I don't think I'm intimidating...

I’ve mentioned several times that I’m an engineer. Somehow I have no problem stating that in this forum, but in some situations, either RL or random chat, people react to that as if intimidated. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my alma mater here, and I’m reluctant to do so under most circumstances for the same reason – people tend to treat me according to some preconceived stereotype or something. Similarly, I rarely volunteer what my Navy rank was when I got out. Of course, on those occasions when some braggart starts name-dropping or credential-dropping, I may play the game just to let him/her know where I come from… I’m kinda childish that way.

I don’t think I’m an intimidating person, and I don’t want to be labeled by titles or diplomas. I prefer to be judged by how well I do my job and how well I play with others. It’s not like I’m the only graduate from said university or the first or the top. And I certainly don’t consider myself to be God’s gift to engineering. I don’t think it’s false modesty – it’s really not a big deal to me.

How about you? Is it important that everyone knows you’re a graduate of University of Whatnot with a string of degrees from here to next Tuesday? Do you have subtle ways of slipping your job title into conversations (…and he said to me “I don’t care if you are the chief surgeon…”) Are your GPA or SAT scores common knowledge? And how do you react to people who ensure you know their resume? (BTW, this was triggered because I was thinking about a former coworker, an engineering graduate of WV Tech, who was embarrassed about his alma mater – so much so that he wore his father’s Univ of Florida ring.)

ICK – that last paragraph sounds snotty, and that’s not what I intended. What I wonder is how important you think credentials are after you’ve got the job/position/grant/starring role/whatever… Does there ever come a point where one is accepted for one’s track record? And how does one identify that point?

Intimidating? Me? Not bloody likely!

I never graduated, although I do have 3 associates degrees. (long story)

Nope. IRL I just tell people I’m a programmer. In fact sometimes I tell them I’m a carpenter. I don’t know what possessed me to put my real job title in my profile when I first joined the SDMB, probably feelings of inadequacy.
(I just changed it, BTW.)

Not even to me. I can’t remember.

I don’t like them. Sometimes I’ll take them down a peg, but usually I just ignore them. It isn’t worth the time.

Okay, now that I’ve impressed you with my lack of pretension, I’ll try to get serious.
I don’t think that they’re important at all. Some of the biggest poseurs and/or ignoramuses I’ve ever met had fancy titles, prestigeous degrees, high rank, etc. I try to judge people on their performance, and how well they play with the other children. I really dislike pretentious people, and hate it when I catch myself doing it. (I’m not immune.) but some people really get into it. It’s how they measure themselves against other people, and if they don’t measure up in one system, they’ll invent another system of measurement where they can score better.

The people in the trenches will figure you out pretty damn quick. Don’t worry about that. The bosses? Who knows? Sometimes they never get it.
This should put me in the running for ‘Most Incoherent Rambling Post’

I dunno, it never comes up for me. I guess it’s cause I work to live, not live to work. In other words, things like academic excellence, not to mention my job, are pretty far down in decribing my identity. However, I did have excellent grades at a top science high school and a pretty good college etc. solid SATs, Dean’s List, etc. ::shrug:: I think caring about that shit is ridiculous, actually. I’d like to think I judge people more on whether they are intellectually curious than academically sucessful. Anyone can be a good student if they care. Its not exactly rocket science (<-- joke).

Are you sure people are intimidated? Who are these people you run with that need to get into pissing contests over this stuff?? Personally (and I live in Ann Arbor where we have a plethora of engineers) I tend to think of engineers as a dorky, dull bunch generally lacking in social skills. (Q: How do tell an outgoing engineer? A: He looks at your shoes instead of his). Esp here at UM, the requirements are so tough there is virtually no time for students to be well rounded & consequently they tend to fit the bill exactly. Not to dog engineers – its just I find things like being interesting more, well, interesting than grades.

In answer to one part of your question: I find people who feel the need to make their resumes known to be straight-up lame. And I try to avoid such people at all costs.

I can’t tell if this came out sounding like a big attack on engineers. Not my intention. I’m just going kind of stream-of-consciousness here.

It’s very hard to be intimidated by someone named "FairyChatMom . . . "

I’m sort of intimidating because of my rather Mrs. Drysdale demeanor, not because of anything I’ve done or where I went to school. The upside is, I can get away with calling someone a “peasant” or an “impertinent jackanapes” and get away with it.

I don’t find people with degrees intimidating and I’ve always thought you were nice, FCM, so there! :wink:

Me? No degree. Lots of interests.

I started with Landscape Architecture, moved from there to Nursing, and now I’m considering Spanish. Sheesh! I don’t know what it is. I just get interested in something and then learn enough about it until I’m satisfied. It’s not that I can’t follow through; I can. I just choose not to waste my time on something that no longer holds an interest for me. The degree isn’t that big of deal (especially since I was coughing up the dough myself).

Now that I’m at Big State University as an employee and they’ll pay for 14 credit hours a year free, I might just find it easier to stick it out and get a degree. However, for all I know, that degree will end up being in English Literature Written by Hunched Back Females in Dorsetshire. Either that or Basketweaving.

Back when my wife & I first started dating, I was a music major. She and I disagreed about the singing ability of some amateur singers and she decided to deal with it by assuming I knew nothing about music.

It’s taken me 15 years to convince her that yes, actually, I know quite a bit about music. Being able to pick up any instrument we came across and get a basic sound and some rhythm out of it helped… she kept asking me things like, “Wow! How long did you spend learning how to play the bells?” “Actually, I’ve never played bells before…”

It hasn’t helped my musical credibility that my degree has gotten me zippity-doo-dah, seeing as I’m a computer geek by trade. Said amateur musicians get shocked to the core when they find out I’ve got a b.a. in music. Bah.

Engineers don’t impress me for the most part. I’ve worked with a lot of them, as a mechanical designer. Some are smart and some not-so-smart. I never got a degree, but I am considered pretty good at what I do. Formal education has its place, but hands-on education beats it hands-down. (God, that’s awful!) It’s how you use what you know now that’s important, not where you went to school, or what your grades were.

What I am impressed with about you is that you are a female engineer. In the field of mechanical engineering/design, there’s not too many of us. It’s a man’s world we live in! (HA!)

I’ll mention my alma mater (Penn State), but not to name drop, rather because it’s a big school with a huge alumni association and I find that a lot of people have connections to it so it often comes up. But it’s a state school so I don’t think it intimidates anyone! I generally don’t start telling people that I graduated with honors, or my GPA or my SAT or GRE scores because there really not a big part of my life. If you base your worth on silly indicators it seems to imply (to me anyway) that more important indicators are lacking. I graduated with no debts, learned a lot and found a job I love that pays fairly well. That was more important to me than saying I was an Ivy Leaguer.

When I’m presented with people who are snobs about things I don’t mind trumping them if I can. The best example I can think of off hand was when I was interviewing at UNC for grad school. The department head asked what other schools I was considering and I mentioned I was considering Penn State. He basically trashed them which I found pretty insulting considering my undergrad degree was from there. It gave me great satisfaction to look at him and quietly say “Actually, they have the top-ranked graduate program in that field.” The program (different major) I was applying to at UNC was good, but certainly not the top-ranked one.

Intelligent people don’t intimidate me–they inspire me. Arrogant and rude people are the ones that intimidate me, and those attributes are not irrevocably linked to intelligence.

Well, my hubby claims that I’m an intimidating person because of my degree and assorted accomplishments. When he pointed that out, I started watching how people reacted to me when we first met… some seem uncomfortable - I don’t know how to read that.

LOVE that joke. Actually, most of the engineers I work with are deeply disturbed, twisted, and perverted. I fit right in. Then again, we’re a hands-on organization - we crawl around on airplanes and wander around the plating tanks and generally rub elbows with artisans and mechanics. Maybe theoreticians are more nerdy.

Maybe I should change it to FairyChatBitch??

To tell you the truth, it impressed me at first. In high school, I figured I’d have a nice “girl” job like teaching… then again, that’s pretty much what girls did way back then. Later, I met some folks who challenged me to reconsider my future… so here I am.

Incoherent? I followed it. I understood. Should I be worried??