A 22-year-old student told an Atlanta radio station it’s her parents’ fault she burned through her grandparents’ $90,000 college fund in three years with trips to Europe and shopping sprees.
“Maybe they should have taught me how to budget more carefully,” a woman identified only as “Kim” told Atlanta’s The Bert Show, syndicated on 20 stations in 11 states, in a series of call-ins over the last several days.
“They never sat me down and had a real serious talk about it,” she told Bert Weiss and his two co-hosts, Jeff Dauler and Kristin Klingshirn, which allowed her to disguise her voice.
She phoned the station to chat after getting her tuition bill for $10,000 for the fall semester.
“The first payment for my senior year just arrived, and I don’t have the money, basically,” she told the radio hosts. “I’ve just been avoiding it. I knew it was coming.”
In four calls starting late last week and ending Monday, she also blamed her parents for not bailing her out.
“They said there was nothing they could do for me,” she told Weiss. “They’re not being honest with me, saying they don’t have [money] because my dad has worked for like a million years and they have a retirement account.”
When asked if she had ever considered getting a part-time job – like in the school cafeteria – she replied, “That’s embarrassing.”
And then there were her thoughts about taking out a loan.
“My parents suggested I go take out a loan at a credit union, and I’m like, ‘How am supposed do that?’ ” she added. ” ‘I have to go inside the bank and get a loan?’ ”
Kim then came back on the show Monday to say her parents agreed to co-sign a loan if she got a job.
“I know they’re trying to teach me a lesson and ‘blah blah blah’ and character building,” she told the hosts, “but, like, I hope they realize that this could have such a negative effect on my grades and as a person.”
Phone lines at the radio station have been lit up for days over the conversations with Kim, Weiss tells PEOPLE.
“Her sense of entitlement and turning up her nose at the idea of working when it was suggested she get a job in the school cafeteria because she though it would be too embarrassing, have blown people away,” he says.
“I’m shocked at the response – you never know what is going to resonate with listeners,” says Weiss.
“The millennial generation is calling in to defend themselves, saying, ‘We can’t believe she thinks she has it rough,’ ” he says. “It’s really struck a nerve. People think she’s a selfish idiot.”
“Adults are saying that she needs a reality check, and other millennials are saying, ‘Hey, we’re not all like this,’ ” says Weiss. “We had people phone in, saying they’re working two or three jobs, so don’t give them a bad rap.”
Weiss says that he and his co-hosts had a hard time not chortling at their caller’s take on reality.
“I have two kids – this is every parent’s nightmare,” he says, laughing.
“I told Kim that it was time for her to become a capable adult and human being,” he says. “She blew it. That’s obvious. Now it’s time to grow up.”