I had a pre-employment polygraph back in December.

It was horrible.

I was so nervous. Sick to my stomach, sweating, can’t sit still kind of nervous.

I had another pre-employment polygraph in October and I was fine. Nervous, but fine.

In December, not so much.

It didn’t help that from the beginning I wasn’t comfortable with the examiner. He blew me off every time I shared something with him that I thought might cause some kind of noticeable reaction. That’s the whole point of the interview. He’s supposed to ask me questions, I’m supposed to answer and give him any kind of information that he might need to know in order to accurately phrase the questions and judge my answers.

When it became clear that no matter what I told him he was going to tell me “That’s not what I’m asking, answer what I’m asking” I just stopped explaining.

I did the test and felt horrible. It was the worst.

I got a letter 3-4 weeks after that saying my results were inconclusive and I needed to re-do my test.

I scheduled it and then got sick. I rescheduled and we had a huge snow storm. The office is so backlogged that I finally had my date this week. Two months after it was rescheduled for the third time.

I got there any the examiner was very nice. It also wasn’t 85 degrees in their office this time which helped. He asked me if the previous examiner had explained why my results were inconclusive, he asked if I knew which set of questions gave me problems, he asked if they had explained the scoring. Finally, after answering nope to everything I clarified that the only thing I knew was what the letter stated, my results were inconclusive and there was a need for me to retake it.

Then he explained, they look for positive 3s for truthful answers and negative 3s for deceptive answers. All of my answers for my previous exam were between positive 1 and negative 1. About as inconclusive as you can get. Except for my emotional response to 1 set of questions.

And then he told me “you had a strong emotional response to the questions about sex crimes.”

In that moment, I almost wanted to laugh. Of course I did. I mean really? No shit Sherlock.

So I explained to this examiner. He asked me a few questions, we talked about it. He explained how an emotional response doesn’t show up exactly the same as a deception, but if it’s unexplained they treat it as such.

He showed me after the exam was finished what my spikes looked like. Every set, without fail I had an emotional response to the question. When he rephrased the question a second time in the set I was better. Still a response, but better.

I don’t know what the results of this one will be. It’s possible that I won’t pass. I really crazy hope that isn’t the case. But if it is I can deal with it knowing why.

Because of course I had an emotional response to the topic of sex crimes. How could I not?


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