Which profession has the most / least interesting people

To make a long story short: I used to be an scientist, and I switched to medicine.

I’ve found that there is a weird discrepancy between the people with whom I interacted in my specialty in science (which I will name later, if this thread generates discussion), and the people with whom I interact now. Simply put, I know about six doctors (one on the dope) who have something interesting to say about something other than medicine, real estate or shopping. In my old field, pretty much everyone had interesting ideas to share about string theory, the Loch Ness monster, prehistoric Briton, prime numbers, the ecological distribution of restaurants, Sartre, wine…you name it.

So I ask- which profession has the most interesting people, which has the least?

Dear Mods, move this thread as you will.

The brokerage industry has dull people. I’m not that interesting and I’m a Doper.

The most uninteresting has to be Education. Damn, those people are boring! Even in their specialty areas, most are dull as dirt.

As for most interesting…well, it really depends on how you define that word. Let me think on it awhile.

You allude to scientists, and I find scientists to be extremely interesting, if eccentric and sometimes crazy people. The only other profession I have to compare to it is the service industry, and those people were an extremely diverse group.

Have you ever met a proctologist? Well, they usually have a very good sense of humor. You meet a proctologist at a party, don’t walk away. Plant yourself there, because you will hear the funniest stories you’ve ever heard. See, no one wants to admit to them that they stuck something up there. Never! It’s always an accident. Every proctologist story ends in the same way: “It was a million to one shot, Doc. Million to one.”


See, I find teachers really interesting. Sometimes not on purpose, of course, but interesting all the same.

Administrators and up are not at all interesting. They can be infuriating, of course, but not interesting. For those of you that haven’t ever taught, there is nothing quite like listening to a four-hour lecture w/powerpoint about how effective teachers never lecture. This is not hyperbole.

Moderator’s Note: This seems to be more of a poll than a debate, so off to IMHO we go.

Wait a minute…don’t docs in Canuckistan play golf?? :wink:
It wouldn’t surprise me if you do see more career obsession in medicine than most other jobs. The nature of the job rewards those who are workaholics who don’t expect or want time to cultivate outside interests.
Although I’d say that, as a group, emergency medicine docs tend to be pretty laidback and fun people (and they also have a lot of stories about “accidental” rectal foreign bodies to boot!)

Least interesting folks? Um, the time I went out with an accountant, I have to say that it turned out to be…well, about what you’d expect an outing with an accountant to be like. But I can imagine that there are accountants out there who defy the stereotype, so I am not going to malign the whole group of 'em.

In my experience:

I’ve met a lot of Eastern European political figures. My dad is friends with Martin Palous, the Czech ambassador to the UN. He is a hell of an interesting guy and has a lot of fascinating stories about the “velvet revolution,” or overthrow of the Communist government in 1989, which was actually influenced in large part - believe it or not - by punk rock. Adam Michnik visited our house in 1999 - a Polish dissident who spent years in jail, he fought against communism through his writing. Interesting stories, though he needed a translator because he didn’t speak English. I also met one of the top generals of the Indian Army - I can’t remember his name, but it was an interesting conversation. Among other things, he said that the problems between India and Pakistan are not as bad as people think. So I’d say that diplomats from exotic and faraway countries are rarely boring.

Cops, firemen, and military: usually friendly, easy to talk to and will share a lot of opinions on a lot of things, if they’re in a good mood and not tired or stressed out. I have friends in all the branches of the service - Air Force guys tend to be intellectual and driven, Marines sometimes cocky and reckless but dependable. My one friend who was in the Army had nothing but bad things to say about it, and wished he joined the Marines instead. The Navy guy I knew had the best stories by far. His tales of prostitution and other debauchery entertained me to no end.
Computer programmers: in my experience, they love to talk about computers and little else. YMMV.

Lawyers: They tend to talk mostly about cars, golf, sports or politics, but rarely have any good stories about their actual jobs. The one - ONE - exception to this rule, is a punk rock lawyer that I know who is covered in tattoos and mostly represents the punk and outlaw biker crowd. I talk to him regularly and he always has the most insane stories of unbridled criminality. He’s also insanely bitter and seems to hate the world.

High school teachers: a lot of my high school teachers were, by some coincidence, ex-military, and full of stories. Both my history teachers (European and American) were Captains in the cavalry during the first Gulf War.

Construction, road crew, traffic/street department, etc: lots of off-color banter conversations about drinking, drugs, pussy, fishing, and classic rock. A lot of raconteuring. Blue collar outdoor labor is one of the last strongholds of true storytelling.

Waitstaff (female): usually talk about trite and superficial stuff.

Waitstaff (male): will talk your goddamn ear off about their theater/music/political activism bullshit.

As a lawyer, I have to agree with you. Most of the good stories (if any) are usually subject to client confidentiality and/or have a certain “You had to be there” kind of thing about them. That said, the inside gossip, politicking and scandals in a law firm can be really juicy! Aside from that, I have met some really interesting lawyers here in the Middle East, one of whom (sitting in the office next to mine right now) is from a Pakistani feudal family (i.e. they are tribal feudal lords, or some such in northern Pakistan). That guy is full of the most interesting stories about what a few connections and the right amount of money can do for you in Pakistan!

In my other life as a trolley dolly, I found flight attendants to be great conversationalists, probably because 99.9% of them love a drink and also have great anecdotes about things that happened to them/their friend/a guy they know on a flight somewhere!

Graduates of the so called “Harvard school of business managment”, or any expert in puremanagment theory. Somehow, being educated in that sort of discipline totally eradicates the human element on people and turnes them into walking talking spreadsheets.

Had a manager once who would consult his Blackberry before he said hello to you. He litterally would stop in the middle of a meeting in which a team was gathered and say “the 15 minutes for this meeting has elapsed, we will continue it (PAUSE consult Blackberry) next tuesday at 3:15 Pm in conference room B.” It was irrelevant that time sensitive items that had to be decided before next tuesday.

What is especially frustrating is that these automatons do well, and can read the numbers to know when they have shot enough holes in the boat’s floor to know when to jump to the next job… (I raised profits by 6%… sure but 12 months later the business folded because every skilled employee quit under your managment)

Once helped one of these guys load an item into his car. I noticed a child’s car seat. I said… “Oh… you have kids?”, his answer chilled me. “That doesn’t matter… see if you can put in so that I can get the trunk shut.”


You want boring talk to engineers. Shop talk endlessly. Then .in my experience right wing politics. Encourages drinking.

Amen to engineers, and, as the old joke goes, “I are one”. They claim to value the ‘practical’, but this often becomes a justification for devaluing any subject they don’t know anything about.

I used to hang out with a bunch of actuaries due to that being the profession of my ex-girlfriend. Those were some of the weirdest people I have ever met. I think taking those crazy exams brought out the oddball in them.

Some of the most interesting people I know are Hollywood camera operators. They are insanely funny, full of stories, and just crack me the fuck up. Make-up artists, too. Seriously, if you want to know ANYTHING about ANYONE or what’s happening on the backlot? They know it, man. Hell, if you want to know the future of your show, what movie is in development, and who got a sweet deal with what agent, they’re the first to know.

Some of the most boring people I’ve come across have got to be lawyers (entertainment industry or otherwise). Holy hell.

Oh! And in the awesome people category? My military and forensics consultants. They are the bomb. :slight_smile:

Not a profession but skydivers are the totally most boring bastards on Earth,they can only talk about ONE subject,if they were being operated on to save their lives without anasthetic they would bore the surgeon operating shitless about their last incredibly uninteresting jump.

They live under the impression that they actually INVENTED parachuting.

Fuck my luck but more then a few of my mates are Fun Jumpers,but one day …oh yes …one day!

So far, interesting people are people who tell stories from personal experience, period.

What about people with opinions, observations, philosophies, passions, tastes? Are they interesting, or more likely to be showoffs and bores (ie: academics)?

Musicians tell good experience stories, but most of them are the same: a sort of psychic shrug about “that’s how people are” or “that’s how the business is.” Many involve imitating someone’s speech or accent, usually someone obnoxious. Sometimes musicians will share feelings or opinions about music they love or hate, but these too are usually expressed as simple experience.

Collectors of any variety, males anyway, are almost always uninteresting people passing on interesting information. It’s often a way of asserting status and/or one-upmanship. You can tell when you ask too many questions and you hit a wall. A good rule is that the more interesting the man, the less impressive his collection.

Physicists always seem to have passionate interests outside of their field.

As for education, I work in special ed now and my colleagues (most of whom do not work in special ed) are the most interesting group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. We’re a bit of an oddball school, though.

Ditto on actuaries being very interesting people. I don’t know why–it doesn’t seem like a particularly interesting discipline.

Linguists, on the other hand, are usually pretty boring.

I guess I’m the exception. I’m a professional computer programmer. I hate computers. I’m just very good at programming. But they’re the last thing in the world I want to talk about after work.