Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Making Money -- The Hard Way
No, I don't think anyone would pay me for that these days.
Instead, it was a taste test. I've done these frequently. They put about 20 people in a room and give us chewing gum or macaroni and cheese or coffee to taste, and we give our opinions on a survey. Then we walk out and they hand over a white envelope with $20 or $30.
So I had no trepidation as I entered the room to taste diet soda. Then the woman in charge told us we'd be tasting six different sodas. That's a lot, considering that I don't even drink diet soda.
Next she told us we'd be given four ounces of each. We needed to drink half of the sample before we answered the survey. What? Drink 12 ounces of soda?
Then, she said, we had to finish the entire sample. Gulp! That's 24 ounces of soda. Two cans of pop. In half an hour.
I can't remember drinking that much since I played quarters in college.
I was looking for a nearby plant that could benefit from some refreshing soda, but I was isolated in the middle of the room, surrounded by other desks.
The first sample burned a bit as I chugged it and it only got worse. When the people around me began belching from all that carbonation, not the cover your mouth and release a small bit of air, but the college frat boy burps, I knew this would be the hardest money I'd ever made.
One guy had to excuse himself to use the bathroom. Come on. Half an hour and you couldn't make it?
The samples seemed to get more bitter as I made my way toward the end, but finally I downed the last cup of soda, slammed the survey shut and exited the room.
My husband was meeting me for lunch on that hard-earned money.
We went to a local "cafe" that had inflated prices. I had the special of the day -- the Monte Cristo sandwich. I think I had that before in France but there wasn't nearly as much deep frying going on. I ate half of the rather blah sandwich. My husband ate the other half and half of his chicken salad wrap. I just couldn't muster any enthusiasm for the meal.
Luckily, it was $17, so with the tip, my hard-earned money was gone. Of course, the company of my husband was priceless. I drank 24 ounces of soda for a mediocre lunch. Next time, I think I'll hold onto the money a little longer, at least until I stop burping.
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