Thursday, May 24, 2012

Professional Parky

I can now add a new job skill to my resume.  Paid Professional Parky.

I have found that, since I am treated at a well known motion disease clinic, my name is often suggested to groups doing research in my field of expertise. I am one of the subset of people who know how to shake, rattle, and roll.  Plus, my doctors know that I am likely to say "yes" to any science experiment that they dream up.

So, when a researcher needed help testing a medical device that will help PD patients with medicinal dosing, I got the call. The fact that a few hours of my time would be well paid made the decision to travel to the city even easier.

 I was perfect for the job. They asked me, "Can you follow instructions?"

"Well, no. I rarely read the instructions to any high tech gadget I acquire. I am more likely to mash and poke at buttons until the device does what I want, often ignoring 90% of the features I paid for."

And so I proceeded in my usual way, mashing and poking, setting off warning bells, clogging filters and otherwise being a normal American consumer with minimum patience and high expectations.
If there had been a helpline, I would have called.

It was all good, however. I uncovered some non-intuitive functions that would make the device difficult to use, if not altered. The design group got some useful feedback.

And I felt as though I had earned my pay.

(Note: I signed a confidentiality agreement with the company doing the research, so I am reluctant to describe the device in any detail. Let it be said that it is a step forward, but not the medical breakthrough we all hope for.)

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