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Posts Tagged ‘pain-in-the-ass’

I dated this guy in grad school.  Let’s call him Jon the Pervert.  That’s what all my friends would call him to distinguish him from Jon the Douche who was an uber-smooth HBS grad and Married John who was… well… married.   

Jon the Pervert got his name after I found out that for the 6 months that we were together he had been trawling for sex on Craigslist.  Something to the tune of “I have seats in such-and-such section for the playoffs.  I want a girl with DD breasts to go with me.  Send pictures.”  You can’t make shit like this up.  It’s no wonder his lab work wasn’t going anywhere.

One thing that absolutely drove me crazy was that Jon the Pervert was always talking about money.  Money he spent on rent, money he could save by moving somewhere else, his graduate student stipend, money he paid for a bottle of wine, money he was expecting from a tax refund.  Money money money.  We were students, living on $1500/month stipend, more than half of which went to rent.  I was also constantly stressed about money.  It was poverty-level, but doable.  It meant that I didn’t go out to eat often.  It meant that I didn’t spend my spare time shopping.  It meant that I didn’t go on vacation or travel.  But whenever Jon the Pervert would talk about money, I never knew what to say.  It felt so awkward.   

Jon the Pervert and I parted ways shortly before graduation.  He kept trawling Craigslist for sex and I got a real job.  And eventually came to enjoy having a real salary, eating out most of the week, setting off on a frivolous weekend trip, never thinking twice about a shoe purchase.

Now that I’m about to pay a 30K EUR tuition installment, I’m once again feeling the stress of being a broke-ass student.  While I could just rack up the loans, I’m nervous about not being able to pay them back.  Just like in grad school, the prospect of looking for a job in a recession is daunting.  There are July 08 grads still looking for jobs!  

I did lots of frustrated window shopping this weekend.  Sometimes there’s an entire season where I just hate all the styles.  Last fall had very little to offer and I was happy to shop for home decor at Scandinavian design stores.  To my chagrin, this season, I am drooling over all the t-strap shoes, the short jackets with balloon sleeves, the skinny belts, the jersey dresses a la Dior.  [Sigh]

Not talking about money with INSEAD students has proven difficult.  There’s visa fees totalling 200 USD, there’s housing deposits of one months rent, there’s the business foundations at 1500 EUR course (that Columbia offers for free), there’s 200+ EUR fee to take the test to prove you can habla Español or spreche Deutsch or govorit’ po Russki, and 500 EUR per term of language tuition should your Español not be convincing enough.  It’s quite easy to join in the collective bitching and moaning about the fleecing.  And there’s something of a bonding exercise to it.  Maybe Jon the Pervert was just trying to bond with me over the shared stress of being near-broke.  And being brought up not to talk about money I didn’t give him the satisfaction, so he turned to Craigslist.  Maybe he wasn’t looking for DD breasts, but for someone who would hear him out about his finances.

Maybe instead of the ropes course and trust falls and egg drops during orientation, we can all just sit in a room and talk about who got what interest rate or who made the mistake of converting money to Euro too early.

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Really?

A conversation I just had at the French consulate when trying to get my visa for January.  

-You are too early.  It would be better for me if you came back in late November or early December.  

-Sorry?  What do you mean it would be better for you?  Can you not do it today for some procedural reason?

-It would be better for me.  I cannot do it now.  Please come back.  

-Uhh… but my friend in DC got her visa for January back in like July.

-That is impossible.

WHAT. THE. SHIT.

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