Thoughts / Meet the Middlevert

Filling out job applications can be pretty brain numbing, especially after the 10th one in a row. Sometimes the questions and the quizzes drag on for nearly 30-40 minutes before you discover that you don't even really want to the job anyway. These days corporations are asking for more than just the standard Resume/CV, they are asking for a cover letter, short bio, portfolio samples, and even personality tests!

Yes, I said personality tests. The best kinds are the ones in which they ask a series of questions, obviously targeted to figure out whether you're an introvert or extrovert. For example, 

Do you prefer to work on projects alone or in a group?
A coworker begins to tell you about their problems. What do you do?

But what if your answer depends entirely on the situation?

I went ahead and took a few tests outside the job application-sphere to try and find out who I am, "according to the experts":

  1. Susan Cain, The Power of Introverts - Introvert
  2. - Extrovert
  3. - Extrovert

In conversation with fellow colleagues about the subject, many seemed to come to the same conclusion. Because I feel awkward in quiet rooms, hate eating lunch without a conversation partner, and wear brightly colored clothing, I must be an extrovert. And though I don't necessarily believe this is entirely correct, let's take a look at what the dictionary has to say about the two.

Introvert: A shy person. A person characterized by concern, primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings. (See this article)

Extrovert: An outgoing, gregarious person. A person concerned primarily with the physical and social environment. (See this article)

Right, then. So what if you are an outgoing, gregarious person who is mostly concerned with your own thoughts and feelings? Is is really so impossible to admit that this sort of person exists without coming up with a name for them? How about middlevert.

Parents and older people always tell us that our teenage years are for discovering "who we are and what we like." I beg to differ. In my personal experience, I used my teenage years as a platform for audacity. I wasn't as busy discovering myself as I was showing off. There's one particular quote that has always stuck with me and continues to burn through my head at the center of all serf consciousness:

If you're not a successful actress or singer by the time you're 25, you will never be.

Now I'm 21 and a freelance copywriter. I've recently entered a televised talent show as a singer. One part of me is shrieking "What the hell are you thinking!?" while the other is squirming around with joy saying, "Go get 'em, you're the best!" 

Even at sixteen I was feeling the pressure. Suburban California was sickeningly bland for a person of my worldly needs. I rebelled, doing everything I could to make sure that everybody in town knew my name. I'd sew a new outfit out of recycled fabrics every day, I'd jump around on stage with absolutely no fear, and I'd tell the bullies to "go fuck themselves." And after the daily grind was over I'd go home to my giant Sony computer to examine my thoughts on the day's events. I guess you could say my blog was popular, considering the threats I received from fellow students, school admin, and even the local police department. 

To the public eye I always appeared to be bold and opinionated, ready to tackle the world. At home I am conservative in my views, an analyst of Scorsese films, and a lazy lump of a mess. When it comes to friends in numbers, I relate mostly to the phrases:

One is the loneliest number.

Two is company.

Three is a crowd.

And four is divisible by two, so we're back to square one.

With this in mind I take the stand to refuse any more personality tests. Instead of brainlessly filling out the multiple choice questions like they made us do for the State Tests, I will "x" out the window! I encourage you to do the same.