Market research can be menial activity, but the pay isn't bad. For two hours of your time, rating commercials and various new products, you get forty or fifty dollars and an evening away from your t.v.
But Kitchener is a much smaller market than Toronto. So, whereas I used to be able to attend a session every month or two, many months go by before I get the call. Because this is Kitchener, half the times I get the call, I find that the session is about beer, and I don't qualify (I don't drink more than one beer every three days, and I have an inordinate fondness for microbreweries over the big name brands).
So, I was pleased to finally qualify for a session held yesterday evening. I went up to the Waterloo Inn and sat with ninety people inside the hotel's ballroom. However, this session took the cake in terms of menial activity. There were no television screens, and no neat electronic devices with dials or buttons to register our up-to-the-minute enjoyment or outrage. No. On the tables across the ballroom floor were manilla folders, number two pencils, and those old testpapers full of circles that you had to fill in (using said number two pencils) in order to register the response. You know the ones -- indeed, you're probably flashing back to your grade school/high school days by the mere mention of it.
Our mission, should we choose to accept it, was to listen to music; mostly top-forty songs from today and the past twenty years or so. And not complete songs, either, but five second hooks of the sort they play when the radio stations announce what songs coming up in the next half hour.
That was our evening. Ninety of us bent over test papers while the speakers blared out "'Number one!' (five seconds of one song) 'Number two' (five seconds of another song) 'Number three' (five seconds of a third song)." We took a break at 400. We finished at 622. I had writers' cramp.
At the end of the session, we learned that this survey was being conducted on the behalf of local radio station KOOL-FM (105.3). The station manager and the morning show personalities came to the head of the room, thanked us, and asked us a few questions about what we thought of the station and they various shows. They then asked for comparisons between KOOL-FM and other local radio stations (including 96.7 CHYM-FM). They listed off those stations, but never once mentioned CBC Radio 1.
Am I really so weird for choosing to listen to Andy Barrie and MetroMorning in order to start my day?
Erin has been working dilligently on her blog and her poetry. Check them both out. She recently had another publisher appear out of the blue, expressing interest in her work. She showed him poems from her "Lives of the Saints"/"Weird Catholic Poetry" set and something might come of this. Keep your fingers crossed.
Three stories have now been laid out for the Trenchcoat Farewell Project. Another two should be complete by next Monday. It's going very well, but I can use additional proofreaders to help lighten the load. If anybody is interested, please feel free to put your name down in the comments to this blog.
Feel free to comment on my blog in general. It's very affirming to know that this is being read.