I spent Sunday studying so that I would be prepared for this morning. It’s been years since I had to take an exam, years since I had to study for something. Back then I didn’t really study much either, I usually did well enough without having to give it my all. This time it just felt different though, I could tell.
I didn’t actually look at the clock, probably because really I didn’t want to know what time it was. I mean, I had a pretty good idea and I just wanted to fall asleep. I’m sure I probably slept at some point, well I’m not “sure” exactly but i assume I must have. I just felt like I was lying there with my eyes open basically all night, waiting….waiting….waiting. Until I heard the alarm go off. Normally I would have hit the snooze and squeezed out an extra 10 minutes of sleep but i was just so completely awake that it seemed pointless. More than pointless though, it would just have been more torture no matter how it turned out. If I’d finally felt myself drift off it would have been cruel and unusual punishment to make me get up a couple of minutes later and if I didn’t I’d just be rubbing it in that I couldn’t sleep.
So I got up. I had breakfast and drove the hour and a half to the testing center. I got there 45 minutes early so I figured that would give me some time to brush up on a couple more things. I did get to go over one or two things but then I was answering emails from work. “I can’t get this to work”, “Do you know how to do this?” and then of course I forgot to submit my hours and it was payroll week.
Time to go up and finally write my exam. So I go upstairs, get set up with everything and start my 90 minutes for 60 questions. It went by pretty well for the first 70 minutes, as well as I could have hoped I guess. Then I clicked a button and the screen went white.
I mean I was only trying to go to the next question. I opened the door and explained that something was wrong and the lady assured me that all would be well, she sounded confident. She looked at the computer and decided to restart it. I was told to wait outside while she set it up again. Then somebody else had to go in the room to help….then they came out to check another computer.
This was not helping to improve my confidence any let me tell you.
After I while I was told that they had just lost their internet connection and had to switch to their backup. I was let back in and the nice lady was setting it up again. She had to go through the “Do you accept the terms…” screen and a few others, with each one she was looking less and less confident that I would get my mostly completed exam back.
Once again, this was doing nothing for my frayed nerves.
I tend to worry too much about certain things. I mean I know I worry too much, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stop. It’s sort of an obsessive compulsive thing with me. The same way I find myself checking to make sure I locked the door after I obviously just locked it. Then checking again just in case I didn’t check properly the first time I checked. Making sure to take my time checking this time so I don’t have to do it again. Door locks, worrying and a few other things…
Just then my exam came up and all was well. I’m not sure who breathed a bigger sigh of relief, me, or the lady setting it up. Twenty minutes later it was over. All I had to do was push the Okay button to confirm I was sure I wanted to submit my test. Tentatively, fearing the worst but hoping for the best, I clicked.
One of the reasons that this has been such a stress for me is that my employer is paying for me to take this exam. Not to mention that they paid a lot of money for me to take a course covering all I would need to know in order to understand things enough to get certified. This wasn’t just for me that I needed to pass, this was for them too. It was all a little too much pressure.
I stared at the screen scanning for the word pass….or passed….or anything that started with a p.
There it was and before I could finish reading the whole sentence I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. It was over.
It turns out I am certifiable after all I guess.
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