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October 14, 2006


At the Career Center yesterday I took a rather playful test of personal values. The test went like this. The following five things are all happening at once:

1. The phone is ringing
2. The kitchen faucet is running
3. Someone is banging on the door
4. The kids are screaming
5. The laundry is hanging outside and it is starting to rain

In what order do you deal with these problems?

My answer: First I deal with the screaming kids because I hate discord and I absolutely can't stand screaming. Plus I want my (hypothetical) kids to know that I am there for them when they need me. Second is the kitchen faucet. I once had a toilet overflow all over the house and I know how damaging water can be. Third, I answer the door. If the person outside hears the kids screaming and the water running, she knows I'm home, and, if it is important, she will wait for me to come to the door. If it isn't important, having to wait may drive her away! I deal with the laundry fourth for two reasons: first, by the time I have dealt with the other three things, the phone is probably no longer ringing; second, if I haven't dealt with the laundry first, it is already wet, and getting a bit wetter won't hurt. I deal with the phone last because I have an answering machine -- if the phone wasn't my first priority (which it obviously wasn't), then the machine has gotten it either way, and I might as well wait until I have taken care of the more pressing issues before calling the person back anyway.

So what does all this mean?

Apparently, the kids represent family, the faucet represents money, the person at the door represents friends, the laundry represents my sex life, and the phone represents my job. The order in which I deal with them reveals my priorities. A child of communist parents, I was surprised that money scored so high on my priority list, but readers of this site are probably less surprised, given how often I write about it. The more important question for my job search, however, is what does it say about me that I answered the phone last? And David is probably wondering why it took me so long to get the laundry!

Posted by eklanche at October 14, 2006 04:11 AM


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