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Thursday, March 27, 2008

I have found my dream job. Finally! People willing to pay for the immense skill I have to offer! Granted this dream job will only take place once (tomorrow afternoon for four hours), but still…Listen to this one: I will get paid (a good sum of money, I might add) to talk (yes, ME! Talk! For four hours!!) about…wait for it…food! All I need to do is talk and share my opinion about food – specifically “snacks” for four hours. Not only can I do that, but I’d LOVE to do that.

Let me explain. A couple of years, I received a call from Consumer Opinion Services. They were having a group discussion/survey on hospitals in the area. It was maybe a two hour commitment, one evening, and paid $50 cash. I loved it, and of course, I had a lot of opinions on the hospitals in the area (though this was even before I lived at one for nearly two months). The group discussion was kind of like my first ever Caucusing experience this year – I really like the opportunity to sit down with a slice of humanity and see what peeps out there are like.

So, I received a phone call a couple of days ago asking if I’d take a brief survey on snacks as there was going to be a study in our area. The boys were napping and, well, let’s face it – I enjoy talking and I enjoy food. The first question was “Please answer yes if you eat any of these foods for snack: cheese, fruit, nuts, dried fruit, yogurt, crackers, chips, cookies, candy…” Unfortunately my answer was yes to everything. (We apparently eat a lot). I did try to defend my last couple answers: Cookies? Um, occasionally. Candy? Every once in a while. [Except pretty much all day long today because I’m sacrificing myself for my family and polishing off the last of the Easter candy, so that they don’t have to consume that unhealthy garbage.] Then the question was, “Do you do most of the grocery shopping for your family?” “In the last twelve months have you bought any of these…Doritos? Sun Chips? Pringles? Etc. Then “what flavors of those did you buy?” “How many times did you purchase those?” “Do you remember what the package looked like…?” And my personal favorite, “Just for fun: if you could be any person, place or thing what would you be and why?” Huh? And you’re going to pay me to answer fun questions? Seriously?

At the end of the phone survey I was informed by my new biggest-fan that I was PERFECT for the study. She really was so pro-me it was a little odd. I even heard her say to the phone interviewers around her, “Yeah. I got her! She’s great!” Now am I great because I like food?? I think I hooked her with my ability to clearly describe the one bag of chips that I do buy frequently – Flat Earth’s “baked harvest cheddar veggie chips…with ½ serving of real vegetables in every ounce!” (Feeding your kids chips that are advertised as something remotely healthy, takes some of the mom guilt off your shoulders).

My new BFF informed me of the requirements for this little brief employment: it’s an in-home study, they come to me! I will need to block off 12:30-4:30pm tomorrow afternoon (and therefore, the boys must be supervised by someone else. Mike is so pumped about the money that he’s going to come home from work to chill with the boys). The interview will include a question and answer session, a tour of my pantry (which just sounds, well, a little dirty!), and then a trip down to the grocery store. There will be two interviewers and a VIDEOGRAPHER to record the whole thing!!! My question was: is this really a shot at my own reality TV show? I can just see the camera guy following me around at Safeway while I peruse the shelves, telling them what catches my eye. It’ll be like having the paparazzi following me around! I feel like Britney but sane! (In the end, I found out that, sadly no, the camera won’t record the field trip to Safeway. Oh well, no extra stares from the neighbors, I guess. Though it might be enough to be followed at the grocery store with three people with clipboards recording my every word).

The other fun part of this process is that I’m getting paid to make a first grade art project. I’m to make a small poster board display of “food and how it makes me feel…what is your dream snack? What would your dream snack do for you? How would it make you feel?” I’ve been promised that everyone gets an “A” – there’s no way to fail this project (unless it’s not completed). And that the “more creative, the more you tell us about yourself, the better.” Is this a joke? I can hang a Diet Pepsi can off of it, include a dark chocolate wrapper, and maybe include some healthier stuff too. Is this Hidden Camera or something?

I completed the art project last night, and I’m pleased to say that it’s quite high quality. Maybe even more of a fifth grade level than first!

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