I love olives. Whether black or green or brown or purplish, they all tastes delicious. That’s why I thought I was the perfect person to be in an olive tasting focus group. Getting paid to eat olives sounded like a no brainer to me and it would’ve been if not for my big mouth.
Sensing that I would be a problem the group supervisor tried to send me and my sister home after only tasting two of the three olives. Once the problem was rectified, we were able to taste the third controversial olive. A worker set the olive before me in a white Styrofoam bowl. I started by smelling the olive just as I had the other two olives I’d tasted. As soon as the smell entered my nostrils I knew something was amiss.
The olive that was supposed to be Swiss cheese favored smelled so sweet that I recoiled in horror. Was it in fact an olive or was it an olive shaped piece of Halloween candy? I pushed aside my natural instinct and tasted the olive anyway. I was getting paid twenty-five dollars to taste three olives. If I left the third olive untasted maybe I wouldn’t get my money.
I put the abomination in my mouth and my fears were confirmed. This was the dreaded caramel flavored olive from the olive list. This was the olive that I was so glad I wouldn’t be made to taste. This was the olive that would be stoned to death if we lived in Old Testament times. Even though we had been clearly instructed not to say anything during the tasting, and even though I am normally the quietest of quiet people, the words, “This is wrong,” erupted from my mouth.
Following my lead, my sister also expressed the wrongness that was the caramel olive and the supervisor came into the room and told us to just be quiet and fill out the forms. Then he pulled the workers into the hall and told them off for letting us speak. When the workers came back in I wanted to apologize, but I was instructed not to talk. Instead, I just wrote a scathing review for my caramel Swiss cheese olive.
General Observations After Being in an Olive Focus Group:
1. Those one-way mirrors aren’t very good. Every time anyone behind the mirror did anything with their phone I could clearly see them on the other side of the glass.
2. It shouldn’t take ten minutes to put an olive in a properly marked bowl and bring it into a room. The time between olives was so frustrating. Apparently, ten minutes wasn’t long enough for the olive people because they still got it all wrong.
3. The ten minutes between olives gave me plenty of time to make faces at the people behind the one-way mirror.
4. How much can you really write about an olive? I’m a writer and all, but come on, it’s an olive. If I were a lawyer maybe I would’ve done a better job at reviewing the olives. I noticed that my sister certainly did seem to have tons to write.
5. The best thing about the focus group, besides finishing first because I love feeling like I’m winning, was the envelope of cash I got at the end.
Photo by jurvetson