It was after dinner on Wednesday evening. I was in the office working on my blog. My girlfriend, Joanne, was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher. (I wasn’t entirely sure how the household chores always seemed to land on her plate, but I wasn’t one to question the status quo.)
As I typed, the phone rang. Joanne answered it from the other room.
A couple of moments later, she called “Hey, Peter! It’s for you.”
“Ah, man.” I trudged to the kitchen. Joanne was standing with her hand covering the receiver.
“It’s some lady,” Joanne said. “She said she works for the campus magazine at the college you attended. She mentioned something about writing an article and wanting to interview you.”
I frowned. “Really?”
Joanne shrugged and handed me the cordless phone.
I put the receiver to my ear. “Hello?”
“Hi, Peter. My name’s Kylie. I’m a master’s student and a writer for the campus magazine. I’ve been asked to do a promotional article for the journalism school to publish in our next issue. You’re a graduate, correct?”
“I am,” I said.
“Well, we’re reaching out to former students to request interviews,” Kylie said. “We’re specifically looking for success stories, to sell prospective students on the value that a journalism degree can offer.”
“Oh,” I said. “That’s, um … yeah.”
“Your name was on my list of recent graduates, so I wanted to give you a call,” Kylie said. “Tell me, what success have you achieved since graduation? What doors has a journalism degree unlocked for you? Would you recommend pursuing a college degree to students who right now are graduating high school?”
“Well,” I said, running a hand through my hair, “after graduation, I was unemployed for two months as I looked for a job in my field. But because none existed — as the newspaper industry has pretty much imploded — I accepted a minimum-wage job as a lawn-cutter with a local landscaping service. And because I can’t seem to find a higher-paying job with my worthless degree, I’ve been working there ever since.”
I held the phone closer to my ear. “Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?”
Finally, I clicked it off and set it in its cradle.
“That was weird,” I said, looking at Joanne and shrugging. “There was nothing but a dial tone. We must have gotten disconnected.”