The public sometimes stereotypes vertebrate paleontologists as being even-tempered, and perhaps light on personality. But it ain’t necessarily so, according to this item in the Kynligr Vegr blog:
Sometimes, vertebrate paleontologists can be arrogant pricks. I don’t really understand why. We don’t really do anything worthy of having an inflated ego. We spend ridiculous amounts of time focused on materials that, in all honesty, probably less that 1% of the world actually could give a shit about. We’re professional athletes sans the salary, exceptionally talented at skills useful only in our tiny sphere of influence. So when paleontologists treat guests to their museum poorly because of personal grudges or arrogance, it is really stupid and juvenile. While visiting one of the museums here in Taiwan, I was essentially blown off by a prominent paleontologist because, from what I understand, I was visiting with researchers who are not “big enough” in the business. While this treatment really didn’t concern me, it has upset my hosts, who believe I was offended. On the contrary, I knew this individual was an asshole before he even opened his mouth; his dress, his appearance, his posture exuded elitist prick, and I don’t care if he didn’t greet me warmly.