Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not so smarty pants...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

In today's pejorative I'd like to discuss the dichotomy between education and intelligence.

Saw this on Facebook the other day, and it got me thinking of all the highly educated dumb asses I have known in my life...

Just because they were able to me memorize some information just long enough to pass a test, doesn't mean they are smart.

Now let me start by saying, I don't think I'm all that smart...slightly above average at best. I am however cursed with at least a modicum of common sense.
That, and a decent vocabulary.
Neither of which, you may have noticed...are all that "common" these days.

As an example:

I was working for GM at the Pontiac Assembly plant, we built Pickup trucks.
GM had instituted a program whereby Engineers would spend time in Assembly plants in supervisory positions. To see just how what they do, affects changes on the plant floor and the assembly process.

I was working on the "Final" line, which is where the vehicle is almost "done" and ready to roll off the line.

We had an "Engineering program" boss named Kevin.
Mid-thirties with a double major in engineering and mathematics, so one would assume an intelligent guy.
And he may have been, however analytical thinking was definitely not his strong suit.

One day we had a truck come down the line, it was a manual transmission truck but somehow the cab had an automatic transmission carpet installed. What that means to you laymen is that there was no hole for the gear shift lever. So, when the guy who's job it was to do so couldn't complete his job, he called the supervisor over.

Kevin nearly lost his mind!
Now this is not a tough fix...but not one we do on the fly, on the line.
Yet Kevin was freaking out...
I was working the next job up the line so had a front row seat for the meltdown.
I asked what the problem was, and when he explained what was wrong I was a little confused why this was causing the level of panic exhibited. So I prompted him to continue with an unconcerned:

"Uh huh..."

"Well I know they can fix it in repair..." He replied snippily, like I just called him stupid.
"But we can't get it off the line TO repair!"

"Why not?" I asked, honestly puzzled. Was there something else wrong he hadn't told me?

"Obviously," he said, in full condescension mode
"because we have no way to put it in gear!!!"

After all, I'm just a stupid line double major here!

"Use the pusher" I said ( the pusher is a battery powered devise we use to move a truck that won't start. You put the truck in neutral and push it with the "pusher". Takes two people, but clears the line.)

"It's not an automatic, we can't put it in neutral" he said, as if I'd just confirmed my ignorance to him.

"You don't need to put it in neutral, it's a manual transmission... push in the clutch, start it up so you have power steering and breaks and use the "pusher" to get it off the line." 

Still looking at me like I'm a bug in his presence, he opened his mouth to say something...and I could see the tumblers falling into place.

He closed his mouth, spun on his heel and stomped away...upset at being taken back to school! Lol

What kills me, is the automatic assumption by those college educated...that because I am not, they have encountered an inferior intellect. 

Do not assume I in any way mean ALL those college educated.

But if you've ever told someone:
"Let me explain it so you can understand it..."
Then yeah, I'm talking about you!

When I worked for Perry Drugs, as a Semi driver. We were expanding rapidly, acquiring stores all over the state. My boss Harold was setting up routes and delivery times. He was explaining one of his newest creations to a group of us, step by step...when I noticed a glaring error in his plan.
I held up my hand for acknowledgement and said:

"Um excuse me Harold, but I don't think..."

"You don't get paid to think," he cut me off "you're a strong back, you let the strong mind do the thinking!"

Well Alrighty Then...

I made him pay for that statement, over and over and over again.

And every time I broke it off in his ass, I reminded him of that conversation. But those are stories for another day.

Be Well!

Beastly Bear


  1. Oooo he got schooled! I know exactly what you mean and I despise people like that. There is nothing that makes me madder than someone who looks their nose down on me like I am lower than low because I didn't graduate college and they did...or I don't live in the mansion on the hill like they do. I think that attitude is encouraged in colleges. They drill into the people that attend that when they graduate the world will be their oyster. Then they graduate and they realize like this asshat you described that all the folks in the real world were getting PAID and WORKING while they studied their text books and happily took grades instead of money. There is no text book that can teach as well as actually getting your hands dirty doing it how things work and how to solve problems in the real world. Probably why doctors have to do residencies before they become real doctors. They have to learn how to deal with real life...and nothing can teach that except well real life. Great post Joe! ♥

    1. I remember back when I first started driving I met this kid at a store that kept making "just a truck driver" comments. I asked him what he was going to school to be. He said a CPA, and he'd be starting at $21,000 a year. I thought a minute, allowed that was pretty good...but I made $37,000 last year and I don't have any student loans to pay back! That shut him up! Lol

  2. So what was the glaring error that you got to rub in Harold's face?

    1. Hard to explain if you're unfamiliar with the area. Let's just say he had allowed 20 min. travel time across a major metropolitan area at RUSH HOUR!!! His route and timing were impossible given the time slotted.

  3. I can honestly say that I was asked more times than I can count, "What are you doing here? You don't belong in a place like this." Due strictly to the way people perceive me. Out in the real world there was no cussing, at least not where the masses could hear. It was top notch professionalism, a sense of confidence, I suppose, an imaginary tiara sitting upright on top of my pointy head but mainly it was just common sense that was viewed as a "schooled" intelligence. Once and only once was I talked down to and in the end he ate it.. That will be another blog post for me.. ;)

    1. It's generally Bosses in the workplace, everyone else says "gee, I don't know...let's ask Joe".
      Outside of work, people generally make the opposite assumption. Asking where'd you go to school? Or when I tell them I work for GM, "Oh, you're an Engineer?"
      Which is kind of insulting considering most of the engineers I've met! Lol.