Friday, October 24, 2008

Psychological profiling

There have been a number of cases of mental distress occurring among company employees. Lucien has devised a questionnaire and tries it out on Gavin.


Lucien: First of all, regulations require me to ask you this question. Do you give me permission to ask questions of you? (1)

Gavin: You’re asking aren’t you?

Lucien: First question. Do you ever say “No” to any request?

Gavin: No, yes, never. All the time. (2)

Lucien: Do you ever feel that you are asked to do too much?

Gavin: All the time. I never have enough time.

Lucien: Do you ever feel hopeless or worthless?

Gavin: All the time, on occasions.

Lucien: Do you ever feel you want to kill the boss? (3)

Gavin: Am I allowed to say “No comment”?

Lucien: No.

Gavin: Never have that feeling, no. He’s an excellent boss.



Fragment of a 180-item questionnaire designed to find out about employees’ mental health.

Riddled with legal intrusions (1), answers that are not answers (2), questions that will not elicit a truthful answer from anyone (3).

Hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers. There are questions that may not tell you anything. Questions get the answers they deserve.



Lawrie Hunter said...

Great! All I can say is "While Nietsche Wept" by Irvin D. Yalom.
Read it and weep.

Barry Natusch said...

Yalom's story and the Perry film take us down an amazing amazing slalom course. We whizz past course markers emblazoned with names like Breur, Salome, Freud and Anno O. Thanks for the lift ticket, Lawrie!
As always, in your debt,

Lawrie Hunter said...

Barry! My goodness you get into things fast. Slalom course, or Salome course...I'd say the book is more of a float through psychospace, very carefully mysterified.

Your debt, conversely, I often find myself located in.
Respectively yours then,