March 9, 2007


Zach Goldberg - Bellevue, Washington

My house was notably quiet as I awoke at 2am, 4am, 5:45am and finally 6:30am.  My wife and oldest child left on the 8th to visit my sister-in-law. My parents, clearly "grandparents of the year" material, volunteered to watch my youngest child. I selflishly opted to fly solo to ease the stresses of my Series 66 test. 

For anyone familiar with the financial world, there are two main tests: The Series 7 and the 66. As a newbie you are told, Pass the 7 or you're fired, but don't do too well or you'll prove you're poorly suited to be a financial advisor. The 66 is written by lawyers and is meant to test State Registration and general ethics/disclosure. Weird test. In fact, the strangest test I've ever experienced. 

You take these sorts of test at a testing center like Pearson's or Sylvan along with people taking all kinds of tests from the GMAT to Nursing Certifications. At the end of the test you push a button and the screen tells you that "this is final" and "you can't go back." You push another button and a legal disclaimer comes up and you have two buttons to choose from, "Agree" "Do Not Agree."  I pushed, "Agree," and a small hourglass pops up telling you that in 10 seconds you will have your score ... I should go back about three minutes in this process to explain my state of mind.

I was quite irritated upon completing my test and convinced that reviewing questions was pointless because I had guessed on about half of the test. In most cases I could narrow questions down to two choices. From there I guessed what I thought was the right answer some of the time and took a contrarian approach on others. This is how messed up this test is.  Every other question is clearly a trick question so even the straight questions leave one feeling, "Where's the trick?"  I had no idea how well I had done, which left me irritated and ready to just leave. So back to my hourglass...

I turned in my chair and raised my hand so the proctor would come escort me out. The proctor wears latex gloves, which is weird and kept me wondering if they were planning to search my colon for a cheat sheet. After the proctor recognized my raised hand I turned to see how I had scored. An 84! Yeah, now it was time to head back to work.

On my return trip I called my wife and my parents to report my score. My mom reminded me that the stew she had brought over would be better to eat on Friday then on Saturday, so I stopped by home before returning to work. The stew was good but produced a surplus of bodily gas, which is uncomfortable when working in a bull pen environment. Lucky for me no one was there when I returned so I had a little time to equalize my internal-external gas imbalance.

Three hours of work later I was at a happy hour. This was quite special for me because for the last 10 years I've worked out of my home and could only occasionally crash a happy hour here and there. It's weird to be an office dweller for really the first time in my work-life. After two beers and a disastrous combination of appetizers (Potstickers, Sushi, Calamari, Fried Shrimp) I headed to Seattle to meet friends for Mexican food.

Great meal followed up by some homemade decaf lattes and a discussion of IRA bombings by a friend who grew up in Ireland.

I returned to my quiet house, fed the cats, checked email and went to sleep.  364 days left until March 9th, 2008.


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