Far Right


For more than 11 years, I ran the Creative Arts department at TGI Friday’s.  My job duties included recording music tapes for all the restaurants, overseeing all audio/visual training programs, food photography, t-shirt printing, menu design and graphic arts. It was the best job at the finest restaurant chain in the industry. 

Problem was I had 20 bosses in 11 years. I changed directions so many times, I felt like one of the records I was spinning. 

One new boss, in particular, stands out in my memory. When he arrived, he decided to make his mark by giving every employee a state-of-the-art test called BrainWave. The object of numerous pages of stupid questions was to determine if an employee was truly suited for his/her job. The old “no answer is wrong” test. I dubbed him, I Like Tests. 

The test measured by percentage which side dominated your brain. For those of you who have forgotten your anatomy, right brainers are creative and left brainers are practical. ILT’s theory was if you were creative and in accounting, you were probably stealing money. 

Being the creative sort, I hated tests. Never really did that well on them. The last test of this type I took was in high school. The findings? I should have spent my life being a dock worker. 

Grumbling, I took his test. Then I headed back to spin records in my recording studio. Listening to Men At Work was more fun than the men actually at work. 

A month or so later, I got the call from I Like Tests, who demanded that I come to his office immediately. All I could think was I must have gotten all the answers wrong. 

ILT: “I’d like to go over the results of your BrainWave.”
ME: “Yeah, I know, I don’t have one.”
ILT: “Actually, your results were quite amazing. Did you know you are the most creative person in this company? You are 97% right-brained.”
ME: “Buddy, I could have told you that. I run the Creative Arts department, now don’t I?”
ILT: “Yes and that’s exactly what you should be doing!”
ME: “Great, so can I go back to doing what I was supposed to be doing all along?”

I Like Tests didn’t make it much longer as a TGIF boss. Guess everybody at the office was actually doing the job they were best suited for except for him.

But back to me – the BrainWave became my curse. I never doubted how creative I was, but I never realized how logical I wasn’t. No wonder balancing a checkbook hurt my brain.

So, when the water heater quit heating the other day I was fairly certain that this inanimate object would win the battle over my 97% creative brain. I can’t fix anything. 

I grabbed the owner’s manual thinking it would actually tell me where the reset button on my water heater was. It did not. Instead, it screamed, “Warning! Caution! Danger!” on every page. All my creative right brain could think was all the horrible ways the hot water heater might do me in. 

Finally, I risked it all, took off the panel, hit the big red button and dashed out of the room screaming. I heard the water heater start up again so I ran back in the room and kissed it. 

I finally found something mechanical that was so simple, I could fix it using only 3% of my brain. Maybe I’d make a great dock worker after all.

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

 Mikie Baker

Copyright Medina Mikie, Ink. 2011

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