Learned Helplessness Continues

So the student I’m trying to give money to failed to enter his information into the system.

I found somebody to do an override and enter it for him, so OK.

Then I email him to ask for his mailing address to mail a check. A money check. With money. I’m trying to give money to him, right?

He responds with “my address is 19 Willow Street.” That’s it. No city, no state, no zip code. There’s a million of these little towns here and across the river in Missouri. How many of them have a Willow Street, in your estimation?

This is an adult. And he’s not familiar with the concept of a mailing address. I couldn’t wrangle a zip code out of him for a week. It’s OK, I got it from the Registrar, I’m not helpless at least.

But people keep saying, “let 16-year-olds vote.” I don’t think they have any idea what they are dealing with here.

This is why I’m saying just cancel school. They teach absolutely nothing at that school, so who cares?

12 thoughts on “Learned Helplessness Continues

  1. He must lead a sheltered life. Doesn’t seem too worldly (at least not to the casual observer).
    One question: What are his parents teaching him, and how much are they teaching him?


  2. Why did you make all this effort instead of leaving him w/o money as long as he didn’t provide this zip code? It is a sincere question since you’ve always said it’s not your job to mother adults and solve their personal problems.


    1. Because I do want to give him the money. I ended up finding his mailing address for him. It does exist.

      I come across this helplessness in colleagues and students daily. Apparently, people think it’s cute.

      IT’S NOT CUTE.


  3. 1) Lazy looks the same as overwhelmed.
    2) Do people that young even use the post office? Or take their paychecks to the bank instead of having direct deposit?
    I think the last time I used a stamp to mail a letter was months ago and it was because an online portal was down and the phone line wasn’t working. I sent the letter in October and got a letter two months later and an actual response in February.
    I’m sure Google Maps autofills with a likely location, and people stop paying attention to the rest of the address after that. LMAO.


    1. Wait…he might not even have a proper bank account. Or a mailing address he could reasonably expect to be at three weeks from now. I don’t know the student, of course.


      1. So what does a normal adult person do in this situation? I’d expect him to explain the situation and ask for a remedy, don’t you think? Because if I don’t know about the difficulty, I can’t address it, can I?


    2. “last time I used a stamp to mail a letter was months ago”

      It sounds to me like a combination of changing mores (due to technology) and either being overwhelmed.

      If this guy is the first in his family to go to college he might literally be that clueless about what is going on and his family won’t be able to help if they want to.

      A darker suspicion might be that he’s afraid of the money (as in being unexpectedly asked to return it later when he can’t – that’s a real thing fear that some poor people have) or he’s afraid that someone else in his environment will get it and use it for drugs or worse….


      1. You say tomato, I say tomahto. Overwhelmed, lazy, infantile, same difference from your end. 🙂

        It’s not your issue if he makes it hard for you to give him money, of course. [I can’t stand that in people or entities I do business with.]

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is why I’ve had my kids sending letters, and addressing them, since they could write. I make sure to have them write their grandparents and great-aunts and uncles as often as possible, because they nearly always write back. Reinforcement! The kids LOVE getting mail. And they absolutely know what a complete mailing address is, without it ever being a chore. They know they’ve graduated to “big kid” when they can address the envelope themselves, and are very proud of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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