I’d rather not talk about myself and my achievements. Agree, disagree or neutral? The thing I hate about taking personality tests is my fear of failure. What if I flunk? After coloring in 240 question bubbles with my No. 2 pencil, I’m afraid the computer will malfunction due to boredom as it scans my answers.
In the last few weeks, I realize, I’ve let people read that a dog has urinated on my foot, my hair is cut for $5 and I wear pink underwear (for special occasions). These aren’t so much achievements as they are facts. Therefore, I don’t like to talk about myself.
However, if a person doesn’t like to talk about him- or herself, then this must mean they’re boring. I don’t want to have a vanilla-ice-cream personality, so I fill in the circle marked “neutral.”
Next question: It’s often hard for me to make up my mind. Definitely disagree. My mind is like a bed: It’s always made. Then again, my bed is never made. Besides, people who make up their minds seem hasty, stubborn or impulsive. Is this me? I tap my pencil on the table. I can hear my watch tick. It’s taken more than a minute to answer this question. Does this mean, on average, I make up my mind slowly? It’s not like I’m mentally slow. Therefore, I fill in the “neutral” circle.
When I answered a flyer for the Pain Research Center, I wanted to help out for the greater good of mankind. One of those “think globally, act locally.” deals. Globally, I was contributing my body to science as one of the needed 50 research subjects. Locally, my wallet was empty and the ad said I would be compensated for my time.
It’s not like the flyer said: “Paid subjects needed for a pillow fight and lingerie party.” No, this was for the Pain Research Center. I quickly made up my mind that there would be pain, but what I didn’t know was that I was going to be mentally tortured with a personality test. I thought I was going to participate in something easy, like waterboarding.
After I finished the personality tests, Renee said, “Time for the chair.”
Renee snapped me out of our white-picket-fence life when she inserted a pain-causing device called a Prick Lancetter into the second layer of skin beneath my ring, index and middle fingers.
Now I realized why Renee called this “the chair.” It was like a La-Z-Boy version of Old Sparky, the Florida electric chair. Time escaped me and I no longer heard the ticking of my watch. I only felt the zap, zap and pow of electricity entering the nerves in my fingertips.
Each jolt was rated on a scale of 1 to 10. A 1 was equal to the feeling you get when you pull your clothes out of the dryer. And a 10 felt like those times my brother would drag his wool-footed socks across the carpet creating enough static electricity to power a small country or shock my ear.
Five, two, one, 10, seven, one, three, 10.
At the end of the test, and living on the cheap, I asked Renee the most numerically important question of the day: “When do I get paid?”
“Three to five weeks,” she said. “Just in time to pay the minimum on your Christmas credit-card bills.”