Originally published in RW #5, 1995
Unapologetically by Tom Ziegler
Recently, I endured the humiliation of a psychological profile while applying for a job at a record store. Had I passed, I probably wouldn't be writing this piece, but according to the London House Psychology Survey, not only do I make for an untrustworthy employee, but to hire me would unravel the very fabric of a multi-million dollar corporation.Starting with a few pilfered CDs to supplement my minimum wage income, soon I would have created a slush fund that would have made Maury Stans look like a penny ante poker player.
Of course, I wasn't informed by the chicken-shit manager that I had failed the test. He was satisfied to tell me that he was still interviewing applicants in the hopes that I would grow discouraged and simply quit calling. I had to find out my miserable results from a friend who worked there. Since the test was supposedly a measure of honesty, I have to question the manager's ethics.
A few days later, I applied for a job at a major toy store. Like the record chain, they too had a psychological "inventory". I sat down by the Mighty Max display and proceeded to fill in the dots with a #2 pencil, careful not to mark outside the lines.
Halfway through, I became disgusted that the possibility of my earning $4.25 an hour would be determined by a C average psych major. I tossed my pencil to the floor and walked out.
But I kept the test.
As anyone who has felt the intrusion of one of these measures of honesty can tell you, it is anything but that. Rather, one is tested on his or her ability to manipulate the answers to achieve the appearance of honesty. If everyone answered the questions with full candor, no one would have a job. Or maybe we would all have jobs when someone finally realized that test such as these are no measure of a persons character.
Where I failed was not in my inability to judge right from wrong, but in the poor judgment of not being able to tell the folks what they wanted to hear. Lord knows I tried.
So interest of fair play, I have selected some choice questions for the toy store survey and will attempt to answer them with all the honesty and candor at my disposal.
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