Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 29

Gapers Block

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It's not that I hate my job. I don't. At all. I work in an office with fun people and serve clients who appreciate me. And for this cushy white-collar existence, I am paid reasonably. But sometimes I just feel lost. As if what I spend eight to 10 hours a day doing is not fulfilling in the way that I'd wish to feel fulfilled by work. And so I, like most of you I'm sure, consider how else you could cobble together income in order to live a freer, less stressful life.

I've always wanted to participate in focus groups. Because I work in marketing, I am not allowed to sit in focus groups. I often have to attend them for and with my clients. They're held in rooms with two-way mirrors (like interrogating rooms) and are videotaped. Clients make snarky comments while chomping absentmindedly on lots of candy. Participants act a little over the top because they know that the people who make the products or services that they use are behind the glass making snarky comments.

But if you're looking for some alt. income, why not consider focus grouping? It's a good way to try on different personalities, be ridiculously honest, and get paid in cash.

Do It Yourself Projects Focus Group - M/F 25-54
A Downtown Chicago market research company is looking for males and females ages 25-54 to participate in a paid 3 hour roundtable discussion on the subject of Do It Yourself Projects. If you qualify and participate, you will receive $170 for your time and opinions. Please be assured that at no time will anything be solicited to you - this is strictly for market research purposes.

Karen P. would not shut up. From the first question about paint brands, she was talking over everybody else about her deep, deep love for Pratt & Lambert paint. Even when Thomas the moderator asked her to give someone else a chance, Karen P. kept yapping and yapping. Outside, the center coordinator Rhonda got wind of the sitch and made sure that Lady Yaps-A-Lot's payment envelope was full of ones. Sure, Karen P. probably didn't care one way or another, but Rhonda liked the thought of her waddling out of there with a stripper's billfold.

Subjects Wanted: Jet Lag Study
Healthy people, normal sleepers, ages 18-45 wanted for a study of different techniques to help travelers adjust to jet-lag.

This study takes 3 weeks, with 6 nights in our lab. During the rest of the study, you will sleep at home, but you must sleep according to a schedule that we will assign to you. Free parking in attached garage for all lab visits.

Ethan spent a few days each month on planes, going between Chicago and the Hong Kong and London offices. He'd been doing it for nine months and he felt brittle. If he woke up at night, the darkness seemed fuzzy, as if the contrast was off. And if Ethan rose to sunshine, it was almost too much to grope his way into a chauffeured car. The world looked more and more like cardboard. And Ethan, surprisingly, felt all right with that.

Female Yogurt Consumers
We are currently looking for Female Yogurt Consumers. If interested, please reply with the subject reading "Female Yogurt Consumers" with your Name, Age, Ethnicity, the Brand(s) of yogurt you've purchased in the past 30 days and a Telephone Number to email @ NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!!!

Brenna liked yogurt. It was fine. Like, "Yogurt, yeah." Not "Yogurt? Yeah!!!" But she was working on a Southern accent for a play she was in and she figured if she could make it work for an hour straight, then it would work in front of an audience. And she could use the cash for her teeth-whitening fund.

Focus Group
We are holding a focus group for people ages 40-65 on health drinks like Ensure, Carnation, and boost nutrition. All must be college graduates, active and outgoing. The Group will last two hours long and will pay $100.00 cash. Please email age, ethnicity, and contact information if interested.

Carl's therapist suggested the focus group. He had been seeing Dr. Glass for two years to deal with his shyness issues, and they'd tried increasingly more intense experiments. Even if he just sat there for two hours, knowing he was being taped and looked at by strangers, it would be a success. But at the halfway bio break, he pulled the moderator aside and said he was feeling ill. He cried all the way home to Bolingbrook, talking to Dr. Glass on his cell.

17-18 Year Old Males Needed For $75 Group On Body Care Products
We are putting together a focus group for young men that are Juniors or Seniors in High School on the topic of fragrance, body and personal care products. The group will take place downtown and will last for one hour. You will be paid $75 for participating. We are especially looking for people who DO NOT use axe body spray. We only have one spot remaining.

We are currently looking for very specific age ranges. We are looking for men between 17-18 and are also either Juniors or Seniors in High School. If you do not fit into this range, please pass this on to someone that does.

Margaret scoffed at the line " ... who do NOT use Axe Body Spray." If she has to judge by her third period Junior English class, then that focus group was going to be completely screwed. She simply dreaded the stomach-unhinging combo of her Wednesday morning hangover plus the 11 a.m. cloud of tennis shoes and Axe. However, she printed the ad, plus another one looking for girls who liked yogurt, and thought she could make it into a writing exercise.

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About the Author(s)

Shylo lives with her husband and five cats in Albany Park. She's doing the vegan thing now, but still has the energy to read the classies. You can email her at shylo [at] gapersblock [d0t] com.
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