Saturday, April 14, 2007


Posting on this thing is like opening the floodgates to the dam. I think that's why I sometimes avoid it. You think you're just going to post this one thing and then head off to do something in the real world, and then you end up sitting here for 2 hours babbling about all sort of stuff that people probably don't give a crap about. No laundry gets done during this time and, since this is my least favorite household chore (give me 10 toilets to clean over 1 load of laundry any day) I can always seem to find something to distract me from it.

So, the point being that I walked away from my laptop after writing the last post and went to make a cup of coffee. During this brief interlude, I thought more about a couple of things.

1) Things I am finding out about myself now I'm in my 30s.
2) Just "doing it", in the Nike tradition.

So #1:
I catagorically reject the stupid P.I. assessment that I took when I first went to Lyon. P.I. is short for Predictive Index, which is a tool Lyon uses to help them understand the personalities of potential and existing employees. One of these days I'll describe more what this is (and why I'm having such a violent reaction to it) but for your purposes, it's a personality test. Of course, they don't call it that for all sorts of corporate-type reasons to do with semantics (most of which you can probably guess off-the-bat). Anyway, my P.I. tells Lyon that I am a "High A" with a "Lower B". In English this means that I am assertive (not much of a shock there) and that, in the most basic interpretation, I am not much of a people person; I'm not driven by a desire to relate to people, more by a desire to relate to things. (There is a LOT MORE complexity to what these random As and Bs tell us, but I'm trying to keep it short).

I categorically reject this of me now. I did this evaluation four years ago when I first came to Sacramento and when life was pretty crap to be honest. No money, no job, no friends, new city. I firmly believe that my responses on that one day in 2002 were as much a result of my current circumstances as they were of some innate and unchangeable genetic personality trait.

People fascinate me. I love to talk to them. I love to watch them. I love to learn from them. How they are different from one another, from me, is a constant source of wonderment. As I get older, I find that I will talk more indiscriminantly to strangers. Which is how this post started. Last night I found myself talking to the woman serving the wine about her husband, his job, traveling to India; doesn't sound like much of an epiphany, but I would not have done this 10 years ago, gosh 5 years ago. Back then, engaging in meaningful conversation with somebody I met a nano-second ago was unthinkable.

It's true that I don't suffer fools lightly and that I am discriminating when it comes to who I choose to spend my time with. Life is too short to waste valuable time with people you don't like, who don't like you and/or who have a negative influence on you - unless of course you have to for some legitimate reason, such as work in which case you just have to grin and bear it. This will never change about me; I've seen and experienced the result of having the wrong people in your life. As I've learned more about myself, I've learned what I need from the people around me and I search for people that compliment me, complete me and/or challenge me in a positive way.


Life, time, maturity has definitely made me more curious about other people. I spend less time looking at people through the frame of reference of my own personality and experiences, and more time trying to find out more about why other people the way they are. This leads me to rush to judgment less quickly, ask more questions, and make friends with people I wouldn't have taken the time to talk to in the past. This is part of the reason I would like to travel more. Yes, there are pretty places, historical monuments, and great adventures to be had, but also I want to talk to people who live in these places and find out from them what it's like to live in a completely different reality. That's fascinating to me.

So, I reject the pigeon-hole that I was put in the day I walked into Lyon and checked some boxes on the P.I. assessment. That was 4 years ago and represented me, at that moment in time, not me as a whole person. I'm fed-up of being defined by my "HIGH A" and my "LOWER B". While I recognize, generally speaking, every person can be shoved into one of 4 personality-types, I also believe that people are extremely adaptable and intuitive, and can "be" whoever they want to/need to in a given circumstance AND that people can and do change as a result of that thing called life. This is one of the reasons that I'm glad I'm out of my old job and into a new job where everything I do is viewed through the context of my P.I. pattern. I find it limiting. I am bigger and more complex than a 4-point line graph. So there.

God, it's already 11:10 and I'm wasting my Saturday. I'll do #2 tomorrow or something.



e said...

1. Good for you. It's insane to be defined by a test! As you pointed out, stuff was going on then that affected your answers. That was a snapshot, a moment in time. And it's really annoying when people decide that you are such-and-such, because after that it doesn't even matter what you do, they'll only and always see evidence that you are such-and-such and miss everything else. Really frustrating. So to hell with the silly personality test.

2. Don't forget to write about the just do it philosophy of life, I'm interested in your insights.

britvixen said...

You're so right in your comment that, it doesn't matter what you do, they will always see evidence that you are what they have already decided you are.

dee said...

I have this theory that those tests (wow, 5 words that begin with "t" -- does that mean I'm an alliterate?) are utilized by those supervisor/manager types with neither management nor people skills. But that's just my opinion.

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