How does one measure a person’s patience? Sure you could wait and look at someone’s performance over time, but what if you need more immediate results [What do we want? Patience! When do we want it? Now!] No fear. I’ve developed a 10 step universal test that you can begin using immediately. Have them complete the following tasks:
1. Get information from a poorly constructed mobile website.
First send them to a full website that simply shows up on a phone screen anyway. Have them click on the tiniest text with their chubbiest fingers. Then send them to a mobile site that is a weird abstraction of the full site. Something that gives you neither information nor functionality, but rather a pretty version of their logo that fits on the cell phone screen.
2. Watch a streaming movie where it always buffers right before the main character reveals whether or not they love the other main character.
Make sure that when the movie stops buffering it also skips forward 30 seconds. Now they know the result, but did not get to see the crucial moment. Examine reaction.
3. Stay in that one check out line where everyone needs a price check.
Suggested cashier script: “Mmm, you know what, this isn’t ringing up. I’ll just run to the back of this giant, mega store to find out how much it is. I think I know where it is.”
4. Watch a reality talent competition results show WITH commercials and WITHOUT fast forwarding anything.
Want to skip the filler banter? The repetitious re-evaluations of contestant performances? That one guest judge you hate? Too bad. If you really want to be cruel, do this with a So You Think You Can Dance result show, back when they did the two night programs [Cat Deeley, don’t hate me, I’m still your biggest fan].
5. Adjust custom tabs and formatting in Microsoft Word.
Tell them you only want that one list to be center aligned. Be sure to have them do that dumb decimal tab thing too. Oh and while they’re in there, have them look at that strange formatting error that doesn’t go away when you clear text styles. Include a portion where the print preview looks fine, but then the errors print anyway.
6. Assemble Ikea furniture with no directions.
A person who truly perseveres knows they only need an allen wrench to succeed.
7. Read an online article with fake next page buttons right above the real next page buttons.
The fake buttons should take them to obnoxious ads completely unrelated to their life or infect their computer with malware. Also, it should take forever to reload the original article.
8. Get them hooked on a new television show… right before midseason hiatus.
Or even better, a foreign tv show. That way they know that somewhere in the world it is airing, they just have no way to watch it yet. Admittedly, this would take some time to complete, so we’ll consider this test item optional.
9. Drive behind someone who doesn’t go when the light turns green.
Preferably this should be done at a left turn. Then when the person finally gets to go, the light turns before they can make their move. Remind them that the driver in front of them probably has a really good reason, like they were checking their facebook or fixing their hair.
You can also substitute the scenario where a person is stuck behind someone trying to get into a left turn lane at the last minute [despite no space] and blocking all traffic going straight.
10. Call a customer service line to activate your internet service.
Begin evaluation when the first automated voice message informs them “Please go to our website! You can do all of this online.” Deduct points for when people point out logic, such as “You can’t set up internet service, with no internet service.”
Congratulations! If the person you’re evaluating has passed all these tests they are a master of patience and zen. Learn their ways.
Bonus test [Will power]: Text promotions.
If you have a longer period of time to evaluate a person tell them to eat healthy, but sign them up for every restaurant text promotion known to man. Sure you could try watching them do other health programs, but these can be unreliable. Remember, fitness calorie tracking apps can be deleted. Dieting buddies forget to hold you accountable. But Red Mango will text you every ten days whether you like it or not. Bocata will never miss updating you when the cookie selection has been changed. Jamba Juice will never let you miss a great deal. If they fail this test, as so many have, I simply advise you to have mercy on them and help them eat, pray, love their way through the situation.
Currently: just finished The Peachkeeper (Sarah Addison Allen) and quite enjoyed it.