6 Jun 2003

Hoop Dreams

The Call Centre does not have straightforward interviews any more, where you were given the opportunity to disguise your incompetence by baffling the interviewer with bullshit. Oh no. That would just be too easy.

Instead, there are multiple stages to the selection process, so like a dog jumping through a set of hoops, you have to prove that you can sustain the bullshit over a period of days and in different situations.

The first stage is the dreaded ‘psychomentetricinated’ tests (or something like that). These usually consist of a numerical reasoning paper followed by a character assessment. I am hopeless at the numbers paper, and I cannot see the relevance of calculating the value of washing machines after ‘stock damage’.

Eleven years of working in a call centre have not equipped me with such knowledge; nevertheless, I did quite well on the Test The Nation programme (I cheated a bit).

The character assessment is a bit like one of those questionnaires you get in Cosmopolitan: “Are you your own worse enemy?” I tried one this afternoon and this was the results:

“Mostly Cs: You are hardworking, conscientious and an ideal candidate for work with The United Nations. You need to toughen up, don’t let others walk all over you. You need to stand up for yourself. At a party you are likely to be a wallflower and your handbag full of condoms are never going to get used unless you go for it!”

How can these things be so accurate? The job is mine if Bernard is looking for a peacekeeping, yellow-belly that can’t be arsed asking for a shag.