In my on-going search for employment, today entered a new phase. I applied a couple of weeks ago for a “relief rural carrier” (i.e. substitute mail carrier) with the United States Post Office.

Yes, that United States Post Office!

After filling out their extensive and exhausting application, progressed to an “online personality evaluation” – that would be a one hundred and eighty-question personality evaluation. A friend warned me to answer, “Ask your supervisor” for any questions in which I might have my own opinion about!

I must have answered correctly because a few days after that I received an email to inform me that my next step was to schedule my “postal exam” within the next ten days.

I scheduled and this morning was my day to go postal, as it were, and I headed off for points unknown to take this test, some hour away from my home – at the Sparta Regional Airport.

In case you have an inquiring mind, there are strict rules for taking this exam. You cannot bring in anything but a picture id. They do not allow you to bring in any electronic devices, no coat, no purse or pocketbook, or no backpacks.

Therefore, you cannot phone a friend, search the interwebz, or ask the audience should you find yourself stuck on a question.

This is a 90 minute timed test, with a break halfway through.

Are you still with me?

Okay, the first 10 pages of the online test were how to take the test.

I. Am. Not. Kidding.

Ten Pages.

Of instructions.

“Click next when you are ready to proceed to the next page.”

Once the test started, it was comprised of three different sections with approximately 30 minutes for each section…

Section 1 was “which of these things is not like the other” and because I spent a goodly number of years watching Sesame Street, I got these 30 questions done in short order.

Section 2 was “Can you fill out this form” and from the list of items, you needed to place them in the correct box. I wonder if the IRS does the same test. Seriously, one question was which box would you sign… ummmm, how about the box that says “signature”?

Section 3 was all about coding and it had 2 parts, the first questions had a series of addresses and you needed to match them to the correct “route” and the second part required you to memorize the “code” and then assign the next set of address to the correct “route.”

I completed all of the sections in less than 40 minutes, which included reading the 10 pages of instructions.

I was done before the appointed time for a break, so I did not get one.

In case you are wondering… I passed.

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