Thursday, September 3, 2015

Should be the final link ever. There's no topping it. Sent in by, like, everyone. Tara Monroe. Of course her fucking name is Tara.


  1. “This is the best way I could have gotten my 15 minutes of fame,” she said. “Basically, it was the best decision I’ve made in college, yet…”

    Yup. We're done. Or maybe just done with Texas...

    1. We're done. My reaction, exactly, upon encountering that part of the article.

  2. If you click through, there are pictures, marvelous pictures. Is this a tie-in to an earlier post?

  3. That's the mic drop. 10 years and things are worse. Fucking college.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Too many typos above. And I haven't been drinking (though I am middle-aged and sleep-deprived, which may be a functional equivalent).

    There are a couple of bright spots:

    --"Her father drove to San Marcos from Kingwood, her hometown, to strip her of her vehicle, leaving her with a bike to get around." I was afraid that that sentence was going to end with "to bring her Barbie Jeep so she could still get around," but no -- her father reacted appropriately to the situation, leaving her with an adequate but not particularly exciting/attention-getting means of transport; she obtained the jeep on her own.

    --Her solution does show some ingenuity, and she seems to have some ability to laugh at herself (counterbalanced by an apparent love of being the center of attention/ordering her friends around).

    --at least she's not a "Barbie girl" who says "math is hard" (industrial engineering major who has made it to junior year, so apparently she started with some brains, and has made some use of them in between pickling sessions).

    Apparently I've decided to be Pollyanna today. Or maybe when one either has to laugh or weep, it's easier to laugh. For whatever reason, though I'm decidedly put off by her diva qualities, I find myself liking this student a lot more than the ones who have been hanging the "drop your daughter off here" signs over assorted bits of the higher ed landscape. As juvenile rebellions against authority go, this one is decidedly preferable, at least to my mind.

    Also, it will be interesting to see how this affects her employment chances. In some ways, she's acting very much like "one of the boys," which might help her get along in a still male-dominated profession, but I also suspect there's something of a double standard. She'll probably still exceed my salary, if not at graduation (which is entirely possible), then certainly within 3-5 years

    1. On the other hand, I can't help remembering a student of mine a few years ago who returned from Iraq, learned that his fiancee had been waiting until he got back to break up with him, reacted by drinking too much and driving afterward (fortunately without hurting himself or anyone else), and spent the rest of the fall semester traveling several miles on his bike to get to my 7:30 a.m. class. He was also (finally) diagnosed with PTSD 2/3 of the way through the semester, and grabbed the chance for inpatient detox when a slot opened up with a few weeks left in the class. He took a grade of incomplete, and made it up later. He was pretty out of it for much of the semester, and didn't turn in the best work I ever saw even at the end, but he passed, and I still thought he set a pretty high bar for others just by continuing to put one foot/pedal in front of the other. There's something to be said for military training/experience, though the cost can be quite high.

  6. Now that this is all over the Internet, can you imagine ANYONE hiring this FOOL to do any kind of JOB that involves real RESPONSIBILITY? I hope she enjoys those 15 minutes, they go by SO fast.

    1. On the other hand, it's a sad state of affairs when one cannot even ride a Barbie Jeep as a very young adult, almost a teenager, without getting blacklisted by the Man.

    2. I wouldn't worry so much about the responsibility part: she showed a certain amount of ingenuity and initiative (albeit in the service of her own comfort and convenience, and I'm not sure she spec'd those paramaters very well. In purely practical terms, the money would probably have been better spent on any accoutrements that were lacking to allow her bike to carry her, and any necessary loads, safely at all times of day in all weathers). I don't know why I find myself sympathizing with her on some level, but I'm guessing that she's considerably more embarrassed/ashamed by the DUI than she's letting on, and the Barbie jeep is the equivalent of a cat's "I meant to do that!" expression as it tumbles off some high place it didn't quite manage to jump to. I tend toward a much more low-key, stoic, try-to-disappear strategy at such moments myself, but I can still recognize hers as a resilient approach, and one that involves taking responsibility for reconfigurinng the situation in a way she can tolerate, logistically and emotionally, rather than whining for others to do so. Those actually strike me as good characteristics in a potential employee.

      That said, there are still some red flags. The first is the drinking, or, more precisely, that she made at least one very bad, potentially dangerous, decision while drinking. Will it be a wake-up call, or is it a signal that drinking has enough of a hold on her that she's beginning to make decisions that are potentially destructive to herself or others? As a potential employer, I might want to see a few DUI-free years after she gets her license back as evidence for the former.

      There are also the diva/narcissistic/attention-seeking qualities. She sounds high-maintenance, and not like much of a team player -- not the ideal entry-level employee at all. She might actually make a good CEO eventually, but she has to get there somehow. Maybe she's destined for entrepreneurship?

      It's also worth noting that the attention-seeking qualities are precisely what have turned this DUI arrest into a potential career- (or at least first job-) killer. I'm sure that plenty of bros with engineering majors on her campus are doing equally stupid stuff while drunk, and will still get perfectly good jobs, even if they have to "check the box" and own up to a DUI (or drug possession, or whatever) arrest. But the barbie-mobile has gotten her all over the internet, under her own name, and *that* will be a problem come job-seeking time.

      So I guess I'm kinda with Monica on this one. That said, I suspect that Ms. Monroe would be better off inventing something cool and putting up a kickstarter page than seeking a traditional job (though if Daddy has connections, the latter might still work. Come to think of it, that's probably how the bros do it, too.)

    3. "The Man" is a strange character to invoke, when what's being discussed is a college student riding around in a car designed for quite young children, particularly when the whole situation arose because of the inability to meet the adult responsibility not to drink and drive.

    4. Yeah, Monica, the issue is not the Barbie jeep, it's the DUI that is now spectacularly public information.

      The father's response is most refreshing. Instead of trying to helicopter-parent his daughter out of trouble, he does exactly the right thing: removes her car and replaces it with a non-motorized, but perfectly functional, means of transportation. Good for him.

    5. Even if it's not just because the Barbie Jeep, it looks that way, and it's totally ridiculous and something even a dictator wouldn't dream of doing. If indeed she will be denied opportunities such as jobs, it will look like it happened because of the Barbie Jeep. But then, she may not even know it, as people are sneaky about such things. In the Land of the Free, there is freedom of speech but decisions are made behind closed doors to deny opportunities to people disliked by the powers that be.

    6. from Reg W.

      If you follow the story at all, she's getting a blast out of her notoriety; that plus the visual is enough for me.

    7. Well, Monica, I had a good laugh with your wry first comment, but with your most recent one, 'head-scratching confusion' would be a better descriptor. I'm pretty the sure "the powers that be" wouldn't take time out of their busy schedules to make sure Barbie Jeep Girl is kept down in the gutter.
      Invoking dictatorial rule? Wha? Shit, it's such a small step now, why don't you go that final step and invoke the man himself?
      "This girl is suffering a punishment not even a dictator (i.e. HITLER! HITLER! HITLER!) would have imposed!!"

    8. Yes, I too was very amused at the comment that included "it's a sad state of affairs when one cannot even ..." I happened upon that comment when randomly scrolling, before I'd even read the original post or clicked to the linked article, so I my first impression was out of context. That line has been the setup for many a good (and often irreverent) punchline, and I initially took it as such, but when I saw the picture featuring young Tara in her "sweet ride", I figured there'd be more to it.

      By the way, the video on the linked mysanantonio page currently begins with an advertisement, "Tara was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was eight months pregnant." Different Tara, but still...

      A parent who denies their child the privilege of using one of the parent's possessions, after the child has demonstrated gross irresponsibility in use of said object, is a far cry from The Man. An employer who denies an applicant the privilege of being hired at their company, after the applicant has demonstrated gross irresponsibility in choices the applicant themselves made public, is a far cry from The Man or a dictator.

      Cassandra already explained it thus: "She sounds high-maintenance, and not like much of a team player -- not the ideal entry-level employee at all." "It's also worth noting that the attention-seeking qualities are precisely what have turned this DUI arrest into a potential career- (or at least first job-) killer." Penny hit another nail on the head: "the issue is not the Barbie jeep, it's the DUI that is now spectacularly public information."

      There is freedom of speech, but not freedom from consequences of one's speech. People are judged all the time for how they choose to exercise their freedom of speech, for in those choices is opportunity for others to gaze partway into a person's soul.

      Tara would have done well to exercise her right to remain silent about the DUI, or at least to manage her "confession" better. In addition to showing zero shame for the DUI, she sneers at the bike her father gave* her. At this stage in her life, she is apparently a narcissistic, over-sharing time bomb who could not be trusted to not divulge something inappropriate to a client or competitor. This severely limits the number of positions she could be placed into. Furthermore, she will likely complain about workplace conditions that are more than reasonable, and fail to place her mistakes in proper context such that she could learn from them. Employers would have no trouble reaching such conclusions independently, with no need for collusion or conspiracy.

      * Gift horse, much? Although the article states only that her father left her with the bike, her behavior towards it is not of one who bought it with cash earned or graciously received as a gift. No, Daddy bought her that bike, like he bought her the car that she drunk-drove in.

    9. Where does the article say that the bike was indeed a new bike bought by the father, and with his own money? Maybe he just left her with her old bike. She could have had the bike with her on campus for some reason (maybe to ride for fun once in a while). However, since she had a car, she may have left her bike at her parents' place.

      Because it is hard to learn how to ride a bike as an adult, it is, in fact, quite likely that she had some previous biking experience. It wouldn't have been safe if she had zero experience and then her father just gave her a bike, even if he did try to show her the basics. If that's what happened, refusing this solution would make perfect sense. That doesn't prove that she still had an old bike somewhere, but it makes it a serious possibility.

    10. Maybe it was Hitler's old bike, and so she refused to be associated with it on general principles. If that's what happened, refusing this solution would also make perfect sense.

    11. We just don't know how and when the father obtained the bike. I wouldn't automatically assume that he really bought it recently, and at his own expense.

    12. The circumstances of the bike acquisition are immaterial to how Barbie Jeep Girl has dug herself a massive PR-hole, but I'm willing to concede it is NOT Hitler's old bike. It could have belonged to Mussolini, or Franco, or maybe the bike has a provenance closer to home, having been a home to the tush of Batista, Somoza or Noriega.

    13. Clearly, the provenance of the bike is the key issue here, not at all a red herring. Let's stipulate that Daddy is one of any of a number of dictators from Hitler through Hussein and beyond, who bought a vintage bike when he was but a wee bairn, and has garage-kept it in pristine condition for lo these many years, eagerly awaiting the day when he could pass it on to his devoted daughter. But Tara ain't having none of that shit, because riding a bike around campus, like, really sucks.

      You want to know what really sucks? Driving a full-sized car on campus. The damn pedestrians are very hard on the exhaust system, which is one of the weaker points of the undercarriage. A true dictator's daughter deserves no less than an armored Humvee, or better still a tank.

    14. But it's not her father's actions that are "something even a dictator wouldn't dream of doing". I was referring to any decision-makers, especially employers, who may deny her some opportunity such as a job because of this.

      Think of the following imaginary dialogue. One manager asks another: "Why didn't you hire that candidate?" "Because she used to drive a Barbie Jeep", says the other.

      That's the kind of decision I was talking about.

    15. ...who bought a vintage bike when he was but a wee bairn*

      *with someone else's money.

      Seems like she's OK job-wise in three states: ".....only Hawaii, Kansas, New York and Wisconsin apply these regulations to private employers as well."

    16. But it's not her actions and motivations about which "employers would have no trouble reaching such conclusions independently, with no need for collusion or conspiracy," as I wrote on September 6, 2015 at 9:16 AM. I was referring to the bike, especially a vintage Schwinn Sting-Ray, with a slung back banana seat and chopper handlebars, that the employers would focus on in determining her suitability as an employee.

      Consider this imaginary dialogue. One manager asks another: "Why didn't you hire that candidate?" "Well, see, she had this bike, and..." says the other.

      But it goes on.

      "A bike you say? What kind?"
      "A Schwinn Sting-Ray."
      "Cool! I had one when I was a kid!"
      "Me too!"
      "Was it a 5-speed?"
      "Yeah! With the stick shift on the top bar of the frame!"
      "They'd discontinued the stick when I got mine. Mine had a lever that you worked with your right thumb."
      "Ooh, memories. That stick could be rather, uh, problematic, if you slid forward off the seat too fast."
      "So, anyway, she had a Sting-Ray, too?"
      "Yeah, but she said--get this--she said 'Riding it around campus really sucks.' "
      "No! I would kill to get my old Sting-Ray back!"
      "I know, right? And the interview went downhill from there."
      "Well, then, I'm glad you didn't hire her. She's not one of us. 'Riding it around campus really sucks.' Sheesh. Kids these days."
      "Preaching to the choir, pastor. Preaching to the choir."

      That's the kind of bike I was talking about.


  8. I'll just say it: Hate the DUI, love the solution. She's having a good time and laughing at herself. Nothing wrong with that.

    1. I think she may, in fact, be trying to express in a subdued and funny way her anger at being robbed of what she came to see as her property, or the right to use said property. If her father really owned the car but gave it to her on a permanent or long-term basis, the right of usage, at the very least, if not even the car itself was basically a gift. Yet, if her father retained the title, he remained the true legal owner and had the right to claim his own property.

      Doing so is not theft, but it feels that way. While perfectly legal, it's just wrong. It's like giving a Christmas gift to a minor child only to take it away and sell it or return it to the store soon after. Because they paid, or because they have the right to manage their child's property, the parents can do that, but it's just wrong. I can see how this young woman may feel wronged in a somewhat similar manner.

      Granted, this happened for a reason, but since her licence suspension is only temporary, it may have been better if her father tried to help her develop healthier and more legal driving habits instead of just removing the car. This only delays the issue, since she'll probably get a real car some day even without her father's help. Instead, he simply made sure that if she has an accident, it won't be while driving his car.

    2. Maybe whichever one of them was paying the insurance premiums can't afford the increase.

      Maybe he thought both the car and his daughter would be safer if the temptation to drive with a suspended license -- and possibly while drunk, again -- was removed.

      Maybe, just maybe, he's horrified by the thought that his daughter could have killed herself, or someone else.

      I agree with the general principle that parents should avoid throwing the power they derive from paying for things their adult children want or need around, but situations where the adult child is a danger to self or others are one of the exceptions that prove the rule. Let's just hope that some other parent didn't give a less-than-careful driver an SUV so big that the driver can't spot a Barbie Jeep immediately behind him/her (and the driver of said Barbie jeep isn't too distracted, or drunk, to notice the SUV backing up). That scenario could get messy.

    3. Cassandra's absolutely right, of course. A dangerous situation trumps any supposed notion of "fairness." If a small child gets hold of something potentially harmful, or is playing with a legitimate toy in a potentially harmful way (e.g., throwing blocks around the room), the responsible parent doesn't hesitate to take away the misused object, to be returned only when the child is ready to use it properly. Likewise, if an adult citizen misuses driving privileges by driving drunk, the responsible society withdraws permission to drive for a certain period of time, hoping that the citizen will use that time to wise up. And in this particular case, the parent is reinforcing the government's withdrawal of driving privileges by also withdrawing the vehicle. The fact that the perpetrator is unhappy about it doesn't negate the responsibility of the authorities (whether parent or government) to prevent harm.

      As Monica says, the daughter might have come to feel that she had some sort of right to the use of the car, but it cannot possibly have come as a surprise to her that she could lose her license if she drove it while impaired.


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