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If you have a senior job, do you assume that someone in a poorly paid job is less intelligent than you?

(99 Posts)
angelos02 Fri 31-Jan-14 10:38:50

I used to have a very well paid role but it made me anxious and I could never switch off. As DH earns good money we can afford for me to do a basic office job and I earn a little over the minimum wage but it suits me as I am emotionally much happier.

I just find that some people at work often speak to me as though I am less bright than them and I find it frustrating.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 31-Jan-14 10:42:24

No, absolutely not. Though a certain person above me is widely held to be thick as pig shit with half the charm.

CinnabarRed Fri 31-Jan-14 10:49:03


I do assume that they have less money than I do, so try to be sensitive around things like Secret Santa.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Rollermum Fri 31-Jan-14 10:49:32

Not at all! But I think some people do - particularly of they haven't had a range of different life experiences / jobs at different grades themselves.

Gryffindor Fri 31-Jan-14 10:50:29

Absolutely not.

Kerosene Fri 31-Jan-14 10:50:53

Nope. Not everyone wants to climb the ziggurat, many people know that they're brilliant in their current role, but don't have the skills/inclination to take on a "higher" job. Some people are new to the job market, or have other priorities.

Some people in senior roles are as thick as shit and half as useful. Some managers have the social intelligence of a dead jellyfish, and some are so insecure in their own position that they have to try and make themselves feel better by putting other people down. Whether that's done consciously or subconsciously, it's still a bad reflection on them and sod all to do with your intelligence, skill, or current employment position.

Littlegreyauditor Fri 31-Jan-14 10:53:19

No, I assume that for whatever reason they either did not have the same opportunities as me or the job they are in suits their personal situation.

I think that circumstance and opportunity have as much influence as intellect.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Fri 31-Jan-14 10:54:20

I have what might be thought of as a 'clever' job.

I make absolutely no assumptions about other people's intelligence at all. I've some very engaging conversations with people working on checkouts. And some very dull ones with people in so called senior roles.

DuckworthLewis Fri 31-Jan-14 10:55:34

What rollermum said.

I've done it myself though, (many moons ago, I hasten to add). I dragged my heels about hiring a part time admin assistant on the grounds that anyone who would work in that capacity must be incapable of doing anything else.

Had to eat my words when I hired a former big 4 accountant who just wanted to keep her brain ticking over while she was a SAHM.

I'm going to whisper this, but she was of substantially higher callibre that me, and did the job waaay better than I could have blush.

Ubik1 Fri 31-Jan-14 10:56:08

Oh yes I think people do this even if they think they don't.

I remember being asked to make some toast at work (nightshift) and one of the senior nurses instructing me on how to make toast "first wash your hands, then..."(I am nearly 40, a mother of three, 2 degrees and capable of making toast)

You just have to suck it up, I'm afraid.

DuckworthLewis Fri 31-Jan-14 10:58:15

I also think that before you/those around you have DCs, and you are completely focussed on your career, it is difficult to imagine that there are others with different priorities.

givemeaclue Fri 31-Jan-14 10:59:48

Definitely not. I know many people who are highly intelligent but don't want a job with a lot of responsibility, or long hours or stress. Actually in my last job the 'brightest' people were the night security guards. They were PhD students from overseas, they could study whilst doing their night time security work so the job suited them.

It must be frustrating though if people do talk down to bloody annoying...

lifestory Fri 31-Jan-14 11:04:51

haha, the same as people with money, they think they have brains as big as their wallets! never judge a book by it's cover.
big fish in small ponds springs to mind.
if a "senior" colleague behaves in a "superior" way to you, just inwardly chuckle, be happy for who you are.
I ran a business for decades employing many staff, most of my clients, thought I was the paid help, and "sucked up" to the managers, inward chuckle coming!

purplebaubles Fri 31-Jan-14 11:05:00

I had a career break which turned into a career change. In the interim period, I worked as a toilet cleaner, a bar worker and I also stacked shelves in a supermarket.

I was constantly spoken down to as though I was thick. Worse, quite a few customers would comment along the lines of, 'Why don't you get yourself a proper job, you seem quite bright' etc etc.

I learnt a lot about people during this time! I'm now in a new career, but earning a fraction of what I used to. Frustratingly, my bosses are patronising and do talk down to me (not just me, other people too). I just have to suck it up sadly! Nod and smile etc etc.

kilmuir Fri 31-Jan-14 11:06:38

Tends to be true

LEMmingaround Fri 31-Jan-14 11:07:19

I have a PhD, after my degree, i worked as a vet nurse assistant general dogs body The only people who treated me like i was less intelligent were a couple of the nurses who were training and finding it hard to pass their exams - i guess it made them feel better about themseleves.

I was also treated as less than clever by some customers when i returned after a long break - i needed to ask the vet about some new flea products that i hadn't had time to look up yet. The customer said "oh, don't worry dear, i know having a baby break addles your brain sometimes" the vet put her promptly in her place and said "LEM is actually the most highly qualified person in this practice and got a PhD while she was on her baby break" I could have kissed him, the woman didn't know where to look. Yes i was only working on reception, yes i wasn't up to speed on the latest products, i could have bullshit on and read the box to her to answer her questions, but i used my brains and asked someone who had experience of the product.

In general, most, but certainly not all! people in senior roles are pretty clever (although you do have to wonder about some people) and treat people according to the interactions they have with them. I can get on with anyone, I have professors, teachers, scientists, technicians, cleaners and care assistants in my circle of friends - The cleverest ones aren't necessarily the ones you would imagine.

sparechange Fri 31-Jan-14 11:08:12

No, not at all.
My assistant has a better degree, from a better university and could easily do more senior roles.
But she doesn't want the pressure or stress and her salary is fine for her lifestyle

Horses for courses...

No I don't. A lot of well paid jobs rely on your ability to cope with stress, to make difficult decisions etc. rather than raw intelligence. There are many reasons why someone might be working in a role that does not utilise their full potential - lack of opportunities when they were young, family duties, health issues etc.

Anyone a good friend of mine had part time job on the supermarket checkouts whilst studying for her PhD.

Anyone - thanks phone

Theknacktoflying Fri 31-Jan-14 11:13:36

I don't know if it is less intelligent, but I have had people give me 'solutions' that are just so outrageous ...

'What does your nanny do?
Why doesn't his secretary do it for him

nicename Fri 31-Jan-14 11:15:35

Some people are like that.

In our office we are all 'downsized' part time ex-high-flying-falutin' types. We find it amusing when someone marches in and treats us like 'girlies'. We do. Sometimes whinge 'when I ran a department and has a £1m budget...' But then we don't have the crippling stress, sleepless nights and anxieties.

QueenofallIsee Fri 31-Jan-14 11:15:42

Certainly not - the most intelligent person I know is a waitress. I would hope to never be that person regardless of my profession. Most of us are just 1 redundancy away from taking any job you can get in my opinion

angelos02 Fri 31-Jan-14 11:17:31

Thank you for your responses.

Laurel1979 Fri 31-Jan-14 11:18:59

I certainly don't - there are all sorts of reasons why people are in poorly paid/less demanding jobs. I remember well the summer I spent working as a cleaner in a GP surgery when I was a medical student, about 12 years ago. The doctors were lovely to me but basically the receptionists treated me like shit, ordering me around and demanding I do things. Needless to say they were more pleasant when I returned last year as their locum GP for a week!

Ubik1 Fri 31-Jan-14 11:19:38

you are completely focussed on your career, it is difficult to imagine that there are others with different priorities.

Oh yes definitely

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