Toying with emotions is so not cool.

I almost published a post yesterday about the results of my PiMPing exam.   


I got an email from PMI on Friday saying something to the effect of , “Thanks for your interest in the oh-so-prestigious PMP exam, but you suck failed.” 

By the way, who sends out emails like that on a Friday?  Thanks for ruining my TGIF, PMI.  Note to self: send bad news out on Monday.  Everyone’s already in a bad mood.

Anyways, it was a post where I ranted (as only a pregnant-Janna can) about how bad it sucks to fail at things.  How I felt like I was probably in the wrong profession if I can’t pass a stupid test.  How scoring “below proficient” in planning was like getting a slap across the face with the PMBOK itself.   I was also coming to terms with the idea of putting all-things-nursery on hold while I  buckled down for the next two weeks to study; something I was not very excited about.  I was going to give myself my upcoming weekend in Glacier off from studying, but come Monday morning I was hitting the books.  I warned you that I probably wouldn’t be blogging for the rest of the month so I could focus on the second round of testing that had to be completed within two weeks. 

And then this morning, mere minutes before my post was scheduled to publish, I spotted a beacon of hope in my Inbox.  An email from PMI themselves, with the subject “Important Update about PMP exam reports.”

Intrigued, I read on…

“As you may have heard, PMI recently identified errors in the scoring and reporting of the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential examinations given between 31 August and 3 October 2011. An error in exam processing occurred because exams were originally scored by an erroneous scoring process so that some candidates’ pass/fail results were calculated incorrectly.” 

My first reaction was something along the lines of…”you’ve got to be frigging kidding me.”

My second reaction was, “dear God please let me have passed!”

Of course that particular email didn’t tell me squat about my actual results…just that they may have been wrong.  And just to turn that knife a little bit further into my gut, they wrote:

“We apologize for any inconvenience or anxiety this error has caused any of our PMP candidates. PMI is committed to operational excellence and as such, we are working to improve our processes to prevent this type of situation from occurring again.”

Inconvenience?  Only if you consider the fact that I had already started completely re-arranging my schedule to pay for, study and re-take the exam within the next two weeks.  An effort that requires driving 2 hours from Missoula to the nearest testing center in Helena.  I had also started the process of “challenging” my results with PMI to try to get my test re-scored.  So was I inconvenienced?  Perhaps.

And ANXIETY?  You’re lucky I didn’t go into some psycho hormone-induced rage.  Sure, to everyone else I probably looked like I was taking it all in stride.  “Oh well, it was a hard test” is what I’d say when people asked.  But inside I. was. freaking. out.  “What if I never pass this thing?  What will my employer think?  What if I have to payback the thousands of dollars it cost to send me to the boot camp and take this test?  Will I lose my job because I’m not qualified anymore?  Will I have to start selling chocolate chip cookies and homemade flower boxes on the side of the road so I can afford to buy my baby onesies?   Thank goodness I want to cloth diaper because I won’t be able to afford disposables…”  

So you might say I had a little anxiety about your erroneous results.  Maybe just a little.   Welcome to the brain of a pregnant woman.

Then a second email arrived,  “Important update on your PMP exam report.” 

This was it.  Whatever lie inside of that email would determine my fate for the next few weeks and whether or not I needed to start stocking up on flour and sugar. 

Cautiously I opened the email and scanned it for the what would be the most important words I’d read all day: 

Recently, you took your Project Management Professional (PMP) exam and received an exam report that indicated that you failed the exam.  We have good news!  We can now confirm that you passed the PMP exam.  

I don’t think words can express how relieved I felt at this exact moment in time.  I read that sentence over and over until it sunk in that I DID pass the exam, and that I’m not a failure and my baby will have onesies and diapers!

I exaggerate of course. 

But this was big news.   Huge. 

And you know what bothers me the most about this little mix-up?  The fact that in a normal testing situation I would have known immediately what my score was upon clicking “complete.”  Typically they score your test immediately after submitting it.  But no.  Because I took a brand new version of the test, PMI chose to “hold all results to ensure proper analysis of the new test responses.” 

It seems to me that if you hold the results to ensure they’re right….you damn well better ensure they are right before broadcasting erroneous emails out. 

Do they realize they are toying with people’s emotions?  Careers?  Lives!? 

Perhaps I’m exaggerating again because I’m sure no one died due to this mistake. 

But I’m still mad.    And completely frustrated with the whole process.   The funny thing is, the last time PMI released a new version of the test the exact same thing happened.  Thousands of potential PMP-ers swarmed the streets crying “off with their heads!”  Or something like that I’m sure. 

You’d think they would have learned from past mistakes.  

Who is below proficient in planning now, right?? 


Have I gone too far?  I should probably wrap this up.  If you’ve hung in there with me this long, I suppose I should end on a positive note or two.  So 1:  in all fairness to PMI they addressed the problem quickly; within 4 days after the erroneous test results were published they had identified the problem, re-scored the test, and sent out updates to those affected.  I can appreciate that. 

And number 2:  I passed!  I can now tell people I have my PiMP certification. 

Just sayin’.



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