Stress Quiz: are you laid-back or ready to be laid out?

Published in The Times January 5th 2004

TICK YOUR two likeliest answers to each question:

1. You are travelling to the Caribbean for Christmas complete with au pair and
kids. You are about to get on the Gatwick train when you are told that an
unofficial strike has disrupted all services. Do you:
a) Rush to the Taxis This Way sign and endeavour to join the head of the queue?
b) Take out your battered copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and
start reading to the family? c) Grab your tennis racquet from the luggage and impress
your disappointment on the head of the nearest uniformed station attendant?
d) Call the airline on your mobile to ask for advice?
e) Berate your partner for refusing to travel by car?

2. You reluctantly attend the office party and, due to alcoholic circumstances
beyond your control, end up sharing a passionate and all too public kiss with
the office receptionist, whom you dislike. When you go in the next day do you:
a) Send an e-mail to your boss apologising for your conduct?
b) Have a quick word with the receptionist to see if she’s OK?
c) Sneak in the back way for a few days?
d) Ask Human Resources if they can stop everyone on your floor from giving you
funny looks?
e) Go down to the pub for a liquid lunch at 11?

3. On Boxing Day you set off for the annual lunch with your in-laws. En route, a
fox wanders into the middle of the road and you end up in a ditch. Do you:
a) Scream that it’s all Tony Blair’s fault for not making hunting compulsory?
b) Check to see if your passengers are shocked?
c) Joke that you hope the fox won’t make off with one of the children?
d) Chase the animal down the road?
e) Ring your in-laws and ask for a lift?

4. You are finally getting some peace and quiet at home when a party of church
carol singers rolls up at the front door. Accompanied by guitars and
tambourines, they begin to murder a number of your favourites. Do you:
a) Give ’em a fiver to go away quickly?
b) Duck behind the Christmas tree and hope they won’t see you?
c) Play a CD of proper carolling at enough volume to destroy their efforts?
d) Make a joke about charity mugging?
e) Claim you are a devil-worshipper seeking converts?

5. As you are about to leave the office on Christmas Eve to collect your
partner’s Christmas present, your boss insists that you rewrite a vital report
that has been sitting on his desk for a week. Do you: a) Clear off anyway?
b) Explain your dilemma and ask him to send his driver to collect the present?
c) Demand a salary increase?
d) Tell your partner that there will be no gift this year?
e) Make your boss eat the report page by page?

1. a – 4; b – 3; c – 1; d – 5; e – 2
2. a – 4; b – 5; c – 3; d – 2; e – 1
3. a – 1; b – 5; c – 4; d – 2; e – 1
4. a – 5; b – 4; c – 2; d – 3; e – 1
5. a – 4; b – 5; c – 3; d – 2; e – 1

15-24: Check into a health farm NOW.
25-34: Oops. Stop resisting Murphy’s Law and follow Buddha.
35-45: New Year, no need for a new you. Well done.

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