When I worked at the Almost Big Bank they did a study of senior executives and their assistants. I worked for a Senior Vice President, a really high ranking muckety muck at the time (whom I secretly adored – the guy was kind, funny, intelligent, and downright charming). We had to attend a seminar together and were given these tests to complete.
Mine said that I should be a writer. That cracked me up, since it was about ten years from when I decided to stop everything and go for my dream of being a writer. Then the test went on and on about other characteristics, some of which were uncomfortably correct. One of them said that I showed intermittent impulse control issues. Another trait it listed was that I do protective purchasing.
Ever buy a flashlight and then buy a ten pack of C batteries? I have. I lost the flashlight before I ever went through the batteries. Or buy a mop and a jumbo pack of refills and hate the mop so much that you never use the refills? Me. I have countless stories of doing protective purchasing. I know that about myself. I try to mitigate it, but just the other day I bought a Chinese fountain pen. Yes, you guessed it. I bought Chinese fountain pen refills – there are ten packages of 6. I doubt I will ever write that much before the fountain pen gives up the ghost.
I’ve worked on the impulse control issues a lot more successfully. That’s not to say I’m not impulsive. I am. But at least I make myself wait two whole days before I do something idiotic. Like changing the theme on my web page. (Lots and lots and lots of work.) Or telling someone I’d be happy to help them do something (before realizing that some people are vampires and they suck the life out of you).
Every day for the last two weeks I’ve been looking at another example of impulse control. Let’s say a failed example.
I really like certain types of mercury glass. See the really pretty vase like thingee in the middle? I saw it and fell in love. I liked the shape. I liked the top. I had the perfect place on my office bookshelf for it.
It has to be the ugliest thing I’ve ever bought in my life.
See those brownish things around the middle? Those are patterns, like a child’s finger paintings or maybe it’s writing. Heck, for all I know, it could be Islamic writing and it’s saying: “Death to all female writers”.
It is so fugly I don’t know where to put it. I thought about sending it back, but it’s not the company’s fault I didn’t look more closely at the picture. Plus, it was on sale and I do NOT want to expend any more money on this thing.
Oh, another thing? Always check the dimensions on stuff you order. That should be a given, right? Nope, I didn’t. This thing is nearly 30″ high. It doesn’t fit on the shelf where I wanted to put it. It doesn’t fit anywhere. Right now it’s on my desk with the top inverted and tucked inside it.
Every time I look at the silly thing, I’m reminded of that test all those years ago and how much I evidently continue to need to work on impulse control.
How about you?