First things first....I passed. (a barely stifled YIPPEEE!!)
Received my Class A certification card which will accompany me to my swearing-in.
There were some aspects to the physical and fit test that I found.....disconcerting:
1.) The eye test: after a rather frustrating several minutes with my face jammed up against what appeared to be a Fisher-Price Movie Viewer, and telling the examiner that I couldn't SEE "A-1" because it was missing....turns out that there was a big black dot of ink or something on the viewer (mascara?, not mine)that was obscuring the upper left corner of the screen. Calamity averted. Test passed.
2.) The Hearing Test: After holding my breath in that sound-proof booth for almost three minutes because I couldn't tell if I had actually heard a tone or just imagined it, and the sound of my exhalations was becoming a distraction...I started to feel like I was on "Win Ben Stein's Money".
3.) The Breath Test: Oh Yessss....THIS is just a barrel of laughs. I take my big deep "from the diaphragm" breath....whoosh it all out as instructed until I'm of the conviction that there is NO AIR left in my lungs or anywhere else in my body, and the examiner pats me on the back encouragingly and says...."c'mon....just a little bit more....keep going, keep going, keep going..." I'm looking at her and thinking....Lady...what is it that you want me to accomplish here? Aspirate my eyeballs? Then I finally get the beep and she says perkily...."Great!! Now you only have to do two more just like that" ...TWO MORE?? My lungs are on the FLOOR....wtf???
4.) The mask fit: Ok, this WAS fun...although the whole thing had a kind of Monty Python quality to it. I got a good seal on the first mask (small---thanks for the tip Kenzie)--then we started up with the silliness....nodding up and down....turning my head side to side....bending over again and again....then we got to the "try to dislodge the mask by making faces" ...and I got the giggles. Perky test examiner wasn't anywhere near as amused as I was at the "demonstration" grimacing she was doing....Me? I was almost on the floor. Our rapport kind of went downhill after that.
5.) The physical: I've had extensive physicals before, and this wasn't one of em. 15 minutes to hook me up to the EKG monitor to run five seconds of tape. We're done? Really? Alrighty then....
Next up: The Swearing In and Gear!!
3 weeks ago