Tuesday, November 29, 2016


One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes:  "Don't let schooling interfere with your education."

During an interview in 1978, the person interviewing me was the Plant Superintendent. There were no females working in manufacturing management and I felt very insecure about my chances of being hired at that latge corporation although I had a good manufacturing management background.

The interviewer asked this question: "Which do you value more;  your work experience or your education?"   I paraphrased Mark Twain by saying, "I never let my schooling interfere with my education." He smiled and I assumed that he knew the original quote.

Of course, I knew nothing about the interviewer except his title; I just assumed that he was highly educated because of his position. After I was hired, he shared his background with me. He had started to work at the company during World War II when they were hiring 16-year-old guys. He had lied about his age; he was a tall, strapping lad but he was only 14; fortunately, they didn't check those things carefully then, and his mother signed the work permit. He didn't graduate from high school, let alone attend college, until he went into management.

He told me that my answer to that one question was the reason he chose me; he said, "Personnel wants me to hire all those Joe-College guys, but I want people who know HOW to work." I often thought, "What if I'd answered the other way?"

Other favorite quotes by Twain: 

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."

 "Do the right thing,  It will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

"All generalizations are false, including this one."

"Man is the only animal that blushes--or needs to."

"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience;  this is the ideal life."

"There are lies. damned lies, and statistics."

"To succeed in life you need two things:  ignorance and confidence."

"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."

"Let us endeavor, so to live that when we come to die, the undertaker will be sorry."

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