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Ronan's report

Sunday September 4th 2011

Have you ever done any psychometric tests? This happens sometimes when applying for jobs. You get to fill in a huge questionnaire, mostly on-line nowadays, answering hundreds of questions asking things like "out of the following statements tick which is most like you and which is least like you:

(a) I'm often the person who organises meetings
(b) I understand how people feel about things
(c) I think that winning is the most important thing
(d) I often eat four whole packets of jaffa cakes at a sitting, and then sit sobbing in a dark corner under my desk, planning how to kill my boss."

OK I made up the last one. But the point is that they're trying to find out what kind of person you are without actually, you know, asking you straight out. The presumption here is either (a) you don't know what kind of person you are, or (b) you know very well what kind of person you are and will try your hardest to hide it in a face-to-face conversation. In either case I'm not sure I'd want to employ you, so that brings into question the reason for filling out the thing in the first place.

Among the things that come up when I do these tests, is that I'm not a details person. I like the big picture, the broad brush, the outline, the general direction, the helicopter view. Just don't ask me to file lots of things and add things up to four decimal places.

Although I like planning and I'm well organised, I also like a bit of uncertainty and chaos. Which explains the fact that whilst I have a searchable database of all my fishing books, the actual bookshelves are stacked in random order. I like standing there looking for a book, vaguely remembering where I last saw it and enjoying coming across other titles during the search.

I'm not a tidy person either, so books are often randomly spread throughout the house: One down the side of the sofa, a couple by the bed, and another almost hidden under a pile of soft hackles, starling skins, and miscellaneous fur patches on the fly tying desk.

Nope, can't say I'm tidy.

But here's the thing: I never leave litter Ð anywhere. The book might get left right where I dropped it when I fell asleep; it might be several months before the fly tying table gets sorted. But when I'm out and about I'll go out of my way to find a litter bin, I'll take other people's rubbish home with me, and I'm always outraged if I see someone drop litter. Most people I know are the same Ð I've never met a single person who, in conversation, has said "nah, can't be bothered taking it home, I just toss it into the undergrowth". Everyone I talk to seems equally outraged by litter.

Which make me think that either (a) People don't know they're litter-bugs or (b) They know very well that they're leaving litter but are trying their hardest to hide it from me.

Psychometric test anyone?


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