The Integrity Test

I applied for a job recently at a Professional Home Health Care Center.

Basically, my job would’ve been visiting clients'(old peoples’) homes, and giving them professional health care, whatever that means. I think the last time I took a CPR test was in the 7th grade, so personally, I find the title slightly misleading.

I was told that my job was to basically help these old(er) people with the annoying household-type stuff that your parents made you do when you were little, like Clorox the bathroom and scrub your two-day old lasagna off your plate.

I won’t lie, though, I was actually pretty excited about this. Helping someone wash their delicates and make them dinner brings me a weird sense of pride and joy.

In exchange for helping out the elderly folk do their dishes, vacuum their carpets, organize their ancient book collections, water their 1,450 plants, I was also told that I may leave smelling like a marijuana dispensary because, “Remember, this is Colorado.”

My first interview went really well. I could tell that the woman who I met with liked me a lot because we talked about salt water taffy and the changing color of the Aspen trees in October. I feel bad that I don’t remember her name.

Following our 25-minute bonding session, she told me that I would be a great fit and so I was pretty sure that I had the job.

All that was left was for me to take an online integrity test, and pass a standard background check.

I’m not a criminal, I’ve never been fired or arrested, and I don’t think the government has anything on me, so I was pretty sure the second part was a no-brainer.

I’ve never had to take an “integrity test” online before, but I also assumed this was a no-brainer. No part of me was nervous about the invasive questions I was about to receive regarding my intergrity.

There were about 60 or so questions. Over 50 % of them said something along the lines of these:

“Have you ever hit a co-worker before?”

“Have you ever lashed out at your co-workers in a violent manner?”

“Have you ever been physically abusive?”

….and now, think of at least 15 other variations of those questions, and that was over half of the test.

The other questions asked me things like:

“Have you ever stolen money from the register at work before?”

“Have you ever yelled at anyone in the office?”

“Have you ever been verbally abusive to a co-worker or manager?”

“Have you ever gone behind your manger’s back and done something unprofessional?”

“Have you ever taken anything from the workplace that doesn’t belong to you?”

These questions were yes or no.

I literally laughed my way through the test at the absurdity of these inquires. Even if I had lashed out in violent rage at my co-worker, why would I ever say yes?

(Just for the record, I have never done this before).

There was one question out of the whole batch that I said “yes” to.

The question was this:

“Have you ever gotten frustrated at work before?”

First off….what kind of question is this? I am a human being…so yes, I have gotten frustrated at work before. How am I supposed to feel when the computer freezes seven times in an hour? Happy?

So, a week passes by, enough time for the background check to go through, and I give the company a call to find out the results.

Will I get to bond with 75-year old Martha who used to be a Go-Go dancer in New York City?

The anticipation was killing me.

24 hours later I receive a voicemail from the woman who I was initially supposed to interview with, though she never showed up.

“…blah blah blah…unfortunately we are unable to move forward with the hiring process because you did not pass the integrity test.”

I sat on the campus bench, shocked and confused, while my ego plummeted onto the ground and rolled onto the sidewalk where it got stepped on by several passing students.

I called my dad, crying hysterically, wondering where the hell my integrity went, and asked in between sobs- “Is it possible to buy a new one?”


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