Does Your Job Define Your Intelligence?

October 19, 2013

To a large degree, we are judged by a combination of things that, individually, would mean nothing at all. Where a person works would not necessarily be a measure of one’s intelligence although it might be a measure of one’s ambition.

Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn’t have made a connection between one’s work environment being equal to one’s intelligence, but the other day, I must confess, that’s exactly what I did.

I was having my groceries rung up at the cash register and the cashier asked me how many bottles of water I had. I told him that I had seven bottles and expected him to enter the price multiplied by seven. He didn’t do that. Instead, I watched him ring up each bottle separately.

Upon leaving the store, my friend said he couldn’t believe that the cashier didn’t enter the price of water times seven and I said, “If he had better thinking skills, he wouldn’t be working here; he’d be in a higher paying job somewhere else.”

My friend brought up the fact that with so many unemployed college graduates looking for work, employers are able to hire them at minimum wage, to which I replied, “I didn’t see any of their employees who sounded like they had a four-year college degree.”

When I got home, I got to thinking about our conversation and wondered why I had jumped to that conclusion even though, from our experience in that store, the facts supported my opinion.

I hadn’t come across any of their employees who had critical thinking skills in all the years I had been shopping there and most of them couldn’t figure out the price of one item if the sale item said there were three for the sale price.

If one apple was listed at seven cents and the sale price was three apples for twenty-five cents, their salespeople couldn’t figure out that the “sale price” of three apples for twenty-five cents, was more than the regular price of seven cents apiece.

While there are always exceptions to any rule, I keep running into classes of people being attracted to the same kinds of things, jobs, being one of them. My conclusion is that we do measure people’s intelligence by the kinds of jobs they hold, especially if those jobs are held for long periods of time.

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