Monday, December 17, 2007

Empty Nest

While lifting weights at my gym earlier this morning I overheard a woman talking with a friend of hers -- she was on the machine next to me so I could not avoid it since my iPod decided to freeze on me today, talk about bad timing!! -- regarding her 19 year old son who is named "Jeff".

Apparently Jeff is still living in his parents' home but does not have a job, has no plan to get a job, and has no plans to attend any kind of post-high school school/training program. According to his mother, "Jeff parties all night and sleeps all day so he wakes us up sometimes when he sneaks back into the house.........." She went on to say that she fears that Jeff will end up in the military fighting in Iraq but she and her husband are putting their foot down -- as of March 1st they plan to charge him "US$100 per month for rent..........."

Now that sets the story for my readers so let me offer some observations on this situation:

  • I doubt very much that Jeff turned into an unmotivated welfare recipient (his parents' "welfare" not the general taxpayer - yet -- in the last month so it begs the question, "did the parents set down some expectations for Jeff when he was 10 or 11 years old or is his just another spoiled, suburban, rich kid that I often see dominating our local mall with their credit cards.
  • Assuming Jeff graduated from high school in June 2007 he has had about 6 months to sort his life out by now. Perhaps the "monthly rent" should have started a few months ago to "inspire" Jeff to get off the couch.
  • Iraq -- does this mother think we have a military draft in the USA? I see no way Jeff would have the motivation to even meet with a military recruiter unless of course he meets one while he is out partying some night.
  • Rent -- what does $100 per month rent teach Jeff? That all he has to do is get a 20 hour per week job to allow him to pay the $100 to keep his parents off his back?

Jeff has already consumed more time on this blog than he is worth so I will simply close out this posting by stating that he (and his parents) are the reason general taxpayers are robbed of nearly 50% of our salaries to pay for the alphabet soup of government programs -- NCLB, TANF, Head Start, etc. created to counter such unproductive citizens. Sadly this mother did not include me in the conversation since I would have coached her to drive Jeff to St. Paul, Minnesota's Dorothy Day Center to have Jeff work as a volunteer at this soup kitchen/shelter for homeless people.

Nothing wrong with getting Jeff to help local citizens whose lives are much worse than his pampered life especially if such an experience helps inspire him to get a job.

Experience is a great teacher,


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