Wednesday, August 10, 2005

More professional mixups

I posted a while ago about some of the interesting responses from people when they are introduced to anthropologists.

Commenters are having a riot on this post at Cosmic Variance and this one at Brian Weatherson's site. The topic? Strangers' responses when they meet physicists and philosophers, respectively.

This one by a commenter named 'Barry' is a jem:

Five or so years ago I was on a panel of prospective jurors being questioned by an attorney for the defendant:

Attorney: What is your profession?

Me: I am a philosopher

Attorney: Philosophy? Is that a "helping profession"

Me: Its more like a helpless profession

Judge (laughing): This is no place for jokes..your out.

My all time favourite story, however, was from Alex Tabarrok. The conversation is between Tabarrok and his masseuse:

"Has anyone told you that you are great today? I can tell that you have a lot of loving energy. You're a very giving person."

"Wow," I replied, "no one has ever said that. I'm an economist."

"Oh," she replied, pausing slightly, "I guess I was wrong."


  1. Anonymous said...

    I wonder if you have had any such encounters yourself! ;)

    I once met a chap at a social function. He turned out to an HR Manager and led an astounding assault against software programmers. I just agreed with him, as little that he said was wrong anyway. Just had the presence of mind to not tell him my true profession!

  2. Abi said...

    Well, Kiran, I studied metallurgy, so the story I recounted at the beginning of this post made an impression on me.