Had to use one of my 15 minute break cards today to get away from the insanity that was the Teen Attitude and Behavior Study* and go to the break room and catch a nap. Once I figured out what was wrong (I needed a fifteen minute nap AND I was pissy about certain things that weren't ever and aren't now) I was OK after I got the nap.
*Teen Attitude and Behavior Study:
"Hi. Can I talk to your mommy? Hi, Mommy. Are there any teenagers living in your house? You know, kids between the ages of eleven and seventeen? Yes, I know teenagers are between thirteen and nineteen. Gimme a break, I didn't write this crap. Yeah. So are you their parent or guardian? Parent, check. Um, may I have your permission to talk with one of them? No wait in a few minutes after I finish asking you a few questions first! Okay. Um, tell me the age and gender of everyone living in this household who's between the ages of 11 and 17, even if they're not home right now. OK, how many people 10 and under? How many people 18 and over? Cool. What's your zip code?
Ok, let me give you this 800 number and NOW I want to talk to your kid. Sure, it's fine if you listen in. OK, kid, I'm from a market research firm and I want to get your opinions on a bunch of crap. When your mom told me how old you were, she got it right, didn't she? OK, I'm going to ask you what kind of organizations you belong to, like school clubs, church groups, and crap like that. OK, next I'm going to ask you some nosy questions about your home life, like, are your parents strict and how much attention do they give you. OK, next I want to know what you do at school, if it's fun or yucky or whatever. OK, next, what do you do before and after school?
Now that we've got you neatly pigeonholed (you're a sports sheep and I would have hated you if I'd gone to school with you, and the length of time you paused before saying that your parents weren't strict at all tells me that your daddy beats you, and you watch too much TV and don't read and you look up porn on the internet) I'm going to ask you if you have smoked, ever, even just a little bit. No, secondhand doesn't count. If you've never smoked, I'm going to ask you which of these reasons describes why you don't smoke. If you have smoked, I'll ask you which of these says why you first smoked, and then either why you currently smoke, or why you don't smoke. Then I'm going to ask you why you think other teenagers smoke, then I'm going to pry into how many people around you smoke, your friends/family and stuff. Oh, and how hard is it, by the way, for kids your age to get their grubby little paws on cigarettes?
Now, are kids who smoke cooler or lamer than kids who don't smoke? Oh, and what kind of a risk-taker are you? Are you momma's boy at home, or do you like to go skydiving w/o a parachute for the rush? And, just for kicks, which of these activities is the riskiest: body piercing, drinking, chewing tobacco, smoking, being in a gang, getting a permanent tattoo, taking diet pills, taking steroids, or taking this survey?
OK, we're almost done, I swear. Um, have you seen any ads about helping out bums? any ads about not drinking and driving? any ads about not doing illegal drugs? any ads about not smoking? Um, where did you see that antismoking crap? OK, how about posters or banners, same topics? And where was that shit about not smoking? How 'bout school supplies?
OK, real fast now, how old are you and who lives with you and what grades are you getting in school and what are you doing after you graduate?
Thank you for spending twenty minutes answering my retarded-ass questions. Have a nice day! Okay, they were male or female, and they were or were not allowed to answer the questions in private. Damn, but I hate this job!"
...and that's what I do all day.