People Need to be Helped

Molly Moungbein rising senior at Muddlesberg High has finally brought forth the topic that her father was longing to hear: her career goal.

“Dad, I have thought and thought and thought, and I know what I want to be. I want to be an influencer!”

Her nonplussed father can only blurt out, “Influencer? What is that? Never heard of the profession. You mean a lobbyist … the folks mostly buzzing around in Washington, D.C. who are paid zillions to influence lawmakers and policymakers.”

“Seriously, Dad, you don’t know what is an influencer? Seriously! I mean they are all over and you never knew what are influencers.

“OK, let me give you an example of how influencers work. Let us take tea… tea is not simple … it has millions of questions. And there are millions looking for answers. Let me give you a short scenario. Someone is facing the question of serving tea or coffee … finally she checks with an influencer and learns that she should be serving tea. But this opens another Pandora’s box, like which tea. And you know there are a zillion brands and flavors and methods of preparation. I can go on and on sharing all the nuances.

“You know, I can dropout of high school and launch my career. But a high school dropout will not look too cool. So I was thinking, I should follow the Bill Gates route … like I be a Harvard dropout and launch my career.”

Privy to her academic accomplishment, and of course his own finances, he rolls his eyes, and asks, “Harvard or whatever is fine if you get a full-ride scholarship.”

Before her father could proceed, Molly interjected, “But I want you to help me like Jared Kushner’s father helped him to go Crimson! OK …”

“But he must have had the Harvard grades and of course father Charles being rich funded it all,” her father said.

“No, no, Dad. Jared didn’t need the grades! His dad just pledged $2.5 million and Harvard welcomed him, red carpet and all. His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. And the donation was completely tax-deductible.

The university woos its biggest givers and most promising prospects by putting them on its Committee on University Resources and invites them to campus periodically to be wined, dined, and listen to lectures by eminent professors. Charles Kushner was also on this committee.

“Do you know what being mentioned a Harvard-dropout has and is doing for Bill Gates?”

“Dad, Even if you look at the money; a lot is to be made. Adweek says the influencer market is now worth an estimated $2 billion and is expected to reach $10 billion by 2020 … i mean ten b-i-l-l-i-o-n.

“Like this Fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein of “WeWoreWhat,” is constantly updating her Instagram feed for her 1.7 million followers, although she gets paid to post content given by designers and brands. She dropped out of the Fashion Institute of Technology and in 2017, she made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.”

The exasperated father blurted finally, “So you want to go to Harvard and dropout so you can become a human billboard! And Jared went to Harvard more than twenty years ago. Now the price must be much higher. And I am no Charles Kushner. He spent time after he pleaded guilty in 2004 to tax violations, illegal campaign donations, and retaliating against a witness. He could afford it; I can’t. Molly, you better find something constructive to do with your life.”

The persistent Molly, added, “Dad, you know, like there are serious problems on earth! There are concerns like about what nail color to wear when you are having mauve M&Ms. This is serious! The wrong choice may lead to problems like emotional distress, which may end up in a suicide or a mass shooting at a school or a dance festival.

“Dad, people need to be helped.”

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