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Getting Sandbagged

[nb: during World War II, when some impressive rumors were finally substantiated by authentic after action reports, the headquarters of both the Special Air Service and the Long Range Desert Group were overwhelmed by applicants, most of whom were unqualified and many of whom were only ambitious for eminence, so the winnowing process was inaugurated by an application ordeal designed to be so tedious and frustrating that only the most serious minded and sincerely devoted would bother completing it ... proving that they, the less than one percent, were worthy of further scrutiny and of undertaking additional training]

Although there are many aptitude tests, some quite extensive and elaborate, the military often needs to make accurate assessments as quickly and simply as possible, so placement specialists have resorted to some crude but effective methods of evaluation. This diagnostic appraisal is one such technique for properly placing new recruits.

The Sandbag Test

Set up this test by stacking a large quantity of new sandbags in the center of an empty room. Send the new recruits into that same room, without any directions or instructions, and then close the door, leaving them alone with the sandbags.

Return to the room after four hours and analyze the results. Depending upon the ensuing situation, make the appropriate assignments.

If they are counting the sandbags, then congratulate them and send them to the Finance Corps.

If they are re-counting them and segregating them by some mysterious method, send them to the Inspector General's Corps.

If they have systematically arranged the sandbags in uniform bundles, posted each with a distribution sign, allocating the greatest number for surplus, then send them to the Quartermaster Corps.

If they are talking to each other but no sandbags have been moved, congratulate them and send them to signal communications.

If they claim to have thoroughly examined the stacks, have considered various options but are looking for more, yet no sandbags are disturbed, congratulate them and send them to the Intelligence Corps.

If they are staring out of the window, looking worried or anxious, assign them to the Chaplain's Corps.

If they are arranging the sandbags in some strange order, put them in the Planning staff section.

If they have bound the sandbags into identical lots and arrayed them in orderly rows, send them to the Transportation Corps.

If they have broken the stacks apart and are reducing each sandbag to its constituent parts, then send them to the Maintenance section.

If they have disarranged the stacked sandbags and completely messed-up the room, then send them to the Engineer Corps.

If they are sitting idle and inactive on the stacked sandbags, then congratulate them and assign them to the Personnel section.

If they are sleeping on nests of sandbags, awaken them and send them to the Military Police branch.

If they have already departed, leaving the room as they found it, sign them up for officer's training school.

If they have stuffed some sandbags with others and are flailing away at each other, throwing some sandbags and using others as shields, then send them to the Operations staff section.

If they have surrounded themselves with bundled sandbags, somewhat imitative of a defensive fortification, such that they can neither be seen nor heard, but only imagined, then send them to the Pentagon!