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Thread: Why join Mensa?

  1. #21
    Aquaria mrcockburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I've hit this sort of thing where I was refused a job because I was "overqualified." But that just taught me to aim higher. Eventually I aimed high enough and found a boss who didn't mind stocking his department with high-paid geniuses.
    But at that point, Mensa won't be enough, because EVERYONE will be Mensa material. You'll have to join the Prometheus Society. Moving target!
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcockburn View Post
    I actually had a bad experience at the only event I attended there (I joined for the discounts, which YES...outweighed the costs of membership). So for a while, I was convinced that Mensans were rude and unfriendly. That was probably more the area the chapter was located than Mensa itself though.

    No one there was even my age. It was totally awkward and I felt like I was intruding.
    I kind of wondered. When I get a lot of pushback from someone, it often turns out that they have some prior personal experience with Mensa.

    Yeah, the smaller chapters are often ossified and inbred, ruled by greyhairs who have run it one way forever and don't want anyone to challenge them. I was turned off by my first (and second) exposure to Mensa myself. I investigated a chapter in Honolulu and later one in Phoenix and had bad experiences with both. It was like going to a family barbecue with a bunch of cranky grandparents and elderly aunts and uncles. It was only when I was in DC that I found a chapter big enough and active enough that it was worth joining. (And of course I myself was older by then.)

    FWIW, the big chapters are making a real effort to reach out to younger people. The greyhairs aren’t going to last forever. The DC chapter has active Generation X and Gen Y SIGs (Special Interest Groups), and the leader (LocSec) of the DC chapter is himself a Gen X-er.

    So if you’re younger, then yeah--it may be imperative to seek out one of the bigger chapters or head out to the bigger events: RGs and AGs. The smaller chapters can be a little scary: The people in the small chapters just don’t realize how old and out-of-touch they’ve become.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcockburn View Post
    But at that point, Mensa won't be enough, because EVERYONE will be Mensa material. You'll have to join the Prometheus Society. Moving target!
    Naw, the more the merrier! I wish they would allow in the top 5% instead of just the top 2%. Bigger parties!

  4. #24
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    From what I've seen, it would be very risky to put Mensa on your resume in engineering, at least in southern California. The work culture here is very political, and a lot of bosses feel threatened by people who are smarter than themselves. Anyone who starts getting recognition for being too smart had better have some amazing social skills to make up for it. Once you stand out as being smart, the insecure people will try to prove you're not so smart after all. And it's very easy for a boss to set an underling up to fail.

    Maybe that's just a negative perception on my part.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    From what I've seen, it would be very risky to put Mensa on your resume in engineering, at least in southern California. The work culture here is very political, and a lot of bosses feel threatened by people who are smarter than themselves. Anyone who starts getting recognition for being too smart had better have some amazing social skills to make up for it. Once you stand out as being smart, the insecure people will try to prove you're not so smart after all. And it's very easy for a boss to set an underling up to fail.

    Maybe that's just a negative perception on my part.
    Maybe. But in the case you describe, the problem is bigger than whether or not to put a Mensa reference on the resume. The problem then becomes: Would a Mensan want to work in an environment where he has to play dumb just to keep his job? If an insecure boss literally doesn't like intelligent people, then it's probably going to be a "hostile environment" for a Mensan even if he hides his Mensa membership.

    Also, what about scholastic honors and titles? Do they hate people who graduated good schools with honors?

  6. #26
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Maybe. But in the case you describe, the problem is bigger than whether or not to put a Mensa reference on the resume. The problem then becomes: Would a Mensan want to work in an environment where he has to play dumb just to keep his job? If an insecure boss literally doesn't like intelligent people, then it's probably going to be a "hostile environment" for a Mensan even if he hides the affiliation.
    I think it's a problem in this area of the world. It's disgustingly political here. Even happened at a company that had the smartest people I've ever worked with. Mainly because of one manager, though. Everyone else there was pretty awesome.

    Then again, maybe Mensa on a resume would screen out the employers like that. I suspect it would be hard to find a company around here where not a single person would be like that, though.

    PS - Not to imply I'm super brilliant or anything, only that the workplace is very political here, and insecure people can get away with a lot of crap because of it. So advertising something like Mensa on your resume might cause big political problems in some places.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    I think it's a problem in this area of the world. It's disgustingly political here. Even happened at a company that had the smartest people I've ever worked with. Mainly because of one manager, though. Everyone else there was pretty awesome.

    Then again, maybe Mensa on a resume would screen out the employers like that. I suspect it would be hard to find a company around here where not a single person would be like that, though.

    PS - Not to imply I'm super brilliant or anything, only that the workplace is very political here, and insecure people can get away with a lot of crap because of it.
    Well, you know the subejct matter (Engineering in SoCal) better than me.

    FWIW, it sounds as though one mainly needs to get one’s foot in the door (get hired), and then it’s just office politics as usual after that. I’ve been in anti-intellectual environments before: I spent seven years in the Marine Corps, and it was often smart not to act too smart around one’s immediate boss. At the time I just wrote it off as another form of office politics.

    But then, that’s probably what you meant when you said that intelligent people had better “have some amazing social skills to make up for it.”

    Anyway, the point being: Yeah, being too smart can be a liability in some environments. But everyone has their problems. Office politics and kissing the boss's ass is pretty much universal. Even smart people have to suck it up and play those games at times.

  8. #28
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Well, you know the subejct matter (Engineering in SoCal) better than me.

    FWIW, it sounds as though one mainly needs to get one’s foot in the door (get hired), and then it’s just office politics as usual after that. I’ve been in anti-intellectual environments before: I spent seven years in the Marine Corps, and it was often smart not to act too smart around one’s immediate boss. At the time I just wrote it off as another form of office politics.

    But then, that’s probably what you meant when you said that intelligent people had better “have some amazing social skills to make up for it.”

    Anyway, the point being: Yeah, being too smart can be a liability in some environments. But everyone has their problems. Office politics and kissing the boss's ass is pretty much universal. Even smart people have to suck it up and play those games at times.
    That's true. I just hate that BS, that's all. Engineering is not supposed to be anti-intellectual, wtf!

    By "amazing social skills", I was maintaining the hope <insert praying smilie> that there are other strategies, beyond acting dumb or sucking up, that I haven't figured out yet.


  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcheerio View Post
    That's true. I just hate that BS, that's all. Engineering is not supposed to be anti-intellectual, wtf!

    By "amazing social skills", I was maintaining the hope <insert praying smilie> that there are other strategies, beyond acting dumb or sucking up, that I haven't figured out yet.

    Lol! Yeah, they use buzzwords like "empowering the employees" and encouraging initiative. But god forbid any of the employees should ever have an independent thought of their own...

  10. #30
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Lol! Yeah, they use buzzwords like "empowering the employees" and encouraging initiative. But god forbid any of the employees should ever have an independent thought of their own...
    God forbid!


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