I’m not really sure which was worse: being asked to take a test to prove my my Microsoft Office abilities, or the fact that I didn’t score 100% on it.
I have a meet n’ greet (I’m awesome at lining up not-interviews) with a recruiter today, and I was asked to take an online test before the appointment. I admit that I spent the majority of last night foaming at the mouth in pure indignant rage over this, because it was really quite ridiculous (and insulting) – open this document. Bold this text. Change the font size to 16; print the file.
I’ve been a tech writer for a million years. I regularly pull Word-based trickery out of my ass; making it do things it wasn’t intended to do. I’ve built documents and spreadsheets so complicated it crashed the program. I’ve worked for a lot of really cheap companies that wouldn’t spring for any “specialty” software; I taught myself to make do using Word and Excel in place of Visio, Photoshop, Infopath, Robohelp, and more – and you want me to prove I know how to OPEN A FILE?
To add insult to injury, I then had to take a TYPING TEST.
I’d understand this whole testing process if I was applying for entry-level jobs as an office assistant or basic office temp – but I’m NOT. I’m in the middle of my career, and I’d hope I’m past the point where I know how to do the most basic of computer functions. It was just .. infuriating. I was very, very angry. Whether that anger is justified is another question entirely, as I know I have a tendency to explode and overreact when asked to do things I see as a massive waste of time and .. well, let’s be honest: beneath me. It’s not that I think I’m so high and mighty that I’m above following the rules; it’s that even a quick glance at my resume should tell you that I am way, way past the skill level these tests are aimed at. I have a huge chip on my shoulder with regards to being as a mere administrator – I DID my time in the trenches. I worked as an admin assistant for years, and worked hard to move beyond it because I was bored. I know this is more about me and my quirks than it is the stupid test, but nothing gets my back up faster than people dismissing my work as “making things look pretty” as opposed to something requiring actual brains and skill.
Also, the test was a huge joke that made me look bad: I scored 87% on Outlook and Excel, 93% on Word, 97% on PowerPoint, and 64wpm in the typing test. In every test but Excel I should have received 100%; I did what was asked but via a different method than the Only Correct Answer (just like in the real word). The test site wasn’t Mac friendly, so I had to dig out (seriously, there was an archaeology dig involved) an ancient laptop running XP with a keyboard I LOATHE because the keys are in the wrong places and the tracking pad likes to insert my cursor in previous paragraphs without warning. I type a hell of a lot faster than 64wpm (it’s almost double that when I’m mad, and boy was I mad last night), but I’m on an unfamiliar machine using an outdated OS being tested on an old version of a program I mastered in 1995 and have used daily since then – and the site was broken; 2-3 minutes of “loading” would happen between each of the 120 questions I answered so it took way, way longer than it should have (and I seethed every goddamn second).
Apparently sleep did little to quell my rage – and now I have to go make nice.
Here we go.
3 thoughts on “87% rage”
Oh I feel your rage. I had to do the same thing last time I worked with a recruiter, and I also seethed as my awesome keyboard shortcuts were REJECTED by the program in favour of mouse clicks.
Good luck with the meet & greet, and I hope the sunshine soothes the rage. That, or tacos. I mean, if you’re out and about already, you might as well taco it up.
A lot of recruiters only seem to see your credentials in terms of certain metrics which may or may not be relevant.
One annoying thing I kept hearing as an unemployed DBA was “how big a database have you managed?” where my answer was very unimpressive. And even now that I was once the DBA for the largest kids MMO in the world, the answer still isn’t that impressive. Databases are like penises; size matters, but not as much as how they’re used.
I have to do certification tests for work that are well below my level of knowledge, yet I only got 78% on the first one. When I complained on FB about it I found out that the much smarter people in my field barely passed it when they took it. Which makes me think a lower mark would’ve been a badge of honour, and I shall strive for it next time (though still aim to pass).
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