I'm a mathematician by trade. As you can imagine, I'm not the most socially limber person to begin with. But, let me tell you, the rest of you aren't making it any easier on me. Every time I tell someone what I do... Every time... I get one of the following three responses:
1 - "Oh, I always hated math."
That's pretty much then end of the that conversation. In this person's mind the synapses have shot off 'Math is bad' , 'This guy does math' thus 'This guy is bad'. Now, I don't want you to think I'm picking on people that don't like math. Quite the contrary. If everyone wanted to talk about math, I might just go shoot myself in the head. But, why tell me that. Do hear someone is from Nebraska and say, "Oh, I drove through there, what an empty wasteland of despair."
2 - "I took math up through _blank_ , is that what you do?"
*Blink* *Blink* Yes, Bob. I specialize in memorizing big ass times tables. And again, whatever math you've done in your life is wonderful. I just don't give shit. Much like you don't give a shit that I got a C- in high school chemistry. Even if you're a chemist. Maybe if I'm mixing explosive chemicals in your basement, you care. But, by the time I've started experimenting with nitroglycerin in your basement, it doesn't matter. Your pretty well fucked.
3- "So am I. We should stay together for protection."
This really isn't a math thing per-say, as much as human thing. We, as humans, like to form clicks. We'll clump together based solely on the fact that we use the same toothpaste.
Just once I'd like to tell someone I'm a mathematician and get a response like,
-"Like that guy who sees imaginary people."
-"Man, God really kicked you in the co-jones on that one."
Any of those would be spectacular.
P.S. - Man, none of that was what I sat down to write.