The Captain Is Available For Hire

This weekend looks to be another bore fest.  I’ll be locked indoors for 48 hours at the Gateway Medical facility in St. Charles.  It’s a fairly easy way to make some money in my off time.  Over the years I’ve employed many different methods to obtain money on the sly.  Seems like a great topic for a Friday 5.

Top 5 Quick Money Schemes

1.  Medical Testing Subject

I’ve been using pharmaceutical testing as a means of supplemental income for most of the last decade, and it looks to be a part of my plan again this year.  Whenever I tell someone that I’m getting paid for drug testing, the inevitable reaction is “Be careful, man.”  It seems as though the average person has based their opinion solely on the movie Senseless1.

Pharmaceutical testing sounds kind of scary and dangerous, but in reality it’s just boring.  The company that pays me is Gateway Medical.  Gateway tests generic forms of brand name pharmaceuticals already on the market to see how long they stay in the blood stream.  It’s the same routine every time.  I usually check in on a Friday nite, sleep in a bunk bed on an army type sleeping barracks, take one pill on Saturday morning and then have a tiny amount of blood drawn about 20+ times in the next 36 hours.

The hardest thing about it is fighting the crippling boredom.  Since I’m not allowed to leave the building area I’m stuck trying to entertain myself for 48 hours in a strange place.  Mostly I just watch movies on my laptop, surf the web, or play videogames if I feel like dragging a TV and my PS3 to the study.  And for my two weekends worth of boredom I’m getting paid $800.  It’s basically just a really strange part time job.

2.  Nude Modeling

Speaking of strange part time jobs, the strangest one of all was probably nude modeling for art classes druing my freshman year of college.  Back then I was a typical broke college kid with no need for a real job but always looking for some extra cash.  I noticed on the campus job board an ad for nude models that paid $12/hour.  In 1996 that was a lot of money for a guy like me.  By the next week I was in art classes wearing nothing but a smile.  I quickly learned the only role of nude modeling:  bring a robe.

I was a little nervous at first, but I felt at ease once I realized that the students were mostly focusing on the curve of my shoulder.  As it turns out, no one likes drawing the male anatomy.  In 99% of the drawings the artist just shaded in my crotch.  After the first few times it ceased being embarrassing and became really dull.  Remaining perfectly still for up to an hour is real boring.  Still, I kept it up for about a semester but I eventually quit when I noticed pictures of me kept appearing on walls in the art annex.  Even though it was mostly vague pencil drawings, I was pretty easy to identify since I was the only person on campus spotting the mid-nineties Trent Reznor look.

3.  Scalping Cardinals Tickets

This was a great sounding idea I had back in 2005 that wound up being a big waste of time.  As a partial Cardinals’ season ticket holder for the upcoming 2005 season, I had access to a presale for single season tickets.  I decided to buy some good seats for a few marquee games and try to scalp them for a profit.  It only worked out well for the home opener; I sold two tickets on eBay for a decent profit.  After that, it became a struggle for me just to get the money back that I had invested.  Some asshole burnt me on eBay by not paying me after I mailed him the tickets he won, so I tried hawking them in front of the stadium before games.  This was a huge pain in the ass.  Standing on a corner yelling and trying to haggle with drunk rednecks is bad enough, but having to compete with all of those weirdoe scalpers wearing I Need Tickets signs is almost unbearable.

By the end of the season I managed to come out like $5 ahead, which makes this by far the most work I’ve ever done for the least payback.

4.  Office Temping

As it turns out, this was the least amount of work I’ve performed with the largest payback.  Back in 2001 I temped at my Aunt Jackie’s work for a few of days to help her with some filing.  While filing is pretty dull and tedious, the pay was decent (and tax free!)  During this brief temping gig a colleague of my Aunt Jackie recommended me to a small business that was looking to hire someone for data entry.  That recommendation spawned a two year job that took me to most of the states in the lower 48.  It also was responsible for eventually employing several of my friends, a few of which still work at said small business.  All that from two weeks’ worth of filing payroll binders!

5.  Tenacious Trivia

I hooked up with the hip folks over at Tenacious Trivia back in the fall of 2008.  At the time it was an ideal way for me to pick up a couple of extra bucks.  The job mainly consisted of sitting in a bar and cracking some mildly funny jokes while reading trivia into a microphone.  Plus they let me play my own playlists from the iTunes on my iPhone!  It was a sweet gig that necessarily had to come to an end last year.  Taking the Metrolink to and from work every day for most of 2009 made it impossible for me to participate in most evening activities.  Now that I am back to driving every day I’ve been contemplating returning to the world of Tenacious Trivia.  Maybe I’ll give them a call once our puppy settles down a bit.  So, 2013 it is…


The Captain

1.  Even though I’ve explained to my mom numerous times what a medical study is and what it does, she still makes the same “have you started glowing green” joke when I mention it.  Damn you Marlon Wayans.

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