Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Pig

Several years ago, after a number of difficult years, the wife and I finally made the decision to sell a business we’d owned for many years. We set a date by which it would be sold, and proceeded to set a price that would allow us to accomplish this. Essentially, we gave it away to get out from under it. But I found myself at 40 years old searching for a job. I decided to go back to school, so I enrolled in an accellerated programming course by a well respected private university. Looking back, I let an opportunity pass by, I should have used this as a reason to fill a dream, and go to law school. But I wanted to be out earning an income sooner than 2 years in law school would have allowed. So I put in my 8 months of intense education, finished at the top of my class, and missed the tech bubble by a couple of months. I worked my ass off to land a job that paid me $23,000 a year. I really blew it by not doing the law school thing. But I digress.

While in school, I was interviewing at every opportunity. One day I had an interview with a small software company, and as part of the interview process they gave me a blank piece of paper and told me to draw a pig. I was taken aback, a little annoyed, and thought it was ridiculous. But I drew the pig, and did my thing. I don’t remember how Idrew the pig, but I was never called back for a second interview, so I obviously wasn’t what they were looking for.

I came back to class that afternoon, and told my classmates about the pig drawing. One piped up and said it was a personality test. I did the research, and here’s what I found:

If the pig is drawn:

Toward the top of the paper, you are positive and optimistic.
Toward the middle, you are a realist.
Toward the bottom, you are pessimistic, and have a tendency to behave negatively.

Facing left, you believe in tradition, are friendly, and remember dates (birthdays, etc.)
Facing right, you are innovative and active, but don't have a strong sense of family, nor do you remember dates.
Facing front (looking at you), you are direct, enjoy playing devil's advocate and neither fear nor avoid discussions.

With many details, you are analytical, cautious, and distrustful.
With few details, you are emotional and naive, you care little for details and are a risk-taker.

With less than 4 legs showing, you are insecure or are living through a period of major change.
With 4 legs showing, you are secure, stubborn, and stick to your ideals.

The size of the ears indicates how good a listener you are.
The bigger the better.

The length of the tail indicates the quality of your sex life.
And again more is better!

Ummmm – OK. I took all this in while shaking my head. I still thought it was pretty ridiculous.

Shortly after our discussion about this, a classmate walked in. She was a semi-attractive farm gal who was married, but I got the impression she might have strayed from time to time. She heard a snippet about drawing a pig, and she jumped up and exclaimed “I know how to draw a pig!”

Knowing nothing about why, and not knowing about the personality test, she marched to the large white board at the front, grabbed a marker, and went to work. She started with an inverted “U” that was the rear end of the pig, it was obvious the rear end of this pig was the focal point of this drawing. She went on to quickly draw this pig, very little detail, but obviously coyly looking over it’s shoulder at you, rear end prominently on display. It was large, taking the entire grease board. It had a single small ear that was visible, and only the rear legs were visible. It’s tail of course, was larger than any pig I had ever seen, and the pig was actually winking at you from under long eyelashes.

It was all I could do to keep from rolling on the floor laughing on the spot. The other guys were obviously struggling to maintain composure themselves. I glanced at another lady that was in the class, she looked to be in shock. The artist finished with a flair, adding a little emphasis to the end of the tail (I’m not making this up!) and dropping her marker walked away proudly rubbing her hands together.

I don’t think anyone ever told her about the personality test, but she was certainly MUCH more popular with the single guys after that. She ended up spending quite a bit of time with a young classmate who was at least 10 years younger than she was.

I would have expected no less.

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