Friday, 16 July 2010

Fodder for July

I was getting really worried that I wouldn't find anything during this month to which I could point a literary finger at and laugh. Thank-fully, I had a very harrowing experience last night just, in time for your reading pleasure.

Since returning from England, I've been job hunting; agonizing over resumes and cover letters, letters of intent and letters of recommendation. I've sat countless hours in front of the computer filling out online teaching applications in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and even Nebraska. Extreme effort with zero response. In desperation, I thought, "Hey, why not branch out and apply for a position in, say, an office?" I found the online job center for USAA and filled out yet another cyber application. Yesterday, I got an e-mail from them requesting I do an online (of course) assessment. I was informed that I would need to set aside 2 hours of uninterrupted time to complete both tests. Since Dan is in Canada for a wedding (Congrats Paul and Stephanie!), I thought it best to wait for the children to go to bed before delving into them.

The first test was easy-peasy. It consisted of questions like, "Of the following three descriptors, which one best characterizes you: Loyal, Convicted Killer, Hateful Shrew." Hey, I know how this game is played, I picked the one that THEY wanted me choose, not the one I ACTUALLY am. * I trotted breezily through that little quiz without incident. However... why is there always a "however"? I think life would be better served if there weren't quiet so many of them, don't you?

ANYway, as I was attempting to say before the innane, rhetorical questions, the second test was a she-bear. The instructions stated I could use a calculator, but I didn't have one. And the one on the computer was not accessible while taking the test. So there I was, armed with a paper and pen facing questions like,
"If Project A takes 27.25 weeks to complete and
Project B takes 3.50 weeks to complete,
Project C takes 2/3 the time of Project A and
Project D takes 1.5 times of Project C.
How long will it take to complete all 4 projects?"

If that's not enough to rattle this stay-at-home-mom's brain, the masochists at Human Resources decided that 3 minutes is all anyone needs to read and answer such straight forward questions. Needless to say, there might be several questions whose answers may not be entirely accurate. Oh. One more thing: Once you start any given section of the test, there is no "pause" button. One question after another, 3 minutes to read, calculate and commit to an answer that will determine your hireability (is that even a word?). Finally, when that part was completed, I decided it was bed time and put it away.

But that's not the end. Because then I DREAMED about it, and in my dream, I was electronically informed that my score was 128 out of 200 (I'm so traumatized by it, I still remember my imaginary score). I was then shown a lovely HR video of all the jobs for which I qualified: I saw a happy janitor mopping sparkling corridors, and smiling, hard-hat wearing warehouse men moving boxes from one pallet to another.
I was thoroughly humiliated in my own dream.

I'm guessing you feel better about your life right about now, don'tcha?

*Just a little icing on the cake...When nine year old daughter Hannah read this entry, she asked me which of the three descriptors did I feel characterized me. I explained that some of the humor consisted in NOT stating which of the three I actually consider myself to be, allowing the reader to decide for themself. Once she understood that she confidently guessed, "Oh...Hateful Shrew." Now my wretchedness is complete.


  1. Hee hee! You guys never fail to make me laugh.
    So I take it you haven't heard back from USAA??

  2. at least I am in good company :o)