Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Spill the Beans

What would possess me to drive into the Cities when a snowstorm is upon us? In the time I've been sitting at McDonald's, plugged into the outlet originally intended for the ATM machine (it was already unplugged when I got here) almost 3 inches have fallen and it shows NO sign of stopping. The weather people say we're going to get 5-8 inches. That kind of snow is only fun before Christmas and my birthday. After January 25th, I'm ready for Spring. This is not realistic though as March is often our snowiest month.

My drive here took 35 minutes. My drive home? I'll be lucky if I make it in under 2 hours. I knew things were going to be bad when I overheard the receptionist at the dermatologist talking about schools closing early. *sigh*

So here I sit, twittering away while I wait for my 2pm focus group. What's a focus group you ask? There are market research companies all over the country that bring people in to test their products or services before the final design makes it to the everyday consumer. I added my name to a data base 5 years ago and every few months I get a call asking if I'd be interested in participating in a focus group on one thing or another. Radio, Alcohol, Mortgages...are just some of the topics I've been called about. I've never once been able to participate either due to disqualification (can't exactly taste wine when I'm pregnant) or because of scheduling.

On February 13th I got a call from the company and FINALLY I QUALIFIED for a study! These things pay WELL so the timing is wonderful. I picked up four samples on the 14th and have been using them ever since. I signed a confidentiality agreement saying I won't talk about the product outside of the focus group. I'm not even sure I'm even suppose to mention that the study is on dishcloths. won't tell right?

Not exactly a glamorous job (or a steady one for that matter!). Here are a few more jobs I've discovered in my quest to find PapaBear a new job:

Wanted: Personal Driver (the guy has a DUI and wants to hire someone to drive him places AND live with him and his kid. Um...No thanks!),
Then there's the Wanted: Writer - for a book about being transgender...
The one that makes me shake my head is the family seeking additional childcare help for the hours of 6-10pm. They have a live in nanny but need help in the evenings with their 3 kids. Job includes playing with them, bathing them, feeding them, and putting them to bed. They disclose the fact that the parents will both be home at night.
I think the ad should have said they were hiring a parent.

PapaBear has been able to find a few jobs within his skill set and close enough to home and has quickly fired off applications to those companies.

Speaking of beans....

I found another market research company to sign up with using Craigslist and before the day was up, I got a call about a taste test taking place next week.

As I got closer and closer to meeting all the qualifications for the study, we reached the point in the phone conversation where I had to tell them whether i would be likely to purchase something other than baked beans when choosing a side for grilled items. I was honest and said, no, I only eat baked beans and kidney beans (in chili)

Door closes....I was disqualified.

Oh! Wait! Can we back up? I could try YES! I WOULD DEFINITELY try pinto beans!

The lady actually let me change my answer! So let the record show that for $100 I'll eat pinto beans.


  1. LOL.... For a $100, I'd eat almost anything... ALMOST!

  2. A mouth full of pinto beans is definitely worth $100. Will they also serve some grilled meat along side them? Not only would you get paid but you'd also get a free meal out of the deal!

    Good luck!

    Have a great weekend,

  3. I'd try most anything too, for $100!
    You know, I have to wonder about those people looking for an evening "nanny". Why did they have kids in the first place? Makes me sad.

  4. I'd eat just about anything for $100, too!

  5. What a well-written post -- I laughed out loud....despite the more serious subtext (job loss and poor economy -- and we can relate). You did a good job bringing out the occasional absurdities of the situation.


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