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I’ve Found My Dream Job

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It’s true. Not that I don’t find my current work in the nonprofit world of family mental health advocacy to be rewarding, I do. And it’s not that I don’t see God working through this job, bringing me into places that are in line with His passions but WAY outside my comfort zone. No, I know that where I am right now is where I’m supposed to be.

But I was reminded again today that there IS a perfect dream job out there for me: Permanent Focus Group Participant. Where else will I get to ramble on about all of my Very Important Opinions about Everything? With people watching intently, as if my very thoughts and insights are shaping world events as they listen? Oh, the joy, the thrill of being asked my opinion on things about which I would normally never opine!

If that in itself wasn’t enough to keep me happy and fulfilled (and I am ashamed to admit how very close it comes), there is the added fun of being put in a room of random citizens I would NEVER otherwise meet. I get to analyze and then reshape the opinions I form of each of them in the focus group center waiting room before the focus group starts. I may look like I am eating snacks and drinking complimentary beverages, but I am scopin’ them out like the CIA. (Did I mention the snacks, and the free diet soda? Really, a perfect job.)

Is the shy lady who looks like she might be a librarian actually soft-spoken, or will she turn out to be a shrill, opinionated meter reader? How about the gentleman who looks like a debonair wealthy businessman? Who would have guessed that he was the child of alcoholic parents, that he struggles with long-distance parenting his daughter from an early divorce, or that he would so easily share that information with a room full of strangers? And the buff chick that looks like a runner; yep, she’s a runner. The weird-looking guy with the blue, textured velour jacket who likes to swear a lot? Yep, he’s weird. (He seemed awfully sure that his dentist could tell he smoked weed by looking at his teeth. What do I know? Maybe he can.)

It’s so fun to speculate about all of these people, knowing that in moments I get to find out more about them than I would if we went to the same gym or if our kids went to the same school for months or even years. And even more fun to be reminded in this crowded world buzzing with faceless “other” people on the roads, in the mall, at the grocery store, that we each have our stories, we are each unique, unexpected facets of the One who created us.

And THEN I get PAID, and paid well, for this? Fabulous, just fabulous.

Does it matter that tonight I helped evaluate nothing more exciting than new concepts in dental plans? Nope. Or detract at all from the experience that the last time I got to express my newly formed opinions on sport watch technology (given that a sport watch is WAY LOW on my list of required accessories)? Nope.

Pay me to have an opinion, and put me in a room where I am paid to competitively express that opinion? (Can I think of something new? Something clever? Can I make them reconsider their entire business plan, and beg to hire me for my brilliant insight? Can I make them laugh?) Bring it on.

Yes, if you’re wondering, I realize I may have a problem. I should probably re-examine what exactly my outsize enjoyment of focus group participation say about me.

Wait, wait, enough about me, back to ME!

Mayhaps I should memorize the following scripture?

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

Darn it. I’m pretty sure living that out will also rule out my dream job ….

3 responses »

  1. Well if we are dreaming, we might as well call our dream focus group job – I would like the cookie tasting one if I do say so myself.

  2. I actually got paid for a focus group on tasting Frosties from Wendy’s! Now that is great! Although I can’t believe Tara forgot to mention watching pilot television programs as a potential career…how awesome would that be?!?


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