74-year old Ruth Parker has responded to the question often asked by new acquaintances, “what do you do?” with “well, I just finished my master’s” for 49 consecutive years.
After completing a Master’s degree in architecture in 1968, Parker was hopeful that she would get a job “pretty soon”.
“I got good grades and this one tutor one time even said that my work reminded them of who was it…Frank Lloyd Wright…I think, and I was like, wow, shucks, I’m humbled. So I felt really confident leaving university that I would be able to find a job.”
Unfortunately for Parker, she soon found herself rejected from every architecture firm in town.
“I can’t even get a non-architecture job! I tried to apply at the cafe across the street and they said do I have barista experience and I said no, but I just finished my Master’s? The same thing happened at the pet store, and the supermarket, and KFC. They all think I’ll leave the second a job in my relevant field comes up, which is true, but still.”