Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Little Aptitude Attitude

How did you choose your career?  You went into something that interested you, right?  Some field where you showed some talent.  I’m betting you did not get your marching orders from the aptitude tests we took in junior high.
          Remember those?  They would ask, “Would you rather repair a dishwasher or eat a Twinkie?”  

Who has a hard time answering this question?  Or “Would you rather read a book or fire someone?”  Seriously?  How about, “Would you rather take this test, or read a book while eating a Twinkie?”
          Pages of this claptrap later, they tabulated our responses and told the math kids to go into math and the verbal kids to go into law.  Like we couldn’t have figured this out on our own.
          But I have a theory that there are lobbyists for unusual careers who finagled their jobs into the recommended lists as well.  Several of my classmates were advised to work on oil rigs, in mines, sweeping up in a bakery, and driving people to the airport. 
How about gluing ads to billboards?  Or working the appointment desk at the passport office?  These are all legit means of employment, it’s just hard for me to imagine a test that identifies the perfect candidate for them.
          However, the one I found most appalling was the one my son, Cassidy, came home with.  “It says I should be a clown,” he reported.
          You don’t say.  Now, granted this boy is highly entertaining, but couldn’t  the test makers have steered him into something that’s still in show biz, but a little more likely to support a family?  Clown?  Really?  It’s not that it’s illegal, and I’m not criticizing clowns per se, but I wrote here about the likelihood of actually surviving in this field.
          What would they advise a kid who’s good with money—to become a bank robber or a loan shark?  If a teenager enjoys target practice would you recommend “hit man”?  And if they show artistic talent, would you suggest “graffiti artist”?  How about a person who understands anatomy and business—should “drug dealer” be on their list of potential careers?  I can only imagine the delighted reactions of the parents of computer wiz kids who bring home “hacker” as a choice to consider.

          It’s enough to make me want to repair a dishwasher.
Although I have plenty to say about how to load one, line one, clean one, and so on.  Just check out my channel where I'm the YouTube Mom, dispensing short videos that teach life skills you never knew you were missing.


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