First Corinthians Dead has trouble finding a job other than a maid because she was always expected to marry a wealthy doctor, lawyer, etc. She finds that many men do not sympathize with her and cannot identify with her middle-class lifestyle. She is almost "over-educated," and waited too long into her life to do anything with her degree:
Unfit for any work other than the making of red velvet roses, she had a hard time finding employment befitting her degree. The three years she had spent in college, a junior year in France, and being the granddaughter of the eminent Dr. Foster should have culminated in something more elegant than the two uniforms that hung on Miss Graham's basement door (187-188).
Although First Corinthians is educated and nice looking, she came off as a bit aloof to potential suitors. Some men were turned off by her high level of education. Morrison also mentions that First Corinthians suffered from depression and lacked a degree of ambition. Racial oppression and attitudes toward women in the workplace also contributed to her inability to find work other than being a maid for Miss Graham.