That is how I spent my Saturday afternoon, sitting in a gargantuan, icy cold room that could fit 1,000 nicely fed elephants, freezing my buns off, writing a Second Language test to assess my abilities to speak Canada's 'other' official language. That would be French. Francais. Except I don't know which keys to use to type the little tail on the 'c', and for that alone, I'll probably fail this and all future tests.
I guess I should be happy I was even asked to write this test, because it means I passed the federal government's initial screening for a job I had applied for. So, here I go. Yay.
I would have failed had the test included actually finding the damn building and room, because the French, they aren't too good at giving directions. First off, there are no numbers on their government buildings that tower sky high over the Ottawa River. So, you're pretty much guessing where this place is. Thank god for Mapquest, which gave me some inkling.
Then, try to find parking. There is none. Nada. Rien (that's French for "This freaking sucks, and no one cares.")
I finally found a lot that I surmised might be somewhere near the building, but I had to pay to park there to take a test they wanted me to take, and that in itself pissed me off even more, because I'm spoiled that way. I usually find free parking somewhere, but no, not in Quebec. There, even god pays to park.
As I'm paying for my parking, and mumbling profanities under my breath, and trying to hold in the vomit that is trying to come out, (oh, did I forget to tell you I had a bad migraine? well, I did) this bald guy sidles up behind me to wait his turn. He's smiling. What the hell?! There is nothing to smile about, that's for damn sure.
So, totally confused now, I have to ask him whether he too is going for the testing, because if he is, and he's smiling, he's loony.
Yup, he's going for the test. He's certifiable.
So, because I have a death wish, I ask him if he knows where we are supposed to write, and he says he doesn't, so maybe we can go and get lost. Together.
I say, "Sure!", because what have I got to lose, except maybe my life. And at this point, that might not be such a bad thing, considering I feel like death has just warmed over me.
And together we walk the mazes, asking passersby and little animals for directions, and we finally get to our destination: the elephantine room.
Bald Guy turns out to be a really nice guy, by the way. He smiles all the time, though, which is strange, but whatever turns your crank is how I roll, so I allow him to continue smiling as we sign in for the test. All along, I feel like cattle, because we are all lined up to sign a little piece of paper ensuring we are who we say we are, before we can go through the big metal doors to sign away our lives. In French. And, by the way, I know cattle don't know how to write, or even have a signature. It was just a simile. I think.
The room is cold. Freezing. So glad they made sure they turned the air on when it's still just above freezing outside. Freaks.
Anyway, Pauline (the test administrator) spends probably half an hour going over all the minutiae of the test (for instance, "Please put your first name here. For example, my first name is Pauline. Your first name is usually the name people call you."). Well, Pauline, I have news for you. Your first name is now officially Asshole. Can we please move on, now that we've cleared that up?
We're finally ready for Part I, which consists of reading comprehension. They give you a bit of text, and you have to read it and answer the question they're asking, filling in the little circle beside one of the multiple choice answers. There are 65 of these questions, and overall, they're not too bad. I have 1.5 hours to finish the test, and I barely make it, but I make it. Many people didn't finish.
All through this test, my mind tries to focus on the task at hand, but I keep going back to thoughts like, 'I am so sick,' and 'I wonder how they'd feel if I threw up all over their nice little answer sheet and test booklet?', and 'Does Elmo have testicles if his voice is so high, and if he does, would he shave them, or leave the red fur?'
I was also starving. S to the T to the A...STARVING. Strange, really, since I was also so nauseated, but I hadn't eaten yet that day (first big mistake), and the test people said the concessions were open downstairs, so I thought a nice orange juice might do me some good.
Once we're done the test, they won't let us leave the room until they've counted all the submitted tests. And they're all French people, so you can only guess how long that took. OK, if there are any French people reading this, I am so so sorry. Just a joke.
To be continued ... since this post is taking way too much space, and time, and you're all probably asleep already, with the drool dripping down from the corners of your mouths, threads of drool dripping onto your keyboards and electrocuting you...and I have run out of things to say for now, and it's waaay past my bedtime, and I still have to get in my porn quota for the day. Ta ta.
I am a 46-year-old mom of two amazing children and wife to a wonderful and very patient man, and a lucky friend to many. I am a Realtor and a writer, but have also been a journalist, editor, and daycare provider. Not every day is a good day, but I sure try to keep smiling.