Thursday, October 29, 2009

so i'll say this much for the illinois state employees' ethics test- someone did a good job on it. they made cool little scenarios that touch at the heart of ethics in government and that aren't so easy to solve, so that it's actually interesting reading, even if you don't deal with vendors, or have any particular interest in selling off your corner of the government.

it only has two flaws, one, it's provided for us by the same state in which our senator bought his seat, our last two governors have gone to jail, etc. second, it takes our valuable time, and they pressure us to do it even over much more pressing problems. i saw this coming today and had about forty minutes for a thirty minute test, right before my lunch swim, o i rescued the email which was slipping way down amongst forty or fifty more, and clicked on it.

now i can never get through it without some kind of ethical dilemma, whether it be stealing a cool picture and putting it on my desktop, or whatever. i thought whimsically of the speed-reading academics who had complained because the test flunked them for reading too fast, thus assuming they were cheating; they said they wouldn't be where they were if they couldn't read it fast. i thought i might even have to slow down myself so as to not get caught in that kind of situation, though i'm only slightly on the fast side, and that's only because i don't bother with the president's message, or the followup lectures.

but alas, a student came in and took twenty or thirty minutes of my time, and it was a valid request, really, one i couldn't just brush off until later. thirty minutes gone, i'm now about a third through it and it's time for my swim. so i go swimming. but that alone is an ethical dilemma. now i've taken too long, or, deliberately stepped out in order to slow the clock. how slick is their system? will it flag a guy who takes an hour break in the middle of a thirty minute test? who goes too fast in the first and last half, but slows to a halt for an entire hour?

guess i'll find out. actually they passed me and allowed me to have and print a certificate. they also wanted me to take a survey, which i declined. an hour and a half was enough already. but if anyone asks, it was a great test. well-made. worth taking. nice web design. educational.

they should make everyone take it, all the way up.


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