It may look like an ordinary salt shaker. But in the corporate world it can be the very thing that holds you back from getting that big promotion.
Please note: I made up the name “Amalgamated Consolidated.” It is a pseudonym for the real company that I worked for, for many years. I just don’t want to get sued.
The Clever Tricks of the Corporate World:
The Salt Shaker Test
By Richard Mabey Jr.
What I am about to share with you is an old corporate secret test. You may not want to believe it. That’s fine. But what I am telling you here is the golden truth.
In the summer of 1993, I was 39 years old. I thought I had grabbed the golden ring in the Merry-Go-Round of life. I was working as a writer and editor in the Public Relations Department of a big international telecommunications corporation, Amalgamated Consolidated. I had submitted several concepts and sample video tapes, to a local cable television company, of a concept of a television talk show that I originated. The show was now under serious consideration of becoming a weekly television show. I was teaching Creative Writing classes in the evening with an adult education program at a local high school. My weekly column appeared in the largest regional weekly newspaper in northeast New Jersey. And, my boss was considering me for a big promotion.
What I am about to share with you is truth. You can choose to believe it or not.
I told my good friend, Tom, at Amalgamated Consolidated that I was being considered for a promotion. Tom worked in the mailroom. Tom was about 55 years old. Maybe a little older. When I told Tom that I was being considered for a promotion, Tom looked to the left and then he looked to the right. Then he whispered to me, “your boss wants to take you to lunch to discuss it, right?”
I remember saying something like, “yes, he does. How did you know?”
Tom whispered to me, “it’s the salt shaker test.” Then Tom directed me to walk with him over to a corner of the mailroom. Tom began to explain the salt shaker test. This is a REAL corporate trick. I am sharing it with my readers, in the hope that it may help one single solitary person to pass the salt shaker test.
Tom went on to tell me that it was about a decade ago that he was being considered to be the Supervisor for the entire mailroom. Well, Tom told me that his boss took him out to lunch, to discuss what the job would entail and that he was just one candidate for the job.
Then Tom told me how he failed the salt shaker test. When the server brought the plates of food to the table for him and his boss, Tom made the terrible mistake of salting his food before tasting. Tom went on to tell me that when a person salts their food, before tasting it, they are taken out of the running for a promotion.
“It’s a sign of being impetuous. They believe that you make decisions without being informed,” I remember Tom telling me.
The salt shaker test is real. I don’t know if it is still used in the corporate world. I have a feeling it is. But just to be on the safe side, if your boss takes you out to lunch, taste your food before you put salt and pepper on it. You just never know!