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Friday, December 15 Living

Professions where psychopaths may be lurking

Psychopath:

Egocentric. Manipulative. Shallow. Uncaring. Lacking guilt. Impulsive. Antisocial. Coldhearted.

But enough about your boss.

Instead, let's talk about what your boss is on track to becoming someday.

That’s right, a CEO.

And do you know which profession tends to have the most psychopaths?

Personally, I would have guessed telemarketer, but the winner is, yes, CEO.

In his book, “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success,” psychologist Kevin Dutton compiled a list of the 10 professions with the most psychopaths.

Finishing second to CEO, and you have to figure the difference is razor thin, is lawyer.

Which, of course, calls for a lawyer joke:

An engineer, a physicist, and a lawyer are being interviewed for the position of CEO of a large corporation. During his interview, the engineer is asked, “How much is two and two?’ After making several calculations, the engineer replies, “Four.” The physicist is asked the same question, and after doing extensive research, he also replies, “Four.” When the lawyer is asked, he pauses, draws the shades, locks the door, moves his chair closer to the interviewer, and answers, “How much do you want it to be?”

Coming in third on the psycho list are TV and radio media people. You know, the bubbly radio personality, the warm and smiling anchor? It might be best if these people were not allowed to own chainsaws.

Salesperson occupies the fourth spot. This is understandable given that it takes a poorly wired individual to look you straight in the eye and tell you you are not too old to wear leather pants.

That person standing over you wearing a mask and holding the sharp instrument, the surgeon, he ranks fifth. What is interesting, is that other doctors make the list of professionals with the least psychopathic personalities.

Following surgeons are members of another profession also known for occasionally slicing and dicing. I am referring to journalists. Given that I have first hand experience in this realm, let me just say that the term journalist paints with too broad a brush. Editor would be much more accurate.

Police officers occupy the No. 7 spot, which is not surprising. If you have ever looked into the eyes of a police officer while you are explaining why you were driving 20 mph over the limit, you have seen that there is no compassion there.

Speaking of compassion, clergyperson occupies the eighth spot on the list. Sorry, but you can’t blame this one on nuns.

If you have ever watched any of the cooking shows on television it is no doubt clear to you why chef is on this list. Their placement should also serve as a reminder that it is never a good idea to send anything back to the kitchen.

Last but not least is civil servant. The only difference between a civil servant and an axe murder is that a bureaucrat prefers to nitpick rather than hack you to death.

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The professions with the fewest psychopaths include the following:

Care aide, nurse, therapist, craftsperson, beautician/ stylist, charity worker, teacher, creative artist, doctor and accountant.

While I generally agree with this assessment, I do so with a few exceptions, believing the following do harbor some psychopathic tendencies:

Teacher: I don’t want to taint all teachers, here, but my wife was a teacher and I’m pretty sure that if she had had me as a student she would have killed me.

Therapist: I think some of you are psychopaths. How does that make you feel? Let’s explore that.

Beautician/stylist: Is there a better word to describe my hair style other than psychopathic?

Jim Shea is a lifelong Connecticut resident and journalist who believes the keys to life include the avoidance of physical labor and I-95. He can be reached at jimboshea@gmail.com and on Twitter @jimboshea.

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