Test-Taker, the Hot New Occupation

young man doing homework and studying in college library

Much ado has been made about testing in our public schools. I applaud testing myopia, which is why I capitalized on the trend. Introducing an entire company built around the world’s newest occupation: Test-taker.

You can argue about the merits and demerits of testing, but that’s not how I roll. I don’t take sides. I just figure out what people want, and then charge a lot of money for it.

In this case, the majority want to create the world’s best test-takers. They insist we beat every other country’s test scores, even though the minority (or minorities) might argue we should focus on beating every other country’s poverty rate.

Sorry minority, but the majority rules. They also happen to cut the checks.

We are producing some of the greatest test-takers humankind has ever known. Yet no one is capitalizing on this! No one in the real world seems to be recruiting “test-takers”.

Thus, a new enterprise was born. I would create a company of test-takers, and we would, um, answer questions!

I hired an ad agency to name my company, and they came up with “Test-Eze.” Not sure exactly what that means, but it sure rolls off the tongue. Plus our logo was a person grabbing their crotch, and it takes balls to come up with the right answer.

Now that I had employees and a kick-ass brand, I just had to find work for us. But business development proved to be a tad daunting.

No one is exactly looking for great test-takers. They want specific occupations like nurse, or computer technician, or jammed-stapler fixer. This pissed me off, because really, when you get to core of it, people want answers, not employees.

After weeks of struggling to find business, I finally hit it. I went to a local bar where many of the Fortune 500 CEOs hang out when they’re done with work. One guy was sitting alone at the bar, scratching his head.

“Dandruff?” I asked.

“No, got a problem that I can’t figure out,” he replied.

My first customer. I told him about my company. He liked what he heard, and invited us to meet him at the site of his consternation.

Not As Smart as the Wisened Old Coot

Pencils bunched together

The CEO ran a ketchup packet company. They made those little packets of ketchup – and some mustard ones too. We rendezvoused at the plant, built on the banks of a river. A highway was visible across the flowing water.

“Our delivery trucks have to get from here to that highway,” he said. “To do that, we need a bridge. Can your team build a bridge?”

“Well, if you could test us on how to build a bridge, we might be able to help you.”

He squinted at me. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, if you could give us some examples of what angles to use in building the bridge, we could tell you if you’re picking the right answer.”

“We’ll need that in multiple choice format,” one of my test-takers chimed in. “And some sharpened #2 pencils.”

From the nearby riverbanks, an old coot with a straw hat cleared his throat. “Why don’t you just drive them trucks a half mile up the road, where there’s a bridge already built to highway?”

The CEO’s jaw dropped. “You mean, I don’t need to build a bridge?”

“No suh,” he replied.

The CEO turned to me. “Sorry, but this is what I was looking for. I didn’t need someone who could answer my question. I needed someone who could tell me if I was asking the RIGHT question. You’re fired.”

I found later that the wisened old coot with the straw hat was promoted to VP of Distribution. Damn those wisened guys.

As for my team of test-takers, we floundered around for a while, and eventually I had to lay everyone off. All the employees went back to school to find out how to question instead of how to answer.

As for me, I’m trying to liquidate what’s left of the biz. Anyone want to buy 500,000 #2 pencils?  


  1. Love it Greg! You summed the madness up beautifully!

  2. Greg:
    Another home run!

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