back to article BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

"Look, all we want you to do is take this simple test which will tell us your personality type and the things you respond to," the Boss burbles. "Angry, and Free Beer!" the PFY chips, strolling into the conversation. "Oh good, I was hoping to catch you," the Boss says, turning to the PFY after a fruitless 10 minutes trying to …

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Happy

Great stuff, that's really brightened up my Friday!

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Pint

I misread your comment as 'that's really beered up my Friday!'. I really do need to pay more attention.

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Happy

I've only just read it - so it's brightened up my Monday before I've even set off for work! :)

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Any day

Bar: 1) non-optional 2) agree 3) cannot disagree

Friday: 1) agree 2) agree 3) agree

BOFH: 1) strongly agree 2) emulation assured 3) courses absorbed and implemented

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Pint

More beer!

You've earned this one (and several more) and with the Boss out of the way, there's nothing to stop an early start to Friday afternoon!

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Where can you be found in 20 minutes time? a) The Pub b) The Pub or c) The Pub

What will you be drinking? a) Bitter b) Lager c) Stout

What time will you be back in the office? a) Monday b) Tuesday c) Wednesday

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Anonymous Coward

d) What office?

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Happy

Aha! You're trying to trip us up by including lager in the questionnaire. Presumably you've wired they keyboard up to the cattle-prod for anyone who answers with that!

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And no option for Cider drinkers? Terrible.

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Cider drinker?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIBMt28d1FA

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Happy

Christ! Every bloody time you produce a questionnaire there's some bloody minority you've never heard of pop up to claim you've discriminated against them.

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Alert

e) What the hell makes you think I'll be coming back?

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@TeeCee - too right! If you think I'm going to touch that gnat's pee waste of good grain and water that you call beer, then you're very much mistaken. Mine's a single malt!

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Christ you say! What about other* religions?

*God may not exist.

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2B) or not.

I took a personality test as part of an interview process. Once done and analysed the assessors came back in to discuss it. To break the ice and keep things friendly they opened with a humorous, "good news; you're not an axe murderer".

Chuckles all round, discussion ensued, and I was offered the job.

But it set me thinking. I am so tempted to take a small axe to interviews in the future so I can plonk that on the desk and ask, "are you sure about that?", if it ever happens again.

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Re: 2B) or not.

I have never accepted a job after being asked to do one of these as part of the selection process, clearly the step I missed was the head>desk interface

duly noted

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Re: 2B) or not.

Them: "good news; you're not an axe murderer".

Me: "Don't be silly. Axes are dirty. Fire is pure. Only fire will cleanse the filth from this world. Definitely no axes."

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Coat

Re: 2B) or not.

'..."good news; you're not an axe murderer" ...'

Ah yes I remember going for interviews with all manner of these tests.

I don't know what the company got out of them, but they did warn you what to expect if you took the job.

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Re: 2B) or not.

If it does happen, just whip out a garotte...

"Correct. I am NOT an axe murderer. Far too messy".

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Re: 2B) or not.

"I am not an axe murderer - I have no problems with axes, it's people I have issues with and axes are very good for resolving those issues."

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Re: 2B) or not.

"good news; you're not an axe murderer".

That's what I told the jury...

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Joke

Re: 2B) or not.

"good news; you're not an axe murderer"

That's not what my ex-wife used to say.

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LDS
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Re: 2B) or not.

I underwent a test at the selection for army officers. One of the question was if I liked flowers. The problem was I couldn't answer I like flowers, just as much as big guns, tanks, and fighter planes...

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Joke

Re: 2B) or not.

"good news; you're not an axe murderer"

Nope, never murdered an axe in my life!

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Re: 2B) or not.

"good news; you're not an axe murderer".

Bad news for the test administrator... I lied on the test. :)

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WTF?

Re: 2B) or not.

Worse still is where they have "types".

I went on a "team building" event once where, before attending, we all filled out the questionnaires. On arrival, when it came to me, the bloke presenting was made up. He'd never seen one of me before and followed me around like a small dog for the entire week, taking notes[1] all the time.

Apparently the "mad bastard who just sees the right answer"[2] trait is supposed to come as secondary with something other trait as dominant. He'd never seen it as dominant, let alone in purity, until then.

[1] And here the small dog analogy dies like the, er, dog it is.

[2] Best translation of their categories I can come up with.

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Re: 2B) or not.

"We cannot figure out why all out staff are crazy... perhaps we could filter them out in the interview process"...

Strange how they never realised, no one turned up crazy, but they all left that way!

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Trollface

Re: 2B) or not.

"good news; you're not an axe murderer".

Followed by.

"Unfortunately this mean you do not qualify for the CEO position. If we have any non-executive positions come up later be sure that we have your CV on file.

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Re: 2B) or not.

After working for a company for a couple of years and being promoted to a manager, I took a personality test which had been recently implemented for new hires. I failed. Yet, at this and another company which had a personality test as part of the hire process, I watched as several employees who passed were fired or in one case arrested for stealing from the store, as well as other "minor" policy infractions like showing up for work drunk, showing up hours late or not at all, non-physical (unprofessional dialogue, to say the least) altercations with customers, and general don't-give-a-shit attitudes.

Yeah, great tests, these; great test of upper-management or HR gullibility.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2B) or not.

Yeah, great tests, these; great test of upper-management or HR gullibility.

The way I see some of the companies being lead I suspect those personality tests are merely there to establish if you indeed have a one, as that makes you unfit for a senior position ..

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Re: 2B) or not.

-Them: "good news; you're not an axe murderer".-

"Yes, I've always preferred a crowbar."

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Re: 2B) or not.

Yeah, great tests, these; great test of upper-management or HR gullibility.

most of my bosses have been crazy so it sure works.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2B) or not.

I took a personality test to work in the civil service.

I failed, not getting the job. Turns out I have a personality.

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Re: 2B) or not.

Sounds rather like the primary trait was actually smug self-satisfiedness.

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Re: 2B) or not.

"good news; you're not an axe murderer"

It's the ones who can kill with a dull crayon or a can of soup that are the real heroes.

https://youtu.be/tDdo7UAO83U

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Re: 2B) or not.

I was trying to rent an apt/flat years ago and the landlord call a dear friend of mine who had agreed to be a reference. He caught her in the middle of an experiment she was doing(using a fair amount radioactive iodine) and said "Well, he's not a serial killer". I still got the apt/flat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2B) or not.

I would have replied

"Of course not, I prefer my bare hands, an axe is too quick..."

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Re: 2B) or not.

-Them: "good news; you're not an axe murderer".-

Too Iron Age, battery powered chainsaws is where it's at.

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Flame

Re: 2B) or not.

But you need an axe to chop the wood so you can build a bigger fire... :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2B) or not.

Back say 30 years ago, a friend got hold of one of the Scientology questionaires. He went through it & designed answers for it to give exactly the impression he wanted, then wandered around near their office until he was asked if he would care to come in for a free test...

He was carefully and politely shown out some time later, without them trying to get him to join up, having given responses that indicated, in his words, "the profile of an axe murderer having a bad day."

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Re: 2B) or not.

I went on a "team building" event once where, before attending, we all filled out the questionnaires. On arrival, when it came to me, the bloke presenting was made up. He'd never seen one of me before and followed me around like a small dog for the entire week, taking notes[1] all the time.

At least he didn't try to hump your leg. And anyway, you're doing it wrong if they're not backing away and looking for exits...

Three pages of replies, and nobody's even mentioned "Prisoner's Dilemma"/the "Red & Blue"/"Green & Blue" games - you know the ones, where everybody's supposed to work out that they get equally well rewarded if everyone votes like sheep for the most mediocre option - oh sorry, I meant everyone always votes for the option that appears to benefit all sides equally.

I was dragged into one game like that...

Instructor: Hmm, why have you voted like this in the later rounds ?

Me: Damage limitation. Our negotiator got the diplomatic equivalent of an atomic wedgie and lost us lots of points.

Instructor: You're not very trusting, are you ?

Me: Lady, I do IT security. I'm paid to think bad thoughts and try to make sure they never happen.

Instructor: Okaaaayyyy, I think I'll go and to talk to that team over there...

What did I learn from that day ?

(a) Certain colleagues have better "poker faces" than I ever imagined ;

(b) It's wrong to stereotype people, but it's perfectly acceptable to be put in one of sixteen MBTI "pigeonholes" by a consultant ;

(c) We should all be more like dolphins - of course, we did this around the time when several studies came out about dolphin behaviour... "So, should we go out and kill porpoises, and take bites out of human researchers when we're hungry ?" Don't even get me started on the sex life of dolphins, several journals suggest they're just as filthy as H. Sapiens when it comes to inserting tab "A" into slot "B".

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Pint

Not once, but twice

"You fell!" I said to the Boss again as I once more help him to his feet "And you hit your face on the desk!"

Low blood sugar! LOL, who, the PHB or the PFY?

It must be Friday! Beer O'clock is just around the corner!

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El Reg - PLEASE!!!!

Please put the modified survey on-line ... I have people who need this experience ... that is everyone who sends me a Survey-monkey email each month.

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Re: El Reg - PLEASE!!!!

"I often blame technology for my own shortcomings. IT'S ONLY GOT STRONGLY AGREE!"

"I am frequently upset by questions I can't answer that might highlight my lack of competence Agree to Strongly agree - but STILL no disagree."

There was me thinking that working with one of these people was almost mandatory in any IT job.

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Pint

Ah...

This reminds me of the probably apocryphal story where someone was given a Rorschach test and responded with a sexual description for each inkblot.

At the end of the test the psychologist suggested he was obsessed by sex - to which the man replied:

"Me? You're the one with all the dirty pictures."

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How to ace a Rorschach test

"Bunny rabbits...bunny rabbits...bunny rabbits...two black lesbians...bunny rabbits...napalm...bunny rabbits..."

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Re: Ah...

"Me? You're the one with all the dirty pictures."

That was done as comedy sketch.

Here's one version but I'm sure that someone more famous also did it.

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Hmm. The only test like this I had to take was when I was up for national service. I ended up guarding tactical nuclear weapons.

Anyway, thank you, Simon! If we ever should meet, drinks are on me.

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One week, work asks me to fill an a "mini" MBTI test (which looked like it was ripped out of a magazine), the next they ask me if I'm storing hazardous chemicals in my office - the list included "organophosphate-based nerve agents (e.g. VX, Tabun, Sarin)".

Hmm, were they worried I was going to extract a terrible revenge for being made to sit through a "team-building" day or something ?

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Alert

@chris king

Or that you had been sniffing them?

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