So ... as I was saying, these directors thought it would be a good idea to hire a psychologist to assess their top managers and identify their potential to get on to higher positions in management. The psychologist's name was I M N Idiot - as I recall.
He divided us into two groups of five. I did not know until then I was one of the ten top managers. He said one group would be the control group and he will not interfere or affect their behaviour in any way. He will let those five act as a group, or individually, as they wish. The other five people will be the experimental group. He will, or may, interfere with their performance to see how they behave. Of course, he did not tell us which group of five was which.
Well ... I was not keen about this at all. I am not a guinea pig and refuse to be treated as such. My potential for higher management is obvious - I am not interested. My job is stressful enough counting paper clips for them to add more stress with counting staples as well.
Our group of five were given a cup of strong black coffee to drink. I did not know whether they did the same with the other group, or whether they were the experimentals or us. I was certain that the psychologist was mental all right. And the coffee tasted like gnats' pee. I threw it away whilst he was not watching.
We were taken out, blind-folded and asked to stand still for a while. After just five minutes, we were told to take off the blindfolds. We were in the middle of a maze. They had built a maze around us using self-standing panels on legs. We were told to find our way out.
That's when my disruptive scheme came into effect. I told the group that we were the experimental group. I had no way of knowing that, but I lied that there was a peculiar taste in the coffee and they were assessing how we think as a result of what we drank. I suggested we should think creatively. Think outside the box. That is what was expected of us. Rather than walk round the maze, which is what most people would do, a quicker way was to push all the panels down and get out that way. In three minutes we were free. The psychologist was very annoyed that we ruined the exercise but said nothing.
In the second exercise he divided our group into 3 people in one room and 2 in another. In my room we had a little house made of Lego bricks. Using only a telephone, which they said our conversation will be recorded and listened to, we had to describe the building to the other 3 who would build an identical house with their bricks. I asked my colleague to make the phone call. Whilst he was describing our building, I took a photo on my cell-phone of the house and sent it secretely to another colleague in the other room on his cellphone. To be honest, the guy in my room was awful at describing the building but, somehow, the others managed to build an identical house in record time.
The final exercise was a one-to-one interview with the psychologist. I was as disruptive as I could, but politely of course, by giving the wrong answers, or pretending I did not know whether a zebra is white with black stripes, or black with white stripes. He showed me a lot of ink spots, or ink blots, and asked me what I could see in them? I gave silly answers, like, "I see a fridge with nothing inside!" He asked me how I knew it was empty. I said it was not connected to the mains electricity supply.
A week later they offered me a promotion. I turned it down. They could not understand why, but they never employed the psychologist again.