Monday, June 07, 2004
Surly Snobby vs. Goofy Jolly
Goofy Jolly is a persona I developed when I first started working in restaurants when I was a teenager. I found he was a great hit with women of a certain age and with young families with children, for some reason. He is charming, funny, completely self-effacing, and somewhat bumbling. David Arquette is a pretty fair indication of what Goofy Jolly is like. In any case, he shows his face every once in a while and is very useful for making strangers think I don’t know as much as I do. This allows me to observe them acting naturally with their guard down. This is a very useful skill. I should have been a lawyer.
I had a group of twenty-eight of The Doomed to watch over. A few of my personal Doomed looked exactly like various incarnations of my future husband, but it seemed somehow inappropriate to slip them my telephone number while they were writing the exam. I therefore decided to leave it to destiny to reunite us and I turned my attention to other things, such as comparing very important statistics with the proctor whose section was right next to mine. Over the course of our very long day, she and I discovered the following things about our respective sections.
· three times the number if women were in her section than in mine
· double the number of people were wearing earplugs in her section than in mine
· all of the people wearing earplugs in both sections were men; we decided it was because men have more difficulties concentrating
· I had the double the number of men of Irani origin in my section than she had in hers (2 to her 1); this was important to her since she herself was Irani
· all of the Irani men in our sections were really cute (see above re: future husband)
She also taught me how to say “Hey! That guy is really cute!” in Farsi, but I forget now.
During the course of the day, Goofy Jolly committed the following atrocities:
· writing “absent” in each column of the list of materials received from the candidates, instead of spaced out evenly across the entire row as clearly indicated (italics supplied by proctor supervisor) in the proctor’s manual
· collecting admission ticket stubs instead of tickets from the candidates during check-in, despite the fact that they are clearly (once again, italics supplied by proctor supervisor) differentiated by the 6 point font word “ticket” in the lower left hand corner of the ticket. I had to interrupt the candidates during their exam to trade the useless piece of 5cm x 5cm paper for the precious 5cm x 5cm one
· allowing a candidate to put an illicit highlighter in her pocket. She had one sitting on her desk in plain view, for all the world to see, despite the fact that she had signed a valid and binding contract stating that she was aware of all the examination rules and procedures. I told her to hide the highlighter before my supervisor observed her flagrant act of rule breaking. You see, highlighters are banned from the examination room on pain of a violation report compiled by yours truly that would…well, I’m not exactly sure what it would do but it would be really really bad. If I had been caught, it would have meant the end of my proctoring career. They wouldn’t let me near an exam room again.
· my check marks on the presence sheet look too much like “v”s. According to my supervisor, this could be confusing for the poor people who turn the raw data from the lists into usable statistics. I can just see it:
Data Compiler #756443alpha: Candidate #85467454475984635478 was present.
Data Compiler #945244epsilon: Hold on there, Data Compiler #756443alpha. It looks here more like Candidate #85467454475984635478 was “vee”, not “present”.
Data Compiler #756443alpha: My God, Data Compiler #945244epsilon! You’re right! To think I almost allowed this person’s exam to be graded!
Data Compiler #945244epsilon: An easy mistake to make. Proctor #545389325mu obviously has a difficult time differentiating between a check mark and a vee. We’d better fail the candidate.
Data Compiler #756443alpha: Clearly.
And this destruction of an innocent candidate’s prospects would be my burden to bear for the rest of my life and into the next.
No one, and I mean no one, was permitted to drink water at their desk however. Rules are rules…
By the end of the day I was practically delirious. I had been on my feet since 6AM with no entertainment but statistics sharing with my neighbour and imagining various activities to perform with any one of my future husbands in the group (I'm talking moonlit strolls along the beach, not whatever you were imagining I was imagining; I do have some decorum).
And two days later my legs are still stiff and aching. I wish one of my future husbands would come over and give me a massage.
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