Thursday, March 3, 2011

This isn't Work?...The Heck You Say!

I'm sorry I haven't been around much lately.  I have a good reason for it.  Let me explain....

As it's well known to all you who read me here, I'm a  mom.  I live the life of your typical average mom.
I clean(when nagged), I cook, I do laundry, I yell at my kids(when provoked).  I generally tend to
the upkeep of my home and my family.  I am the Domestic Major Domo of Chez Sluggy.  
Hubs brings the income and I keep it from becoming the outgo any possible way I can!  And I am always on the lookout for a way to generate more income.

In my quest to bring in $ to the household I have been trying out various online opportunities.
I'm not talking suverys and 'click on the emails' kind of stuff, though if you keep at that and do enough of it, you can make what they use to refer to as "pin" money doing those sorts of activities.

I'm after more interesting offers that compensate better.  More in the realm of Mystery Shopping, but without having to leave my house.

In that mindset, I joined a Focus Group Company about a year ago.
I had a love/hate relationship with them for the better part of a year.  They would sent me surveys to
fill out to see if I qualified for a group/study.  Mostly I'd spend a good five minutes or so progressing through said surveys only to get the screen that said, "I'm sorry.  You don't fit the profile we are
looking for at this time." or "I'm sorry but this study has already reached the number of participants  with your profile."  And I would instantaneously jump on these surveys and still get shut out because  they were filled.

But after dilligently and patiently filling out survey after survey, things began to shake loose for me.

I got chosen for an online chat group sponsored by a regional utility company.  That paid 3 figures for 3 hours of chat.

Then I just missed out on a mock jury next sponsored by a local attorney firm.  I think the client settled the lawsuit or something so it was called off.

I tried next for a focus group community project.  And I wasn't picked at first, again because of my 'profile'.  But a week later someone dropped out and they called me to take their spot.  It helps to chat it up with the Recruiter and win them over.  The guy remembered me, liked me and gave me the call and I grabbed the opportunity!

This panel has been ongoing over the last 6 weeks... a longterm committment in the focus group world.
It started out being very bizarre but over time the tasks have been very engaging and interesting.  Compensation started out in the mid 3 figures but there have been incentives for meeting deadlines and competitions amongst the participants along the way.  After winning 1st prize in the last competition, I'm up to the high 3 figures in compensation. 8-)

I just completed the last task for this panel moments ago.
I don't know....maybe I take these studies too seriously.  I've slept little in the past 2 days as I've mulled over the original concept I had to come up with for this task.  I've spent way too much time refining this idea and putting it down on paper.  Maybe the bonus money has driven me to stress out and put more into this than anybody should/would?

With the deadlines and work expected from me, my Type A Personality Traits have taken over.
Why am I knocking myself out?
Anything I come up with they can take and use and I get nothing I am making their job easier for what will amount to small change.

This has become a Job.
And a job=hard work.  Work and all the negative things that come with it...stress & not enough pay.
For all the hours I've put in they sure aren't paying me enough.
I'm glad I am done with this one.

But as a short term, now and again hobby type thing, you can't beat this type of work with a stick.
Getting paid to tell them what I think.
It's a Dream Job really for someone without a job other than as a Domestic Major Domo.



  1. AnnieJ-LOL All I can say is be careful what you wish for....

  2. All I can say is that I'm very impressed with you. I still have no clue how to use a coupon and, thanks to you, Rite-Aide keeps emailing me stuff that I have no idea what to do with. Maybe one day I'll actually pay attention. Who knows! Your Friend, m.

  3. So does this mean that you are going to keep going or.......

  4. I think you Domestic Major Domo job is consuming enough. Try not to stress so much on your extra curricular activities.

  5. I haven't gotten involved in a focus group or consumer panel-type project to anywhere near the extent that you describe, but I confess to trying too hard at first when I started doing mystery shopping and smaller focus groups (online and in person). After realizing that I was taking time off from my regular desk job and knocking myself out to provide really useful (and well-written, I might add) intel to the parent company(ies), I came to realize that being paid $7 in return for half an hour of actual time followed by an hour of report time was not going to cut it. I have stepped back and now do only shops and focus groups and studies where I might actually get something (like the price of a good meal is included plus pay) or the amount paid actually seems reasonable (1-hr focus group for $50 and there's a place to park nearby). As a result, I'm not doing nearly as much, but I'm a lot less stressed out.

    I'm all for extra side streams of income but I think having a good balance with the rest of your life ends up being priority 1 :) (yeah, I know, easier said than done)

    And... and... to be completely selfish, we need you here! :)


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