Your education taxes at work

Posted on June 1, 2010


I'm going to be a customs officer when I grow up!

This is a conversation Joe’s girlfriend had yesterday when she attempted to board her flight back to the States after a few days in Toronto. She is a Canadian citizen of Persian descent (looks Greek), presently working with a major American medical corporation as director of oncology.

We’ll call her Assieh.

Her protagonist is an American customs officer, whom I’ll call GotAStandardPublicEducation.

It’s not a common name, I’ll allow. Still, it’s better than my other option: GetAFuckingDictionaryMoron.

Anyhow, the conversation:

GotAStandardPublicEducation: “It says here that your job title is Director of Oncology.”

Assieh: “That’s right.”

GotAStandardPublicEducation: “But in your job description it says that you research and write about cancer.”

Assieh: “That’s right.”

GotAStandardPublicEducation: “So why isn’t the word ‘cancer’ in your job title?”

Assieh: “Well, that’s what ‘oncology’ is. It’s the study of cancer.”

GotAStandardPublicEducation: “But it doesn’t say ‘cancer’ in your job title.”

Assieh: “?”

GotAStandardPublicEducation: “And there’s no mention of ‘oncology’ in your job description.”

Assieh: “But — they mean. I mean, they mean the same thing.”

GotAStandardPublicEducation: “I’m sorry, but we can’t let you board the flight.”

And so they didn’t.

And that’s the story of how a simple, but honest, product of public education came to stand between the United States of America and a dangerous Director of Oncology trying to slip into the country with a glaring inconsistency between her job title and description.

I think we can all feel proud.