Would You Pass the Pencil Pickup Test?

I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life long-term. And anyone who tries to help me always asks the same question, “Well, what are you passionate about?” Yeah… I can see why you’d ask that, but I just think the chances are really slim that my answer to that question is going to connect directly with a career. What are you really expecting me to say?

“Well, Sally, I’m really passionate at looking at the big picture, making a list of action items and deadlines to achieve that big picture, and tracking them in Microsoft Access.”

“Omg, that’s perfect, you should be a project manager!!!”

“On the other hand, I’ve also always had this nagging feeling that I want to prepare profit and loss monthly statements, analyze budgets and review them, and compile other financial information.”

“What a coincidence, that is literally what accountants do, you’d love it!”

If it were that obvious, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I’m not a total idiot. “Gosh, I’m so passionate about helping sick people, I just don’t know how to translate that into a career!”

The things I’m passionate about aren’t real jobs. For example, I’m passionate about telling it like it is with a hint of sarcasm and caustic bitchiness. So I’d be great for a job where I stand at the entrance of an office building and harangue people who come in to work dressed inappropriately.

“Elastic-waist jeans…on a Tuesday? Retire. Now. You have obviously stopped trying.”

“You, in the short skirt, come here. Pick up this pencil I just dropped…. And I just saw your ass, you fail the Pencil Pickup Test! Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 dollars. Just go back to the gentlemen’s club from whence you came.”


The Pencil Pickup Test – I think you know who’s failing here


“Hey, yeah you pal, in the skinny leg khakis and grandpa sweater. This is an office, not a Fall Out Boy sound check. I don’t want to know what your calves are shaped like, get out of here with that.”

“Hey girl, love that sweater you are wearing – is that a gun with bullets coming out of it? Super edgy. But hey, given the shootings that happen like…every week…maybe that’s not the most work appropriate outfit. Maybe you can go home, pull your head out of your ass, and make a less ridiculous wardrobe choice, mmkay?”

To my knowledge, this job doesn’t exist, but it isn’t a bad idea. I’ve seen some wildly inappropriate outfits at work, but not once have I seen a manager reprimand someone for them. Because that is a very uncomfortable talk for a boss to have. “Candy, now I don’t know much about women’s shoes, but I think what you’re wearing are literally called ‘stripper heels.’ I heard somewhere that only sex workers wear clear plastic heels that are six inches high. We sell insurance here, not our bodies, so I’m going to have to ask you to change.”

Whether it’s telling someone she is dressed like a slut, or giving negative performance reviews, or firing someone, nobody likes to deliver the hard news. But I will do it. I volunteer for this dirty work.



I could be an Efficient Feedback Delivery Specialist – aka blunt bad news bitch.

“Kathy, word on the street is you sleep at your desk all fucking day. I don’t know why in the world we’d pay you for that, so…you’re fired. Obviously. Okay, good talk, take care!”

“Tammy, your numbers are great, but nobody likes that you shout orders at them from down the hall and around the corner, so you’re getting a ‘Fails to Meet Expectations’ for Communication this year. For next year, try to be less of a lazy bitch.”

It would be awesome.

What is your dream job that may or may not exist?

57 thoughts on “Would You Pass the Pencil Pickup Test?

  1. I think you just described bartender, except you’d have to be behind a bar. On the other hand, maybe Louis CK is looking for a sidekick. Me, my ultimate job would be beer taster, or wine, yeah that would be nice. Hey, maybe we could team up! You tend the bar and snark at the people and I’ll taste your beer.

  2. That job would be absolutely amazing, and you seem like you’d be really good at it. When you land it, will you hire me? I think my dream job would be getting paid to wake up in the middle of the night to wonder why more people aren’t scared of Dr. Seuss characters.

  3. LOL! We have a few at the office that look like they just came off the shift at a strip club. No one is allowed to say anything for fear of HR backlash. Personally, all this being too PC nowadays takes the fun out of innocent office flirtation, or just being able to say anything!

  4. SUCH a good post. Thanks for confirming that I’m not alone. I’m very new to your blog. It’s great.

    Personally, I think all firms should have an office clown or ‘happiness engineer/co-ordinator’. Whose responsibility it would be to walk around distracting and entertaining co-workers at pre-determined times. Which is essentially what I did at my last firm. Except is was under the guise of a tax adviser and the times were determined by me… This could explain why they weren’t unhappy to see me go…

  5. I would recommend you become a Walmart greeter, but I fear you might have an aneurism. As for me, I would like to be a “Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Taster” when I grow up. Great read BTW!

  6. Hmm, we have so much in common. I am looking for a career in witty banter, sparkling conversation, snark and sarcasm. And having already spent more than 20 years being blunt and bitchy with people (we call that HR) I can tell you it’s not as much fun as you would think. You already know people don’t get subtlety, but they don’t get blunt, explicit either.
    “Why did you mark me down for interpersonal relations?”
    “Because you yell at your colleagues. You yell at ME, and I’m your boss”
    And so on, and so on.

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