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For crying out loud, I'm not snobby! Or am I?!

(565 Posts)
NoBreakNoProblem Thu 14-Dec-17 10:13:05

I moved to this area a year or so ago to be closer to work. It's a predominantly a working-class neighbourhood (nothing against the working class, BTW, my parents were ones - it's just a description). Except I tried so many times to be friends with the neighbours and other parents at my child's school. Everything goes perfectly fine and pleasant until they learn about what I did for living.

It usually goes like that: what do you do? Ah, well...I'm an academic researcher/university lecturer. Then, almost every time, a deafening silence follows! Almost always, they try to avoid speaking with me afterwards. Some even stopped saying 'hi' - including the parents of my child's best friends (they came to my house a couple of times before).

For the love of God, I'm not the 'elitist' snob they think I am. Take for example this, the other day the plumber came to fix something in our house. We were chatting and having a laugh for nearly an hour. As soon as he learned what I did, his attitude changed completely and started to stonewall me by being 'too formal'. It's either they don't understand what I do, hence the silence, or think I'm that educated snob similar to those posh snobs who have driven the country's working-class into the gutter. Then again, why the stonewalling and the avoidance? I don't really speak philosophy or political science to them.

I never ever experienced this before - until I moved into this area.

Please tell me what's going on?!

[Message edited by MNHQ]

Chaosofcalm Thu 14-Dec-17 10:14:37

Maybe they just don’t know how to continue the conversation. Do you initiate conversations yourself and ask questions?

chiaseeddisapointmentagain Thu 14-Dec-17 10:16:18


NoBreakNoProblem Thu 14-Dec-17 10:17:32


Yes, I do actually. I always initiate. I'm fully aware there's perhaps a knowledge gap, but I never shove terms or big pretentious stuff into their faces.

GeekyWombat Thu 14-Dec-17 10:18:20


SpartonDregs Thu 14-Dec-17 10:19:07

nothing against the working class, BTW, my parents were ones

Ha ha - no nothing against the working classes at all!

Perhaps just say you are in teaching or research, if you still want the lower orders to talk to you.

curryforbreakfast Thu 14-Dec-17 10:20:09

I've never found the same. Maybe its just you?

LilQueenie Thu 14-Dec-17 10:20:30

knowledge gap? really. and you wonder why people are avoiding you.

Neverender Thu 14-Dec-17 10:20:31

I've never had this, had dinner the other day with a load of Mum's and they're registrars/journalists/lawyers. They're all really interesting and we had a great are you wording it? Can people understand what you do? The silence may just be that they don't know what you're on about?

Ski4130 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:21:05

Try saying you work at a university instead, or that you're a teacher. If you don't want to 'dumb down' what you do, carry on the way you are and accept that some people will act strangely around you (I have no idea why to be honest, it's not something I've ever come across)

QuiteLikely5 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:21:50

I doubt it’s your job putting people off and if you are so clued up on things and believe it is then why on earth do you bother persistently telling people ?

hellsbellsmelons Thu 14-Dec-17 10:23:31

Just simplify it.
I do a bit of research and teach occasionally.
Leave it at that.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 14-Dec-17 10:23:55

If this is happening at every turn, there must be another problem. I don't think anybody would feel so inferior to someone with what is essentially a standard job that they couldn't bring themselves to be normal around them confused.

Working class people, and those living in poor areas, don't only know people in working class jobs grin

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:24:04


Just say that you do research and teach at the local uni

i was talking to the painter who was doing our hall last week and he used to lecture at the local university

NerrSnerr Thu 14-Dec-17 10:24:54

There’s got to be more to this surely? I mix with people with all sorts of jobs and no one shuns anyone. How are you wording it? I have a very long job title but if people ask me I just say ‘nurse’ because no one cares about the ins and outs that much.

LemonysSnicket Thu 14-Dec-17 10:25:01

Is it a smallish town/ city?

Somewhere like Lancaster is very townies vs uni - see the uni as bringing the traffic, the hordes of students thinking they’re better than the townies, the vomiting drunken undergrads etc.

It’s an Us vs them mentality in towns like that.

Otherwise, you’re not going into detail are you? Just say ‘I’m a lecturer at the uni’ rather than a researcher.

Sanshin Thu 14-Dec-17 10:25:24

Just tell them you work at the university. Maybe they just assume they won't have anything in common with you once they realise.

Creambun2 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:25:27

So you think working class people could not understand philosophy or politics? Bet you come across as arrogant and talk down to people you think are less educated than you.

Eltonjohnssyrup Thu 14-Dec-17 10:25:44

I'm that educated snob similar to those posh snobs who have driven the country's working-class into the gutter.

I think there's your answer right there. And yes you are a snob. Firstly the working classes are not 'in the gutter' as you like to think. And secondly, even before I read that line I had a pretty good idea why and that confirmed it. They think (probably correctly) that you're a patronising left wing middle class bien pensant who would sneer at their political views and write them off as a gutter dwelling uneducated rabble not worth dealing with if you knew what they really thought.

rozes Thu 14-Dec-17 10:26:05

I’m an accountant and I also get the deafening silence when I say what I am. But then I remember it’s probably because it sounds utterly dull. So I follow it up with something like it’s as exciting as it sounds and that usually breaks the ice... not sure it’s got anything to do with ‘class’ strange presumption to make?

Blackteadrinker77 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:26:20

I've never had a problem.

But then I am not the type to describe people or areas by their "Class" either.

ILikeyourHairyHands Thu 14-Dec-17 10:26:27

Do you actually say, 'I'm an academic researcher and university lecturer'? Because it does sound a tad pompous if you do.

Simply 'I'm an academic' would probably get a better response.

AuntLydia Thu 14-Dec-17 10:27:02

Sounds a very strange phenomenon. I live in a working class area and have never experienced anything like that. What are you researching - some kind of dodgy subject like eugenics?! Or are you the locals will understand you?!

Gilead Thu 14-Dec-17 10:27:11

Never had a problem...

ILikeyourHairyHands Thu 14-Dec-17 10:27:12

Or what Elton said.

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