Monday, March 24, 2014

Evaluation

I have been comprehensively evaluated. In the vocational sense. I don't feel any different. I do have a twenty-six page document to prove it. It's written in a style specific to the discipline, so even though it mentions me by name a whole bunch of times it's not terribly interesting. Twenty pages of the report are careers divided into zones and associated with a code. I can look up this code on a website and find out if this career choice is suitable for me! Whoa! As if I wouldn't have known if a career interested me and meshed with my skill set without this information! While I was undergoing the testing in January I was hopeful that the results would point me in a direction for a future job that might be a good fit with the functional limitations of my hands. And maybe recommend further education or training to render me more employable. I have come away from the evaluation with these interpretations from my evaluator. That I am suspicious. Because I asked numerous questions during the testing. Funny, I thought that indicated my curiosity, not paranoia. Curiosity is a function of intelligence. And as we all know, I proudly identify as a subgenius*. That I am resistant to working with new technologies. Patently false. I sometimes struggle with newfangled thingys but I am interested in and fascinated by them. I also realize that many of these fancy new devices are out of my reach in a dollar sense and I honestly wondered why an employer would invest in them to put compromised-potential-employee-me on the payroll. I think he misunderstood my explanation of the idiosyncratic writer's process that for me entails certain details that put me in a brain space and comfort space to help the ideas flow. Part of that process for me is the keyboard and my association with the words appearing on the screen. From my brain through my fingers. Even though that process is made more difficult with my six finger typing style and much more visual contact with the keyboard than I would prefer. Just the same, I did question how voice-to-text software might affect my creative process. He praised my adaptive behavior. During the hands-on phase of testing, I often had to approach the work in a way that accommodated my hands. Sometimes this merely appears awkward, often it is awkward but how I must do it in order to do it at all. Most of the time these accommodations result in pain and strain because human hands and wrists were simply not designed to be used in this manner. Because I'm gritty and stubborn I pushed through despite the pain in order to complete the testing. And for the two days following completion of testing I accomplished little at home due to the rebound pain effect I experience following overdoing it. Counseling was recommended to help with anxiety and low self esteem. I owned up to experiencing a certain level of anxiety concerning my work comp lawsuit and my current financial situation. The anxiety is most likely due to the fact that uncertainty has ruled my life for so long it almost feels normal. I expect this will be alleviated to a greater degree when the lawsuit is settled. The self esteem issue came up when I expressed the opinion that I felt I had done worse time-wise on the second run-through of a particular fine motor skills test. I had actually done better the second time around. The thing is, it felt longer to me. I was pushing to work through the pain due to my adaptive approach to the task. Has he perhaps heard of that hot stove vs kissing analogy and how it relates to how we interpret the passage of time? Unless I'm missing the elephant in the room I don't see an association with self esteem in this scenario. While I have been through counseling and appreciate its value, I can't agree with his interpretation here. Anyone who wants to work can work. He illustrated this statement with a man he evaluated who is in a wheelchair and drives a truck. Indicating that someone who is clearly more disabled than me is working. Is this meant to shame me? To make me feel better about my level of impairment? Does he also judge those with handicapped parking stickers for appearing too spry when they exit their vehicles? My evaluator might be a trained professional who is in the business of administering tests and interpreting their results. But I seriously question his level of empathetic intelligence and his ability to assess character and attitude.

* I classify myself as a subgenius due to the fact that my IQ is not high enough to qualify me for Mensa membership. While mildly self-deprecating, I find the term humorous. Please do not misconstrue this as poor self-esteem and send me to counseling.

3 comments:

Trent Jonas said...

When confronted with the term "subgenius", I am compelled to think of a below-ground subversive intellect, laying in wait for those over-geniuses who trot about trumpeting their IQ scores. MENSAns -- beware the subgenius. You know: like the undertow.

LindaCO said...

Jeebus. Well, I hope this doesn't impact that fact that you should be compensated for the damage your previous job did to your hands.

Bellona of Avalon said...

Linda, the irony here is that my lawyer suggested I go through this testing! At this point I have surrendered to the process. The laws associated with Work Comp favor the employers from the outset, you only get major compensation if you're drooling and confined to a wheelchair. :-P

Trent! Suddenly I feel like I'm involved in a guerrilla movement for wayward, quirky intellectuals. Suddenly it makes perfect sense that my office is in the basement...