I’m sure I could assert “there is a book written for every topic under the sun,” without fear of contradiction. Why not? There are as many books written as there are people on the planet. Even so, the range of subjects can surprise me.
Browsing through my latest copy of Town&Country, for example, I discovered that a clinical psychologist has written a book on how to enroll a toddler into a prestigious private school: Coping with Preschool Panic by Michelle Nitka. (“Manners & Misdemeanors” by Christine Lennon, Town&Country, 3/13 pg. 98)
For some parents getting their off-spring admitted to the “right” school is as important as surviving a Wall Street crash, except the former is more difficult. What’s at stake is mastering the arcane skill of offering a bribe without being seen to offer a bribe.
The first step is to let the preferred school know you have pots of money. You never admit this openly, of course. That would be gauche. Instead, you telegraph the information through an intermediary — preferably someone who has enrolled their Ashley, or Tiffany or Buffy into the school by giving money under the table.
Next comes the parent interview. During this face-to-face, the director of the institution will mention the need for a new library wing or to fix a leak in the gymnasium roof. By no means should the parent of a prospective enrollee offer a solution at this time. That would be bribery. The proper protocol is to enlist the aid of the intermediary again. At the proper moment, he or she will let it drop that you have a passion for library wings or leaky roofs. Once the message is conveyed, a letter arrives to welcomes little Heathcliff or Snively or Humperdink 111 to the school. So simple. So above board.
Nitka’s book is full of tidbits about private school enrollment. Unfortunately, the idea that left the greatest impression on me was one she probably never meant to convey. A person can buy just about anything under the sun except character.
(Courtesy of Yahoo.com)