Friday, July 01, 2005

Me, Applying for a Photo Processing Store Job

"Okay. I think I've finished it now." I hand the manager my completed job application.

"Alright. Well, while you're here, we might as well get you to fill out this other form," she says, quickly producing another page from thin air.

Me - blank stare. She passes me a math test. No joke. A Xeroxed math test.

I can't help it. I laugh out loud. Now its her turn for the blank stare.

"I'm sorry, I've just never gotten one of these before when applying for a job," I lamely explain.

I take a deep breath, and begin the test. Only it's not a true math test because I'm lacking a #2 pencil and a calculator, plus I'm standing up. I wonder if I'll need an eraser.

The first eight questions are addition and subtraction. 147+289=? 152-13=? You get the idea.

The next two questions are percentage questions. It's starting to get a little tougher, but luckily that 3rd-grade math comes trickling back to me. 20% of 120? 30% of 250?

Then I come to the question which under normal circumstances would have ruined me. Which direction is Staunton from Harrisonburg? North, south, east or west? Lucky for me, the place of business I'm standing in is in Staunton, and the place where I'm living in Harrisonburg, and I just drove on the interstate SOUTH to get here. Score!!

Number 12 is a little tricky. How many days are in a year? 365, of course, but just to be on the safe side I write underneath in small letters "or 366, if it's Leap Year." Can't be too sure. I don't want to slip up on a technicality.

The final two questions are the important parts, clearly designed to take my math aptitude to the next level. If Stan orders 3 prints of negative #7, 14 prints of negative #10, and 9 prints of negative #3, how many total prints should he be charged for? And the classic... If Betsy buys one item priced at $14.89 and one item priced at $7.99, not including sales tax, what is the amount of Betsy's total purchase?

My question is this: What kind of people is this test weeding out? I mean, yikes.

And hypothetically speaking, what if I got all the questions right except for the days in a year question? Would I still get hired? I can't imagine that there are many jobs where knowing that 365 days= 1 year is particularly pertinent to one's survival skills.

By the way, this is a completely true story. In math terms, that's 100%.

6 comments:

Diseuse said...

If Emily goes to the store and buys one pack of gum which costs 79c and one candy bar for 64c and one Dr. Pepper for 97c how many calories will she consume?

Your post was soooo funny! I would probably fail the percentage part, math isn't my strong suit and third grade was a really long time ago.

One thought: why are you applying for a job?

Emily said...

I'm applying for a paying job because my internship is unpaid. I'm only working about 25 hours a week at the paper, which (hopefully) leaves room for a part-time job. We'll see...

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