Dr Becca can now be found at http://scientopia.org/blogs/drbecca .
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
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When we first decided on the theme of "what I'd be doing if not science," I joked that I was going to write about being a Caribbean resort tester. We're talking dream job, right? I later thought maybe I'd take things a tiny bit more seriously and pick a more realistic kind of writer for bizarro Becca, like Metro Section columnist, but my boyfriend scoffed. "Everyone wants to be a writer," he said, "but most people can't be. You should pick something that suits your analytical skills, like an actuary."
No thank you, sir. I'm pretty sure that implicit in this blog assignment is that we choose something we'd actually want to do, no? And thanks to my awesomely supportive parents, I've been instilled with the mentality that I have the potential to succeed at whatever I choose, provided it requires neither athletic prowess nor singing talent. So you know what? I'm going with Caribbean resort tester. I mean, it's someone's job, right? I see no reason it couldn't have been mine, had I but taken a different path after college.
Here is the thing: I am very good at relaxing. I don't do it very often, but when I do, I go whole-hog, as they say. A couple of years ago, J and I found a ridiculous off-season deal on a week at an all-inclusive in Mexico, and on the van ride from the airport to the resort, we perused a brochure touting the many activities we could do during our stay. Cave snorkeling, trips to the ruins, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding--the possibilities were endless! We decided, though, that we'd hold off on booking anything immediately, and when we inevitably got bored in a few days we'd start planning some adventures.
Amazingly, though, we never got bored of spending 8 hrs a day drinking banana daiquiris and reading by the pool or on the beach, and it wasn't until day 6 that we did the least commitment-requiring activity possible, a 1-hr snorkel trip from the hotel. On the boat out to the snorkel site, we met another couple who happened to be from Brooklyn. They'd been in Mexico for less than 24 hrs, and already they'd gone parasailing and booked trips to the ruins and cenotes. "We wanted to book stuff right when we got here, so we made sure we actually did things," they said. "That's funny," J and I responded, "we kind of took the opposite approach!"
In addition to my natural relaxing ability, I'm also very good at liking things that are expensive, a talent that goes largely un-realized when one is a young scientist who's still paying off her undergrad loans. I don't know where this talent came from, as my formative years were quite free of opulence, but I have a special knack for homing in on the one $400 pair of shoes at DSW, or unknowingly ordering a $22 cocktail. I figure there's got to be a way to cash in on this extraordinary gift!
As a Caribbean resort tester, I would be able to combine my impeccable taste and relaxing know-how with the attention to detail, sharp analytical skills, and good writing that helped make me a scientist. And just FYI, in case any of you reading happen to be Caribbean resort tester recruiters, I've got a very open mind re: career change!
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Haha.. great post Dr. I'm quite fond of the Caribbean myself.. All the tropics actually. Dare I say, those are my fav areas on Earth.. well that and the occasional powder snow covered mountain during snowboarding season. :)
Do you need a sidekick??
Is this, like, to make sure the resorts aren't poisonous? Like a food tester?
Damn, that's a good idea! Excuse me whilst I venture off to tweak my CV appropriately and search the web for resort tester recruiters...
300 thread count, that shit is sand paper. I require 1500 thread count, its like sleeping in lotion baby!
Unfortunately, I have that talent for liking things I can't afford too.. I was just drooling over a $2000 Bottega Veneta clutch that can never be mine in this lifetime.. Sigh ;)
@Ash I've had my eye on some Christian Louboutin's for a while now. I share your sigh.
Great, and I was all excited about the 300-thread count sheets I just ordered for our new bed. I figured they were a step-up from the Wal-Mart clearance rack were we purchased our last set.
As for the $22 cocktail, I have done that too many times to count.
:D fun times.
I think I'd get guilt ridden too much with a whole week of not doing anything... although, in my heart I think that is a good vacation. I tried to take at least a few days of just sitting down and relaxing, doing nothing apart from maybe reading a book and napping. (nothing bad with napping... thread count of not)
I too have a habit of ending up with "the only thing not included in the SALE" when I enter a store ;) As for what I'd do if I wasn't a scientist... need to think about that (at the moment I'm thinking Judge, maybe more as in judge dread though ^^)
Hey, don't feel bad, we have 600 thread count sheets at our apartment and that's because she made me go buy good sheets. Dudes will sleep on burlap, but we've got the nice sheets for the ladies.
@Becca You mean not everyone has a lotion baby?
I have a special knack for homing in on the one $400 pair of shoes at DSW, or unknowingly ordering a $22 cocktail. I figure there's got to be a way to cash in on this extraordinary gift!
I have the same talent, and Hubby would love it if someone found a way for me to cash in on it. As it is, he just sees it as a dangerous flaw that must be kept under serious wraps - I think he'd even go as far as a credit card boot if he could.
Wow! I thought it was just my gift- the ability to find the expensive needle in the haystack of lesser items.
Jason brings up an important point though. I think this job would require resistance to, or at least tolerance of, various GI maladies.
Not sure if it's a good idea. It would be better to be a Luxury resort tester.
Just being a plain resort tester means that you have to test the really bad ones. Having lived in the shores of the Caribbean for 20ish years, I can tell you...there are some real bad ones...
Yannisguerra, the luxury part goes without saying. It would be a waste of my liking-expensive-things talent to test out the crap resorts.
Becca, I have excellent news. I think being a resort tester actually exists. You have to work your way up to it, but mystery shopping can be an interesting (if poorly paid) side job. I know for a fact that some hotels in Manhattan have mystery shoppers. The downer is that you have to fill out all the paperwork afterwards about every asset of your experience. Some would say it is worth the trouble.
Oh Pep Giraffe, I know all about mystery shoppers from when I worked at Starbucks. My manager would come in with the report, scowling, ... "It says here that the tall girl with the ponytail didn't smile, and she also failed to recommend a pastry." God, I am so glad that's over.
But I'd be totally willing to fill out a bunch of paperwork if I got to go stay in fancy hotels! I mean, the NYT Travel section ain't gonna write itself!