danger to himself and everyone else. A chronic f***up who never takes responsibility for anything he does. Everything happens "to" him.

Bukowski you ain't.

I thought the story was very intriguing...making you aware of how it really is out there...fact or fiction, nevermind. Ive been out there and could easily be back out there wondering how certifications, qualifications and education are gonna get me past the "just enough to live" wages that are offered. Being out there and living day to day is comical at times...wondering in between uplifting moments, "what am I doing?" I also liked how circumstances can put a person in diverse situations and make you find yourself...its a clache these days to find someone doing something for a living, that they have no qualifications or degree for. Circumstances change every 90 days!

LMAO Adam. I still haven't read the article because I pick up the print version and haven't gotten this week's because of the rain.

anonymous123-You're exactly right. I do play Devil's Advocate. I believe in forming an opinion once I have all the information at my disposal. Since I haven't read it, no opinion. :-D I DO love your very lame excuse for not using your real name when libeling someone. Let's break down that lame excuse so I can make you look like the cowardly dildo you obviously are...

"I signed "anonymous123" for the same reasons Adam changed the names of the staff in the facility." He changed the names to keep from getting sued. You can't get sued for using your real name on a public forum.

"I currently work there, I don't discuss staff or children, ESPECIALLY names, outside the workplace, unless they write heinously false, self-glorifying stories and publish their own names themselves..." In your comments you didn't name anyone in this particular facility so you shouldn't be worried about getting sued by anyone there. However, you can be sued by Adam for slander and libel should he decide to persue this any farther. You might be able to post things anonymously but your ISP is registered to someone. Trust me. I'm a hacker. If I really wanted, I could find out out the ISP and whether it was your home PC, a laptop registered to you, a computer in a public library(most libraries have cameras pointing at their public computer banks), a friend's computer( If I investigated thoroughly enough, I could gain employee records and match anyone's ISP to a particular computer) or a work computer.

I'm sure Adam wouldn't mind a "retraction" of slanderous and libelous comments from you. :-D

re: #12: "...its a clache these days to find someone doing something for a living, that they have no qualifications or degree for."

I have tried every way I can to pronounce it, but can't figure out what word "clache" is supposed to be...

Should we get creative with it? ;)

re: #13: Adam, what Pete meant to say is "I believe in forming an opinion once"

:)

He didn't want to be cliched about spelling cliche so he spelled it clache, so much more cachet that way, hey hey, I'm getting out of the way, before cloches are thrown my way.

Very rarely do I change my opinion, SD. Once again, welcome to the Real World. :-D

Antigreekess,

Now you want a little bit of my dead carcass.

I never thought the day would come when I would have a pack of buzzards preying on me. I must be making some progress in this life. Praise be Allah because people actually care.

And first of all YES I agree with you: I AIN'T BUKOWSKI!

There is no logical way I could be Charles Bukowki, Bukowski was a drunk and Bukowski's DEAD, my dear anti-Greekess.

Second am I "F--- Up", as you put it so eloquently...YES I AM. But I have my moments as well.

You know that old saying sometime we're the statue and sometimes we're the pigeon. It' comes and goes Like this article for example. Somebody I haven't dealt with nearly a year is checking up on me. It means they care.

Now Anti-Geekess get something published in this magazine and I would be more than willing to show so much care for you. Would you like me to proof read your blog maybe?

Next about the incident that keeps popping up from you and Anonymous 123 keep wanting answers for it. First of all it has nothing to do with the story I wrote and I don't really see how
me answering your questions on incident which neither you nor anybody on this board was there are involved in the incident lends me anymore credibility. To get them involved in....well it just seems tacky. But if you were involved or there call me sometime we'll do lunch. Nothing like old chums right? I'll remember not to bring the news crew next time.

Finally, if you really want to hurt me stop posting messages about how much of a bad/evil/sinister guy I am, it only creates more comments and more traffic to my story. Which, dah,dah,dah, makes it more likely I can get something published by the Reader again. Controversy Baby. Like I said in my article I like being a Bad-ass.

Or should I say keep hurting by posting those apt messages and creating even more traffic to my story. Actually if you want I'll even help you. Do you want the time I ate my own boogers or the time I had explosive diarrhea?

And if you really want to hurt me tell me to go back to school and get a PHD and never leave the ivory tower again. That would hurt.

Good Night everybody I'm going to bed I'll check back in with you in the morning. Hopefully another pithy, cogent, by the fine folks at my former workplace will be waiting on my door step.

Your author and your friend,

Adam aka (F--- Up)

I do enjoy our correspondences. Tell your friends to write as well.

re:#16: Ouch! The clash of your cloches clobbered my cachet, not to mention my cache of cash!

re:#17: Pete, are you like the Walmart greeter, but for the "Real World?" Wasn't that like the first reality tv show? Were you on it or something?

re: #18:

OOOhhh, "antiGreekess!" Now, that's hot.

re: #18:

Well, Adam, I think it is only natural that people are going to ask you about the boy who wet the bed.

Them's some serious allegations, indeed. You state several times that you get off/thrive on being criticized/lambasted online, which leads me to wonder if you are a troll.

(Pete, can you tell if your new bud is a troll?)

If you are serious about the offer to antigeekess, you'll have to start by spelling her name properly. After all, how do you expect to get that job editing her blog if you don't put your mad spelling skillz forward?

Finally, to be a real badass, you will need to be a tad more entertaining. So far, it's been a lot of clache/cloche/cache--excuse me! (gotta cold) --CLICHES--whew! I mean, your story was ok, but not earth-shakingly anything.

Face it--you need a tutor, and I know JUST the place for you:

Welcome to Pete's Real World School of Online Badass Trolldom!

Your response, SD, should be a real doozy. :-D

Ok. I read it. Not the best cover story I've read but I've also seen MUCH worse so it's a start. Adam sounds alot like me but with a spiffy new degree. I've learned that books are fun to read but they really don't teach you much. I get my education on-line and just living life.

As for the 6-year old bed wetter, who gives a f about him? Adam never mentioned him in his story. You guys want to talk about trolls? Anonymous123 would be the troll. I don't really know the beef between Adam and anonymous and I don't really give a royal f.

Adam-I liked your writing style and your sense of humor. You'll be fine.

Anonymous123-Go drink a bottle of bleach and do humanity a favor. Add some Draino while you're at it. :-/

SD/AG-What is there left to say that I haven't already said?

Pete gushed:

"Adam-I liked your writing style and your sense of humor. You'll be fine."

Awww. It's so cute, because you sound just like refried to you--I guess you are taking Adam under your buffalo wing.

What should be a doozy? I've been posting like mad--what did I forget to respond to?!

"Trust me. I'm a hacker."

The most oxymoronic t-shirt of all time, perhaps? I think of you more this way, Petey.

http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/stewie-family-guy-72401_512_371.jpg

At least he knows the difference between "your" and "you're." :)

As for the author of this little whine festival, I don't really see anything worth responding to. Sounds like a flailing, narcissistic twerp.

One more of Pete's glamour shots, for the road: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Stewie-family-guy-79270_545_598.jpg

Thanks AG. I am a bit like Stewie. :-D

I meant Adam's response to you, SD. I thought that was pretty obvious but I digress. ;-D

re #25

Short, angry, football headed and queer?

I meant in attitude Tiki but thanks for playin' along. :-D

"I meant in attitude Tiki"..... So did he (or she).

Nice posts in the U-T today, btw....;>)

For those that are interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

I do believe that the word troll to AG and SD is akin to Godwin's Law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

How can short or football headed be an attitude? O_o

U-T? Do share, Duhbya. I don't feel like going to SSD.

Second am I "F--- Up", as you put it so eloquently...YES I AM. But I have my moments as well.

============

Join the Marines. They'll straighten you out in short order.

I got the distinct impression that the author is a bit of a misogynist.

"Usually it’s full of coeds who work off their insecurities with eating disorders and exercise."

"The sizable numbers of cokeheads and bulimics at USD attest to this."

"“Oh, my God, Kim, those are such cute Uggs, you got them at Fashion Valley, didn’t you?” is a typical conversation."

Prickly types tend to have difficulties holding a job.

Pete, I am certain you'll figure it out. You're smarter than most of us, remember?

And if this isn't you posting today - from the cigarette litter hotline redux http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jan/22/cigarette-litter-hotline-gets-makeover/ :

"chargerhatersince1994 The Point Loma Ocean Outfall was built in 1963 for the discharge of treated wastewater into the ocean. In 1993, the Outfall was extended from a length of two miles off the coast of Point Loma to its present length of 4.5 miles. Twelve feet in diameter and operating via gravity-feed, the Outfall ends 320 feet below the surface in a Y-shaped diffuser to ensure wide dispersal of effluent into ocean waters.

I WOULD WORRY MORE ABOUT THIS THAN MY ASHTRAY OF BUTTS I DUMPED ON THE ROAD THIS MORNING. ALWAYS SOME ECO NUTBAG GROUP WHINING ABOUT THEIR SPECIAL INTEREST. WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOUR SWIMMING IN THAT CAME FROM MY BUTT, NOT MY CIG BUTT!!!!!!!! AND AS FAR AS THE LETTER THE HIGHWAY PATROL SENDS OUT BELIEVE ME THATS A JOKE. NEXT WE WILL GET THE STERN STARE AND FINGER WAG!!!!!!!!"

......then I heartily apologize. Might there be an obnoxious and ubiquitous impostor?

MsGrant-That sums up the attitude of Sandy Eggo. Nothing mysogynistic about it.

Duhbya-Wasn't me posting. I post under the name Packerz when I'm not banned.

Well, then how about mentioning the douchebags with their hats on sideways and their insecurities? Last I checked, young guys were just as guilty in the drug department as the ladies, and maybe they don't shop as much, but talking about gadgets is as boring as Uggs. They also go to the gym. He bagged exclusively on the women.

As I mentioned, Pete, I apologize for the mis-characterization. But I conclude that you have either been cloned or have acquired a posting double, perhaps in the imitation/flattery realm. As regards: "chargerhatersince1994? Eco nutbag groups? WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOUR SWIMMING IN THAT CAME FROM MY BUTT, NOT MY CIG BUTT!!!"??? Had me fooled. All that was missing was LULZ!

LOL! It's ok Duhbya. Honest mistake. I've been "cloned" MANY times over the years.

LOL!

I was actually living on campus at the University of Spoiled Daughters when Aromas opened up. My favorite thing to do around 11:30pm was to run up there from the Valley frosh housing to grab a double expresso before tackling my computer science homework (Thanx, Dr. Langton). If it had opened a year earlier, I would have graded calculus homework there instead of grading in my dorm room on instant coffee.

My memories of USD are somewhat brighter than those in the above article, fiction or not. I tended to see the women on campus, especially those living in the dorms as my neighbors, as my younger sisters. This wasn't that hard to do as a mid-30s transfer student, but it helped having the ability to tutor business "baby" calc while administering a fairly decent back massage.

I miss that slender Aromas barista that I tutored baby calc to during the last spring semester I lived on campus...

More than a few USD students did go to high school in Beverly Hills. USD is still a nice place to drop off one's daughter to break up a questionable relationship with someone else living in LA.

Sure, there were some young women who had a difficult time adjusting to the relative freedom of college life after high school, but the REAL A-holes on campus were the freshmen boys who took to expressing themselves by trashing select portions of campus, relying on the theory that "The help will take care of it." Those self-righteous children actually thought like that!

And we wonder where the Wall Street Masters of the Universe came from before causing the Crash of 2008...

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