If I signed up to take a series of aptitude tests in the career center, I would then be allowed to miss an ENTIRE AFTERNOON of classes while I took said aptitude tests. Being an enterprising young lady, I naturally signed up. I then spent the afternoon in a quiet sunny room by myself, cheerfully filling row after row of little bubbles in with my #2 pencil. I finished quickly and took full advantage of being in the room alone by rifling through files until I found my own and scanning thorough my secret administrative records.
A week or so later, I was called out of class with a slip of paper summoning me back to the career center to discuss my results. I got to miss more class! Bonus!
I can't recall the name of my small Catholic school's counselor, but I do recall much of what he said. And also, because I am a bit of a pack rat, I still have the folder he handed me on that day. I present his findings:
Then, as now, I found the results hilarious. The tests showed that I required a job in which I was intellectually and creatively stimulated. And it inferred that I may have a bit of a problem with authority, so I had best work alone. The test also pointed out my biggest failings:
Orderliness, Leadership, and Social. The next few pages go on to explain that under no circumstances should I have a career that requires me to be around other people or more importantly to HELP other people. There is a half page devoted to how little regard I have for altruism.
Even at 14, I was already an angry little misanthrope. Ahhhh.... it's almost like a handicap then, right? Like I can't help it?
That test for the most part knew what it was talking about. But the part about altruism is dead wrong. For all of my prickly, muttering-angry-old-man exterior, I actually have a giving soul and a heart so soft it has gone rather mushy. I enjoy doing kind and unexpected things for strangers, I give (well, occasionally at least) to charity, and I would do pretty much anything for the people I care about. Post-college, I even had a brief stint as a hostess/waitress at a restaurant frequented largely by old people and I actually really enjoyed serving.
On the flipside, one place where my misanthropy really does come in to play is in being touched by strangers. As in, if a cashier touches my hand while giving me change, I shudder just a bit.
Does this make me psycho? Was the test right? I was reflecting on all of this a couple of weeks ago when I went to get a manicure. I was going to a swanky networking party and I wanted my hands to look a bit less like the monkey paws they usually resemble. I had not gotten a manicure since my wedding 5 years ago.
I went into the salon and requested my manicure. I sat there struggling and failing to not to be freaked out while a small bitchy woman who spoke barely any English clipped away at my cuticles. Across from me were a mother and daughter getting simultaneous pedicures. They were sprawled out on reclining chairs, looking positively blissed out while three women crouched at their feet, scrubbing furiously. I calmed myself by reflecting on how much worse it would be if I was getting a pedicure and having my feet handled by a stranger instead of my hands. The very thought makes my skin crawl just to type.
And there you have it: I can help people. I will enjoy helping people. But I must never, under any circumstances, have to touch them.