Saturday, January 23, 2010


When you're unemployed, you have to make sure you cover all of your bases.

Since I don't know if I'll qualify for an extension of my unemployment benefits, I've hedged my bets and took the census taker test.

Seeing that the private sector isn't exactly clamoring for my particular set of job skills right now, I thought it might be a good idea to try my luck with the government.

So a tad before Christmas I went online, downloaded the practice test and found a testing facility.

I took the test along with about 25 other people, some of which were taking the test again to raise their scores, then was told to call a toll free number in a few weeks to receive the results.

Now let me emphasize a few things.

The census will start calling qualified individuals in early February based a number of factors besides your score.

What are the needs of your particular census zone? Do you speak another language? Are you a veteran?

Nonetheless, the higher your score, the better the odds that you'll get a phone call for an interview.

A passing score on the 28 question, 30 minute exam is 70%.

Please take into account that this isn't exactly the Jeopardy qualifying test and you can download the practice test prior to taking the exam.

So it didn't come as a surprise that I scored 95%.

Personally, I was kind of pissed I didn't score 100%.

I probably misspelled my name.

What struck me as odd was the air of amazement that someone could do so well the first time out.

The woman I spoke to over the phone about my score was positivity giddy that I scored so high.

So does that mean that I'm surrounded by a bunch of dumbasses in my zip code?

The test was basically sign your name, count to 100 and recite the A,B,C's.

Or has honest to pete reading, writing and 'rithmitic gone so far down the tubes that when a college graduate gets a 95% on the equivalent of an adult basic skills test, she's lauded with praise?

Jesus take the wheel.


Jenn said...

Yes, babe, the skill set that used to be a requirement of graduation isn't even on the map today. My mom and I participated in the televised game last night to measure the nation's IQ. I was not surprised to find out that mom scored higher than anyone in the studio and was considered a genius at a score of 144. Geez, know a little math and have a good memory and you're golden. I was only "above average", mom's got it all over me. :oP

Allison Tyndall Locke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al said...

This is hysterical. I've read your blog on and off for a little while now (I live in Hyde Park and have rivaling condo stories, but we're 30 years post-developer) and I just took the census test today at 43rd & Cottage with the same impression. So, this post in particular really amused me. When you added "Jesus take the wheel," I almost spit out my water.

Kevin said...

You can also sign up to be an election judge for $170 for the day. Every little bit helps...

The Woodlawn Wonder said...

Already ahead of you and will be going to the election judge training on Saturday. You know I'm a hustler!