I took the Myers-Briggs personality test last week and discovered I am an ENFP, which stands for Extraversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Perception. ENFP is one of 16 personality types. According to a website called The Personality Page, ENFPs "place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will remain oblivious to these types of concerns."
Now I know why I place no importance on "maintenance-type tasks" such as vacuuming, doing the laundry, running the dishwasher, cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, or any type of cooking which doesn't include a George Foreman grill or a microwave oven. Meal prepping to me is pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees before inserting a frozen pizza. "Alexa," I say, "set a timer for 17 minutes."
I can't wait for my wife to read this column so she'll finally know why I'm not much help around the house. I wish my dad had known I was an ENFP. Then he would have understood my lack of interest in "maintenance-type tasks" such as mowing the yard, building pig pens and putting on tire chains in August. That's right; tire chains in August. On a hot August day many years ago, Dad said, "Raymond, I got a great deal today on tire chains at Sears."
"Well, no wonder," I said. "They're not predicting much snow this month." If looks could kill I would have died right then.
"Well, smart alec," Dad said, "Winter will be here before you know it, and I want to see how these chains are going to work. I need to know how many links to drop when the time comes." So let's get to work. He meant for "me" to get to work. So I pulled the '55 Dodge around to the shady side of the house (where it was only 90 degrees) and jacked up the left rear of the car. I finally got the chain on and made it snug after dropping three links.
"Thanks son," Dad said, from his perch on the lawn chair. "Now I have one less thing to worry about."
Maybe I learned a valuable lesson that day and maybe I didn't. But I obviously never forgot it. I didn't know I was an ENFP back then, but I knew for sure that I didn't want to work at a tire store. Other jobs ENFPs are not suited for include bank teller, judge and chemist. True. I certainly wouldn't have the patience to be a bank teller. Wouldn't make a good judge, either, because ENFPs sometimes make serious errors in, well, judgment. As for being a chemist, I believe flunking high school chemistry answers that question.
What ENFPs are suited for include actor (I was in the senior play in high school), art director (I was an art director and creative director at ad agencies), writer or author (well, hundreds of columns and six books later...), music director (I was once minister of music at a church, and no, I didn't make that up), and animal trainer. They missed that one. I couldn't even train our Jack Russell Terrier. As a matter of fact, he trained me!
The Personality Page says that "ENFPs are basically happy people. They become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks." Well, I'm not "basically happy" right now. So...I'll just be a good actor and pretend to be happy while mundanely fertilizing the lawn.