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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Overcoming

Today I had to take a psychological test in order to get hired for the police position I want.  I have taken several versions of this test over the years.  It is very long and grueling...about 4 straight hours of answering the same 200 or so questions worded 5 or 6 different ways for a total of about 1000 questions.

The test is designed to weed out those who won't fit into a law enforcement career.  It picks up whether you are lying, defensive, compulsive, obsessive, criminal, violent or a combination of all of the above.  The only way to take the test is to decide beforehand to answer every single question honestly.  Even the ones that ask whether you like poetry or Alice in Wonderland. 

I have always wondered what it might mean to the psychologist reviewing my answers that I do like poetry (especially if someone is writing it to me) or that I don't really care for Alice in Wonderland?  Does it mean I am too introspective or soft to be a cop?  Does not liking poetry fit the position better?  What about the fact that I sometimes prefer spending time by myself?  Does it mean I'm anti-social?  After all the tests I have taken, I still don't know the right answer, so I just answer truthfully...I AM afraid of spiders, but not snakes.  I DON"T enjoy gambling, but have done dangerous things just for the thrill of it from time to time.  I DID NOT have a good relationship with my mom, I DON"T think my father was the ideal man (because I never knew him.)

After the written portion of the test, there is an interview with the psychologist.  Today, he managed to gather all sorts of interesting tidbits about my childhood, my mother, my lack of a father, the fact that I have 3 other siblings I don't know and that I have been a witness to domestic violence in my home growing up.  He asked whether I thought I was really fit for the job.  I told him that my past experiences had made me more sensitive to the fact that people have problems and that the answers or solutions to them are not always black and white.  I told him that my past had allowed my creative problem-solving side to blossom and my empathy for the plight of those less fortunate to root deep within me.  I care about what happens to people (most of them anyway) and I do want to help them.  I just can't help being that way.  It's who I am.  His remark to me?  "So you were able to overcome your past and become better for it."  Well, yes.  I guess it's true.

An old photo of me as a School Police Officer

I'll find out in a few days whether or not I am of sound enough mind to do the job I have done for so many years...taking care of the public in the best way I know how...by keeping their kids safe in school.

3 comments:

Kyle said...

It's impossible to know whether or not you did well on those kind of tests. I think your goal is really great - keeping kids safe at school is such an important job. Good luck!

Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

Those tests are insane! Kudos to you for getting through it. When my deputy friend was telling me about one he took recently for a new job, I was floored at what they put y'all through. My fingers are crossed that you passed, but I have faith that you did :)

Diana Burfield (BettyShmetty) said...

Thanks for the luck mojos :)
By the time those tests are completed, you are kind of questioning every thought and answer...LOL, it's probably a ploy to keep all those psychologists busy later on when you are questioning your sanity about why you wanted to get involved in all of it in the first place ;)