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Not the municipality in which YHB is resident, fortunately

Your Humble Blogger is attempting to re-enter the workforce. Well, and there it is. It’s a revenue thing. Anyway, having applied for a position at a nearby public library, I was invited to attend a test for applicants for that position. Not an interview, you understand, a test. Hm, I thought. Perhaps this is one of those government-jargon things, where the municipality requires that anyone employed by it has passed a “test”, and that therefore the interviews are called tests, so as to fulfill a badly-written law.

No, it was a test. There were twenty of us in a room filling in multiple-choice bubbles. This was one of (I believe) three such groups. And all of this was for a part-time job. It seems to me that the municipality in question must have decided that every applicant would be given a standard test for municipal employees, and that only after the test had been taken and graded would the employer be able to choose who to interview. It’s all fair and aboveboard. And, of course, they purchased a test from some company, which presumably charges them for every test they grade. Also, they take four to six weeks to grade the tests.

Evidently there is some sort of “Secure Test” provision in the copyright law, which according to the introduction to the test I took, makes it a copyright infringement for me to repeat any of the questions on the test, even in paraphrase. This seems preposterous to me, but then there are many, many things about copyright law that seem preposterous to me. The paper they made us sign indicated that if we were to leave the test and write down any of the questions, it would be an illegal copyright infringement just as it would be an infringement to listen to a song on the radio and write it down. I’m not sure what they meant by writing it down—the lyrics? the melody? the chord changes? the title?—but I’m absolutely sure that whatever it means it would not by itself constitute an infringement. On the other hand, who knows what a judge will say?

So I would like to make it clear that I did not write down the questions, nor are any of the questions I may use as examples actually on the test. Clear? Yes? Good? Excellent.

We watched a video, where public employees dealt with the public and each other in various capacities. A problem would arise, and we would be given four choices of potential responses, from which to choose the best one. As for instance,

A barefoot patron wants to be served, despite the sign indicating the office’s policy no shirt, no shoes, no service. Would you (A) turn the patron away, telling him that there are no exceptions to the policy, (B) shout “HEY RUBE, were you born in a BARN?” as loud as you can, (C) offer to lend the patron your shoes, or (D) kneecap the fucker.

It turns out, surprisingly that kneecap the fucker is often the preferred alternative. Again:

Your co-worker returns from her lunch break stinking of whiskey. She appears to be fully capable of doing her job, but she is giggling quite a lot. Would you (A) tell your supervisor that your co-worker is off her ass again, falsely claiming that it’s the third time that week, (B) ask your co-worker if she is free for lunch tomorrow, (C) draw your co-worker’s inebriation to the attention of the patrons, for a laugh, or (D) kneecap the fucker?

I suspect that the actual value of the test lies primarily in removing from consideration the bottom half or so of applicants, those who can’t or won’t properly fill out the forms. Certainly the actual answers to the questions would tell you very little about what kind of an employee the applicant would make.

A patron indicates to you that he knows people who could have you killed. Would you (A) expedite his request, (B) secretly tape the conversation and then blackmail the patron into killing your co-worker instead, (C) play dumb, or (D) kneecap the fucker?

Honestly, once kneecap the fucker occurs to you, it’s hard to keep from laughing out loud at the video test.

A co-worker claims that the supervisor gave him a raise of a grand a month on the condition that he kicks half of it back to her. Would you (A) go to the supervisor and demand the same deal, (B) ask your co-worker how much half a grand is, (C) start demanding baksheesh from all the patrons, or (D) kneecap the fucker?

I want you all, Gentle Readers, to keep in mind when next you interact with a municipal employee, that every effort has been made to choose only the best from a large crop of extremely impressive applicants.

Your co-workers say that the new supervisor is a cold, inhuman bitch, but you think she’s kinda hot. Would you (A) pretend that you agree with your co-workers in an attempt to get along, (B) ask your supervisor out, (C) send your supervisor and your co-workers pornographic pictures from a spoofed email, or (D) kneecap the fucker.

Somehow, I don’t think I’m going to be working for these people.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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