THINKING OUT LOUD - She's smarter than she thought. He's not

A woman in my department at work has decided to make a radical change in her employment situation. She is going to leave the comfort of her salaried position to work independently as a business consultant.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

A woman in my department at work has decided to make a radical change in her employment situation.

She is going to leave the comfort of her salaried position to work independently as a business consultant.

For a single mom with two elementary school age children, you can imagine that this decision will have tremendous ramifications in almost every aspect of her life.

For instance, she now has to find customers for her new business and then please them with her work.

She has to hope that those new-found customers actually pay her as they promised.

She must find and fund health insurance to cover herself and her children.

She has to pay estimated taxes and more FICA and all the other bookkeeping stuff that goes along with being in business for oneself.

She will have no more company-paid vacations, retirement plan or worker's compensation. If she does not secure adequate disability insurance, any number of life's surprises could almost instantly put her on Welfare.

She is, in short, abandoning the most fundamental source of security in her life.

That spirit, of course, is what made this country great. So, on several levels, I am filled with admiration.

But it is also very scary stuff.

That is why I was surprised by the conversation we had the other day about this life-altering decision.

Yes, we chatted for a while about how things would be different for her. But she seemed completely comfortable walking away from the security our parents had taught us to covet.

And almost immediately she changed the subject to what she REALLY wanted to talk about.

"Have you seen those online IQ tests?" she asked.

Yes, I said, I have seen them.

"Well, I took one," she continued.

"And guess what!" she practically shouted.

"I'm SMART!"

It makes me smile even as I peck out the words on this keyboard. She was so excited.

And I have thought a lot about it since. I mean, really; we have two topics to chat about in our phone conversation. One: the abandoning of almost all known sources of security in this woman's life. And two: a goofy Internet IQ test.

So which one has her adrenaline through the roof? The IQ test. Wow.

But here's my conclusion. She has already made the decision to change her work situation. She is confident it will work out. So why talk about all the potential negatives.

But learning that she has an intelligent quotient substantially higher than other people did for her one of the best things that can happen to anyone it raised her self-esteem.

And of all the ways to have your self-esteem raised, finding out that you are smarter than most people is profound. It makes you feel as if you can do almost anything.

So I was very happy for her.

Naturally, of course, she asked if I had ever taken one of those online IQ tests.

I told her I had and that I thought my score was pretty good, as well.

Of course I was not as elated about my number as she was about hers.

And that's because the test proved something you have probably known about me for a long time.

I'm not as smart as I think I am.