Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Is Caroline an extravert?

Caroline, Antonia and the other high-flyers had some tests done to see how well suited they were for the upper reaches of the business pyramid.

Melody gave them a schedule of questions to answer and discuss in pairs. She explained there were no wrong answers, but action-orientated extraverts who liked the big picture were in pole position. Antonia, Head of PR and Social Media, whizzed through the questions and the scores confirmed she was indeed in pole position.

Caroline, numbers girl, cautious, thoughtful, and attentive to detail, struggled to find answers in the tick boxes which fitted her complex feelings in social situations. But she was smart enough to know what Melody was looking for and ticked accordingly, resolving to develop her extravert qualities in the quest for promotion. She knew from experience that it only took a couple of glasses of wine for the inner accountant to take a back seat.

When she finally came home she wanted to try out the tests on me. Initially, I refused.
'Go on, Robert. It really works. I learnt something about myself.'
'Lawyers don't do tests,' I explained, 'only exams. Lots of them. What did you learn about yourself?'
'I learnt that I had been supressing my wish to speak out and propose action because I was worried what people would think. Leaders need to be decisive, not get bogged down in weighing up the evidence like you do.'
'So I don't need to do the test, do I? You've decided I'm an introvert.'
'Well, you don't speak much at parties and you prefer to write things down. Extraverts prefer to speak, introverts prefer to write - recognise anyone, Robert?'
'That's women and men, not extraverts and introverts. I'm a lawyer; we do write things down, otherwise it's not evidence.'

I did the test under protest. Caroline watched me, sipping a glass of extraversion. When she saw me sucking the end of the biro, she said:
'You're not supposed to think. Just tick the one that feels most natural.'
'But it depends on the situation, who I'm with.'
When I'd finished, I came out borderline, saved from outright introversion by my wide circle of friends: Antonia, (Caroline's friend, strictly speaking); Rampant Jessica (a work colleague); and 80,000 other Manchester United supporters.

I'm still not sure about Caroline. Is she an extravert? If you have read Shameless Ambition and have an opinion, please let me know.

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Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.