This entry originally appeared on my disability blog, I hate stairs.
That’s right, my friends. Matt got a job. And while finding any job in this economy is honorable, I find Matt’s efforts in seeking employment to be vastly unequal with the corresponding reward born of those efforts. Is there an explanation for this? Yes, there is now.
You see, looking at Matt’s life from the perspective of an outsider, one might be tempted to believe that Matt, having a severe disability, has managed to break through the glass ceiling and, by virtue of his unwavering determination or perhaps by his rabid stubbornness, has done what a large percentage of people with disabilities have yet been able to do—get a job.
But I’m not an outsider. I have the scoop on the strange course of events that led to Matt’s recent hiring at Mississippi State University as a Spanish lecturer. And I am about to reveal to you how my own suffering led to Matt’s good fortune.
In my brief, nine-month stint as a sixth grade student at Whitten Middle School in south Jackson, I had but one friend. The janitor. This man most likely did more work than he was being paid for, had a better attitude than many folks making more than him, and, most importantly, was willing to do a job that no one else at the school was willing to do—assist me with using the restroom. Though this was enough to let me physically survive the school year, the conglomeration of all the other terrible aspects of that year left my parents with little choice but to invest more dough into my education by sending me to private school.
As I had paved the way, Matt was soon to follow. In his fifth grade year, he began his journey to fame and fortune as a lowly newcomer to the fledgling south Jackson private school, Southwest Academy. There he began to work his way upwards through the ranks of academia. The school was very small and very poor, and eventually would close down due to successive drops in enrollment. But not before Matt exploited it for everything it was worth.
Journalism was Matt’s first love (technically second; the first was… well, you know who you are). In his senior year at Southwest Academy, he was chosen to be Editor-in-Chief of the school’s newest publication (my superior publication, the KBG Times, had since been retired). He worked extremely hard doing approximately nothing to publish the entire two issues of the paper that were designed and printed by a teacher at the school. Yet, Matt had another resume booster as Editor-in-Chief of SWA Today.
That overstated accomplishment would serve him well in his college career. That’s right, he managed to get accepted into college by scoring a 32 of the possible 36 on the ACT. However, the validity of that score is widely disputed.1 Nonetheless, his eventual start at Mississippi State’s student newspaper, The Reflector, ushered in a new age of prosperity that Matt had not seen since his SWA Today glory days.
Matt called on a political favor to get the job of opinion writer for The Reflector. His column, Gray Matters, became an immediate hit and amassed a cult following.2 When the paper’s Opinion Editor was ready to move on just months later, Matt was interviewed for the job. I use the term interview loosely, because as Matt recounted to me the experience, there seemed to be much more compliments than questions. On the perceived strength of his SWA Today experience, he was given the Opinion Editor position and made him self the arbiter (read: suppressor) of truth for two years.
His experience as Opinion Editor led him to an internship at local NBC affiliate, WLBT. His general slackery and dismal job performance3 there was heralded as a fantastic experience and inspirational accomplishment.
After graduating with a double-major BA degree in Journalism and Spanish, Matt joined the Spanish graduate program. During this time he became increasingly snobbish, often showing out his fellow students and brown-nosing his professors. His manipulation paid off when he was accepted to be a Teacher’s Assistant and was given the responsibility of teaching Spanish labs. His performance was at best lackluster and at worst rude and demeaning. He naively thought his pupils should participate in class and even (gasp!) do homework. These poor Spanish students were subjected to all sorts of cruel teaching methods such as two-minute speeches and one-page essays. Oh, the horror.
Matt graduated in May 2011 with an MA in Spanish. Needing not even apply for a job, the MSU Department of Foreign Languages called upon him out of the blue with a job offer. No, not an interview. An offer. Fittingly, the Spanish dictator in training is now among the ranks of the establishment committing all sorts of atrocities as a Spanish lecturer—-and being paid for it.4
As I have made painstakingly clear, my suffering as a child at Whitten Middle School directly corresponds to Matt’s unearned ascension to power. Had he truly overcome his disability and rightfully merited his place among the American workforce, I would have applauded him. But as you now know, it was greed and corruption that were the catalysts of his prosperity. The once lowly fifth grader at a now-defunct school became a monster charged with the task of educating the next generation of workers and leaders. What a cruel world this can be.
Obviously he cheated, right? ↩
Laz and I, and apparently some pretty hot girls that he would never introduce me to. ↩
Need I mention the “Didn’t Hear His Name Called” fiasco? Or how about the “Get Burt Case to Wrap” incident? ↩
At least enough to be a middleman of the nationwide conspiracy to distribute wealth to apartment property owners. But that’s another article for another time. ↩