Boy, the last week has just been full of humiliating events proving what I have suspected all along. I really am stupid. Tonight was the icing on the cake. I was fired. Seriously, fired. I have never, ever, ever in my life been fired. I don't even think I've ever even been reprimanded or seriously criticized by a boss. And I've had tons of jobs. Sometimes three jobs at at a time. I've been a lifeguard, babysitter, recreation director, tree trimmer, retail clerk, church secretary (stop laughing), Lowe's greeter girl, receptionist, coaches' secretary, multi-level marketer, daycare exercise teacher, tennis coach, Special Ed teacher and Kindergarten teacher. And I have NEVER EVER EVER been fired. Until now.
Now, most of you who think I am just a stay at home mom, please don't worry. I didn't get fired from that job. Yet. No, this was a little side job. I'm always trying to find ways to make an extra buck. Partly because it stinks not to have any of my own money and partly because I feel guilty using my husband's hard-earned money to buy myself shoes and makeup. So I applied (8 times) and was selected to review and grade SAT essays for two weeks in October. I went through a rigorous training (well, it wasn't rigorous compared to, say, Army basic training, but it took a long time and I had to pay lots of attention, and with three kids running around, it's hard to pay attention.) and had to agree to grade for at least 5 hours per day. The problem was that, even though I am clearly an extraordinary writer and I love to read, it turns out I wasn't really all that good at grading these essays. In fact, excuse the terminology, I flat out sucked at it.
I could not assign a correct grade to save my life. If Oprah had walked into my house and said to me, "Girl, if you grade this essay correctly, I'll give you a car, tickets to my Favorites show, a makeover, and I'll introduce you to Vince Vaughn," I still couldn't have done it.
I don't know what the problem was. I may have been too distracted (three kids, remember?) to really carefully read each essay. I may not have read them closely enough. I know for sure that I was grading too harshly on the mechanics. I would get all caught up in the spelling and grammar and forget completely that I was supposed to mainly judge them on critical thinking and organization. I tried, I really did. Before each day of scoring, I would complete the mandatory calibration papers, which are supposed to prepare your mind for the task ahead. I failed over 70% of them. They also throw in validity papers randomly during scoring, so that, at any time, you could be grading a "test" essay. One day, I actually got 100% on the 3 validity papers they sent my way. Unfortunately, I got 0% validity on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and yesterday. Obviously, I stunk it up royally. I haven't done a job this poorly since Dad forced me to drag the Weed B Gone bar across the front yard (a story for another time).
So I got an email tonight saying that my continuously poor validity rating was cause for concern and I was going to have to grade 10 test essays to be able to continue this job. I graded them. Slowly. I was feeding Rhett on my lap, but I really was paying attention. I had to get 60% exactly correct and 90% adjacent (only one score point off) to pass the test. I got 20%/50%. I am a loser. You can bet I won't be adding this one to my resume. I can't believe it. I got canned.
Canned. Hmmm...what do I like that comes in a can? Something that might make me feel like less of a loser tonight? Can you think of anything? Maybe Bud Light? Yeah, Bud Light. Killing more brain cells than I've already lost should be just the solution for this recent bout of stupidity, don't you think?