Sunday, August 31, 2008

Suspicious Minds

Suspicious folks
With suspicious minds
Will make all kinds
Of suspicious finds.
(c) 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Presentation

Meet George and Janet Shepherd. They've been married for about a year. They appreciate and understand each other so much more than before they stood at the altar. There is, however, one thing. I'll let Janet and George speak:

Janet is talking with her friend Mary.

Janet: There is one thing I can't understand about George."

Mary: What is that?

Janet: It is like this. When I fix something nice for George, something I know he'll like, and I give it to him, his reaction is so . . . so . . . so strange."

Mary: How is that?

Janet: Well . . . he gets this kind of a look on his face. It is like he is afraid to touch what I've fixed.

Mary: Then he refuses it?

Janet: No. After almost a minute he'll smile, take it from me and eat it. He does enjoy what I fix, but I just don't get it, that initial reaction. I wish I could see inside of him, to see what he is thinking.

Mary: Find a way to get him tell you, to talk about it.

Meanwhile, George is talking with his friend Pete.

George: Has one scene in a movie ever made a lasting impression on you?

Pete: Well, maybe. I'm not sure. Why did you ask?

George: When I was very young I saw a movie about the Garden of Eden. Not just once, but several times. Dad had the movie and showed it to many groups, mostly churches, and I usually went along.

Pete: So, what was it about this movie?

George: The scene about the Temptation really bothered me. It would play over in my mind again and again. At night I dreamed that I was right there in Eden.

Pete: Does it still bother you today?

George: It didn't until I got married.

Pete: Wow! How does this happen?

George: It is when Janet fixes something nice and brings it to me. Then she says softly and sweetly, "Here, try it. It is good." It sounds just like Eve when she handed the fruit to Adam.

Often we have no idea what influences the way another person takes what we say or do. If only we knew, we might know how to make a better presentation. George knew what affected him, but many times we don't know what motivates our reactions. Mary's advice was good. If we don't understand someone, it may help to have him or her talk about it.

(c) 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just a Few Questions, Please . . .

I was just laid off and looking for something to make some money. I saw an ad online
that said, "Get Paid to Take Surveys and Evaluate Products' Key Requirements. We need people who are motivated to help us evaluate products and ... " Just below it was a similar ad.

"Well," I thought, "I can still do that when I go back to work and make some extra
change." So I clicked on the ad for " (1)" and signed up.

After I registered, there was a survey of surveys. Which ones was I interested in? I don't
smoke, never have, so I checked "no" for the one on smoking. Several others had no interest
either, so "no." A few were about products or services I use or have used, so I selected them then
clicked "Continue."

The next page had several other survey firms on it. I signed up for a handful, then started
on one. After all, since I needed the money, I'd better get started now.

The first one was for Panda Research. (2) A list of companies spilled down the screen and
off the bottom. I selected one and answered the questions. At the end, I was asked to sign up for
a trial period for that firm's services in order to complete the survey and be eligible for the
award. It was the same way for the next few. From then on I went to the bottom to see what the conditions were. Most wanted you to subscribe to their services to qualify for survey pay.

Well, I've had experience with trial periods. First, you have to remember to cancel in time to not be billed. If you don't by the deadline, you're in and paying. When your income's cut, that's not
what you need. Second, some firms give you a hassle when you try to opt out before they get
their hands on your money. "You can't do that" countered with "But you said," etc.

Another site seemed more reasonable. But there was a catch. Each survey earned only a
little. For the time it took to fill them out, it was less than minimum wage. And then, you have
to have a minimum amount in your account before you can collect.

I came to the conclusion that most of the surveys were vehicles for recruiting customers
for the clients. They were not worth the time spent as a source of income, at least not for me.