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Some interesting answers...
11-23-2019, 02:04 PM (This post was last modified: 11-23-2019 02:06 PM by Rob Wick.)
Post: #1
Some interesting answers...
I'm spending this rainy day going through each issue of McClure's Magazine looking for articles written by Tarbell. I'm currently up to her Standard Oil series, and in one of the issues was an article titled "Comedy of the Catechised." It took several Civil Service exams (the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act had been passed about 20 years prior) and printed some of the nonsensical responses that the test was designed to uncover, and hopefully keep the respondent out of government employ. Here are some examples:

"Do you use intoxicating beverages and to what extent?"
One respondent said "No, but I take a drink."
Another replied "I do, but not as an occupation."
Another said "I do, but not to success."

An applicant for a position of taking care of dependent children, when asked what experiences she had that would qualify her for the job, wrote "that she had taken care of numerous children over the past 14 years, including three orphans not my own."

A candidate for the position of fireman said his experience working "in dangerous places, such as churches" qualified him to battle blazes.

People wanting to work in a city zoo were asked to name three birds of prey. One replied "canary, dove, and sparrow" while another said "eagle, chicken, and hawk." Neither came close to this hapless person who wrote "Tiger, lion, and leopard."

Finally, those who applied for civil service jobs had to have the recommendation of four people to attest to their moral character and ability to handle the job they were seeking. The voucher had to list their name, address and occupation.

"One respectable citizen wrote: 'I am by occupation a tow-boat.' Another, 'I am sea-food;' a third wrote 'I am a cigar;' a fourth wrote 'by occupation, I am a junk shop.'"

But the one I like the most came from a person who was asked "are you aware of anything that disqualifies you for a full discharge of official duty." The reponse? "Incompetency."


Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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12-12-2019, 07:43 AM
Post: #2
RE: Some interesting answers...
What a hoot! Enjoyed it greatly! Thanks Rob.

Bill Nash
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