How Test Taking Improved My Self Esteem (for once)

studyI’ve been terrified of internet tests since I took an IQ test that put me somewhere between Forrest Gump and Cookie Monster.


However, recently my astute and dear friend piqued my interest while talking about the results of the Meyers & Briggs test she took through work. She suggested I find the test on the internet so we could compare results.


I was afraid, but willing to do anything to avoid several work assignments I had been putting off. My friend assured me that I would not be required to predict where holes would appear if punched into a piece of paper, and directed me to a decently reliable version of the test. found here


Although I was bored almost immediately and found it tedious to read each question, I was able to complete the exam in a timely fashion.  The test writers must have known how difficult it is for smart, clever people like me to follow through on anything, because I was still awarded the coveted ENFJ personality type.


My boredom faded away as I started reading about myself.  The results are like reading your horoscope, but much more sciencey and therefore induces less eye rolls at work functions.


Here is the explanation of the glorious ENFJ results:
Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership.


Fascinating!  There was no mention of my awful spelling skills, hypersensitivity, foot odor, laziness, frequent tearful outbursts or habit of calling 911 when I’m drunk and lonely.


Apparently I’m much much much more of a useful and important person than I thought I was. I mean I knew I was great, but inspiring leadership?


Of course it all makes sense when I think back to my involvement in student government in the 7th grade.  I may have to revisit my “starting a cult” notebook and put away my “ideas on how to quit my job and live under a bridge” notebook.


I will probably start writing more inspirational memos to my coworkers.  Do they even know what a catalyst I can be for group growth?  It’s ridiculous that I’m expected to go to meetings with the other office turds when I am so highly in tune with the emotions and needs of others.


I will contest several parking tests based on these tests results, and will no longer sit idly by while the girl who works in the sandwich shop gives me sub-par slices of cheese.


I am an ENFJ goddamnit, and I demand preferential treatment! Also, let’s rap for a few minutes on how you can reach your potential, friend.

Edible Mystery


Dear Poor Lucky Me,


I recently indulged in a few pretzels from my desk drawer that were stamped with an expiration (I prefer the “Best Used By” variation) date of December 2008.


Now that we are in late May, I thought this may create a problem for me, digestive or otherwise. However, the taste was similar to fresh and so far the only side-affect has been a filmy after-taste / residue in my mouth.


Here is my problem; I have tossed the half bag of pretzels but continue to wonder if I should’ve just went for it and finished the bag. I fear that during these downward economic times, my colleagues and family members would be furious with me if they found out I wasted all of those pretzels.


Please help.


Yours truly,


Dear Stalemated,


I have long been suspicious that those “best by” dates are really just a ruse to get us to buy food, dispose of it, and buy more.


They (the evil snack food conglomerates) don’t care if you eat the food or throw it away as long as you buy more as soon as possible. How rotten can a bag of snacks really get?


And they’re in my head now: when I reach for something in the fridge and it’s anywhere near the expiration date/freshness date I gag. My brain is flooded with images of botulism and mold and bird flu. I know it’s not rational, but it’s still terrifying.


Maybe it’s time to fight back, and get under the warm protection of the bad economy to do so.


Let’s keep our milk two days after it’s freshness date! Let’s cut the visible mold off our cheese and keep- ugh I just gagged- eating it! If my dog can eat garbage and think it’s delicious, surely I can eat wilted lettuce.


Reach into that garbage can, brush off the coffee grounds and shredded paper, and finish those pretzels with pride.


If anyone sneers at you, ask them why they take such pleasure in being wasteful.


Poor Lucky Me

Fight! Fight! Fight! **



Conflicts between friends can be unpleasant.  Especially when you discover that some one you thought was normal is actually insane. Perhaps this is a good reason to have conflicts: to weed out the insane people.


There are some relationships that feel like a ticking time bomb.  You watch them blow up other friendships and think “this will soon be aimed at me” but you can’t be all Minority Report about your social life, so you try to operate as if you don’t know what’s right around the corner.


When the crazy bomb is detonated in your direction, you feel a little smug that you predicted it.  But you also feel annoyed that you fell for the person’s crap, and sad about losing a friend.


Everyone must be careful about how the handle conflicts.  For instance: don’t hang up on some one expecting that they’ll call you right back.  Sometimes they don’t call back, and you’re stuck with a great bitch-out speech that you can’t use.


When writing a scathing email: be aware that you sort of look like a pussy for not having a face to face conversation (even face to phone is better than email).  You also lose the capacity to say “I never said that” later, if you want to make amends or deny acting crazy.  When you write it all down, it’s not retractable.


Once a year we should all tally up the conflicts we’ve started or responded badly to.  We should take time to evaluate if it was worth it or if we just didn’t give ourselves time to calm down before pounding out a pissed off email or swearing at some one’s voicemail.  That way, if and when we apologize, we can do so with intention of not making the same mistake twice.   That’s the only apology that counts, and it’s the hardest to give with sincerity.


**editor’s note: Poor Lucky Me asks that you not assume this essay is about YOU


I have noticed that people don’t like it if you are insulting or hostile about things they believe in, practice, enjoy, wear, eat, or are employed by.


Recently I’ve started listening to what other people say in a conversation, and it’s not as pleasant as what I was assuming they were saying. Apparently when I go on long diatribes about religion and banana cake, it makes other people uncomfortable, even angry. Who knew?


I can’t help if I say to some one, “What’s new?” and they say “Nothing” then I say “You know what really bothers me about what you’re wearing?” and then they get all defensive. I gave them the opportunity to take the conversation ball and they passed. Aren’t I then allowed to talk about whatever interests me? Incidentally, I usually talk about myself or something I recently watched on TV.


This observation is of great interest to me, and I look forward to making notes on my future findings. There may even be a point where I experiment with not insulting people in social situations.

The Land Of Choices and Laziness

I was recently wooed by cool packaging and purchased a bottle of self-foaming hand soap. 


I didn’t think about the implications of the technology, I was too mesmerized by the scent (meadow lavender) and the shape of the bottle (thin, tapered, elegant). 


When I got home and tried to wash my hands, I realized I actually don’t understand why soap would foam itself.  It doesn’t seem to have the same instructions as regular soap. 


For example: with regular soap, I wet my hands, soap up, foam up, rinse.  With the pre-foamed soap, I either have to use three times as much or apply it dry. 


Is that what we’re supposed to be doing?  Is dry application considered an improvement?  I guess you use slightly less water.  Maybe this is the preferred form of soap in more arid regions of the world. 


I naturally lean towards conspiracy theories of the “They’re out to get me” nature.  So along those lines, I think that the self-foaming soap was invented to add more choices in the supermarket aisle, thus driving me to an even higher frenzy when I try and buy things. 


I usually end up having a minor nervous breakdown in the laundry detergent aisle.  I try and decide before I go what items I’ll buy- but I never count on options like High Efficiency Tide or Low Fat Cheese or Self Foaming Soap.


I’m also concerned that people may actually be too lazy to make their own suds.  Has the consumer has been clamoring for an easier way to wash their hands, and the soap company met their demands? 


Maybe the future of America will be a future of fat people lying on the ground, cleaning themselves with pre-made foam and dry shampoo and squirting high calorie food into their mouths from a toothpaste tube-like instrument.  Like French Fry paste, and Cheeseburger paste and Arby’s Roast Beef paste. 


I hope they make an Ice Cream Cake paste.

Summer Guzzling

Dear Poor Lucky Me,
With the arrival of our short summer in Chicago, I have to revisit a perennial problem: day drinking.


I am so easily convinced to order cocktails at brunch, lunch, the common daytime sporting event, on a friend’s boat, from a homeless guy’s 40, etc etc etc.  There is just something about warm weather that makes me so thirsty.


It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with being drunk throughout the day, it’s just that I seem to get much MUCH drunker when it’s light out.  And in the summer it’s light until 9 sometimes!


Is there a home remedy that I don’t know about?  Some secret solution to not being shit hammered after two mid-day Chardonnays?


Please hurry, it’s almost lunchtime and it’s 75 degrees out.


A Lush


Dear A Lush,

You are in luck- I do have a home remedy to cure you! 


No bout of day drinking can defeat the sobering affects of a 1000+ calorie burrito.  In a pinch you can go to Chipotle, but the Poor Lucky Me staffer prefer the local taqueria. 


The important thing is to get as much rice, beans, cheese and hot sauce in your gut as soon as possible.  Even if you got drunk at lunch, you still should consider the burrito remedy.  It’s more like medicine than food, and will allow you to drink comfortably for several more hours. 


Do not be fooled into thinking that tacos or quesadillas can be substituted for the giant burritos.  Alternative foods may have a drastic and undesired outpouring from the orifices. 


I hope this tip helps you continue to enjoy our short but glorious summer!



Poor Lucky Me

Feeding Oneself: An Endless Nuisance

Dear Readers,
Will I disgust you if I confess that I hate feeding myself? Will I reveal that I am an entitled, revolting, unappreciative American if I tell you that I dread the infinite approach of noontime?


As a long time volunteer for liberal causes I’m a fully actualized ingrate. I know how many millions of people on earth would immediately want to murder me if they knew how I felt about procuring my own food. But, I know you understand.


You feel a guilty tug of empathy when you think back to your own recent lunch throes.


Quiznos has those new little sandwiches, but it’s over five blocks away. I got green meat at Subway, so that’s currently of the list. McDonald’s, Arby’s, Wendy’s and Burger King are out of the question, as I’m over the age of 28 and don’t hate myself that much. Au Bon Pan is stupidly over priced. Corner Bakery and Chipotle: I looked up the nutritional values of their menus and can never go back to either place (although I can eat both if I’m at a meeting or convention). Panera is also far away.


Getting food to prepare in the office kitchen is an option; but it requires two traffic lights, passing the scariest Streetwise guy, and then having to walk up and down the halls with frozen, then freshly microwaved food. Only really fit people feel comfortable doing that. Besides, Lean Cuisines et al. have a disturbing amount of sodium. I feel like my innards are being mutilated when I eat those.


Restaurant lunches leave me half-drunk, with pungent exclamation points of afternoon flatulence. I usually have to go into a frosted glass conference room, balance a phone on my shoulder as if I’m on an important conference call, and doze off. I set my alarm to go off at seven minute intervals, whereupon I jerk awake and yell into the mouthpiece “That’s unacceptable! I expected that two hours ago!” It’s an exhausting ruse.


If I wait until I’m really hungry to strategize, I’ll find myself wandering around the sidewalk in front of my office building. I’m troubled by fast food, junk food, frozen food, and expensive food. I know too much to be comfortable just indulging myself, and I love delicious food too much to deprive myself.


I don’t know what the solution is. I just know that lunch will arrive tomorrow, then dinner, and so on and so on and so on. I’ve stopped eating breakfast because I can’t handle three food based decisions a day. And while I’ll try my best to appreciate my privileged position as a whining American, I will curse each mealtime under my breath.

On Stage Aftermath

Sunday, May 17th I went on stage for my Improv Class demonstration.


It was very intimidating, and I handled my fear by eating as many cheese-based-food-stuffs as possible.  It was an interesting coping method considering that I also suffer from “nervous stomach”.  I’m afraid my apartment will smell like fear for weeks to come.


I was very terrified for several reasons: 1. Although I didn’t think I’d suck, I do live in fear of my luck running out.  I thought this would be an interesting opportunity for that to happen. 2. I have an abnormally high amount of self esteem wrapped up in being funny, and bombing on stage would be a good way to find out one isn’t as funny as one thought. 3. I’ve heard the stage adds 30 pounds.  So although I’m very fit and trim and have a six pack in real life, I was afraid I’d look bloated and pasty under the bright lights.  4. I worried that if things went really well, I’d have a hard time going back to normal life.


As it turned out, only #4 was a legitimate fear (well I’m still waiting for the poll results to come back about #3). I can’t remember very many of the gags I made on stage, but I do vaguely remember hearing people laugh.  I am confident that I was competent, even decent.  I got good feedback from my classmates and my family- who take great pride in being “honest”.


But normal life seems suddenly very very annoying.  Heating up soup and sitting in traffic now feels like some one is flushing my head down the toilet.  If I get one more call about lowering my credit debt I might have a good ole fashioned freak out at the recorded voice.


Where is my personal assistant?  Where are the paparazzi who should be chasing me from my personal trainer to my personal stylist’s office?  Where is my manager and why isn’t he calling me with countless offers to do the next big buddy comedy with Jackie Chan?


Maybe after I type up this spreadsheet and sit on another conference call, I’ll cruise over to my email and see if anyone wants to be my agent.


In addition to being hilarious, I also sing and dance badly.

My Performance Art Piece

You might think that I’m staring open-mouthed at your tattoos or extreme boob job because I’m uncouth.  But you are wrong, my friend.


You are actually involved in my on-going performance art piece.  It’s called Attention Is As Attention Does (I got the idea from Forrest Gump).


The idea is that you made yourself look like a freak because you wanted attention, so I will please you by staring at you unabashed. You’ll think at first that you’re offended, but you’ll quickly realized how satisfied you feel that your huge earlobe plugs are accomplishing what you wanted. 


Not only have you successfully pissed off/freaked out/paid back your parents, but you’ve also made yourself stand out from the crowd. Sure, you have severely limited your career options, but chances are whatever motivated your extreme fashion ideas probably would have stunted your viability in the job market anyways.


So the next time you see some one staring, pointing, laughing, or looking away in revulsion, be proud of yourself.  You could be part of an important cultural art project.


At the very least, you look really really freaky, and that’s something.

Hipster Hell

Dear Poor Lucky Me,


I sit in an open floor plan with a bunch of cool hipsters at work.  They blare awful techno music from morning until night, and it’s slowly driving me insane.


I’m too scared to tell them to turn it off for fear that they will think I’m a square (their word, not mine).  I daydream of putting this on their computer monitors while they are away at lunch – as a passive-aggressive retaliation.


What do you think?  And please hurry.


Enough with the Ironic Facial Hair Too, Please


Dear Please,


I like the theory behind your passive-aggressive retaliation, but these are hipsters we’re talking about.  If it were hippies or goths or IT nerds or foodies, I would be hopeful.  But hipsters are steadfast in their belief that they are cooler than you, and me, and everyone from their high school, and all of the customers they have to “help” while they work at Whole Foods or Starbucks.


  As a side note- hipsters used to be able to work at record store or coffee shops, but their world is shrinking- thus making them even more committed to their counterculture.


Here’s what you should do: one day come to work wearing the preppiest outfit you can think of.  Try and include something argyle, something from a recognizable designer, and something that includes the a nautical word (as in boat shoes, boating slacks, a sailor hat, etc).  Be sure to have an elaborate hairdo and carry a best selling puff novel- Harry Potter is a safe choice.  Approach the hipsters with great enthusiasm and tell them you love their music.  Tell a long anecdote about how you were at the country club golf outing after party and they played the same album.  Ask them if they would burn the CD for you and tell them you have a great John Mayer album you think they’d love.


Those hipsters will be too traumatized to listen to anything in their open office space ever again.




Poor Lucky Me

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