Take this simple quiz to figure out if you're a jerk!
(George Musser and the folks at Nautilus thought it would be fun to have a quiz alongside my essay "How To Tell If You're a Jerk", but we didn't quite pull it off before release of the issue.)
The Jerk Quiz
1. You're waiting in a line at the pharmacy. What are you thinking? (a) Did I forget anything on my shopping list? (b) Should I get ibuprofen or acetaminophen? I never can keep them straight. (c) Oh no, I'm so sorry, I didn’t mean to bump you. (d) These people are so damned incompetent! Why do I have to waste my time with these fools? 2. At the staff meeting, Peter says that your proposal probably won't work. You think: (a) Hm, good point but I bet I could fix that. (b) Oh, Loretta is smiling at Peter again. I guess she agrees with him and not me, darn it. But I still think my proposal is probably better than his. (c) Shoot, Peter's right. I should have thought of that! (d) Peter the big flaming ass. He's playing for the raise. And all the other idiots here are just eating it up! 3. You see a thirty-year-old guy walking down the street with steampunk goggles, pink hair, dirty sneakers, and badly applied red lipstick. You think: (a) Different strokes for different folks! (b) Hey, is that a new donut shop on the corner? (c) I wish I were that brave. I bet he knows how to have fun. (d) Get a job already. And at least learn how to apply the frickin lipstick. 4. At a stop sign, a pedestrian is crossing slowly in front of your car. You think: (a) Wow, this tune on my radio has a fun little beat! (b) My boss will have my hide if I'm late again. Why did I hit snooze three times? (c) She looks like she's seen a few hard knocks. I bet she has a story or two to tell. (d) Can't this bozo walk any faster? What a lazy slob! 5. The server at the restaurant forgets that you ordered the hamburger with chili. There's the burger on the table before you, with no chili. You think: (a) Whatever. I'll get the chili next time. Fewer calories anyway. (b) Shoot, no chili. I really love chili on a burger! Argh, let's get this fixed. I'm hungry! (c) Wow, how crowded this place is. She looks totally slammed. I'll try catch her to fix the order next time she swings by. (d) You know, there's a reason that people like her are stuck in loser jobs like this. If I was running this place I'd fire her so fast you'd hear the sonic boom two miles down the street. How many times did you answer (d)?
0: Sorry, I don't believe you.
1-2: Yeah, fair enough. Same with the rest of us.
3-4: Ouch. Is this really how you see things most of the time? I hope you're just being too hard on yourself.
5: Yes, you are being too hard on yourself. Either that, or please step forward for the true-blue jerk gold medal!
(As my scoring system suggests, this quiz is for entertainment and illustration purposes only. I don't take it seriously as a diagnostic measure!)