August 06, 2004
Piece Work

A while ago, in comments to Hirmes' now-famous Dear Maury post, I remembered the bone-crushingly sad box full of letters from women wanting to become proofreaders. I was reminded of that box today, when I discovered that "Mrs. Businessman" is the Most Emailed story on A few of the jobs middle american moms apparently yearn for:

"If you love to shop, why not get paid for it? That's the idea behind mystery shopping.... She gets thousands of applicants a month and welcomes more. Right now, she has a shortage of shoppers in many rural and some suburban areas....

"Shirley Frazier, of Patterson, N.J., had an 11-year-old daughter in 1990 when she began making gift baskets filled with preserves, candies, and cheeses, or lotions and other toiletries.... "I would say perhaps 25,000 women are making gift baskets," says Frazier. "You can make a living as long as you market yourself aggressively."

"As small commercial embroidery machines have fallen in price, home embroidery businesses have blossomed, according to Margaret Batterton, a Waco, Texas-area mom who started Aunty M's Embroidery ( in 1999."

Posted by dbrown at August 06, 2004 05:39 PM

does anyone actually like getting a gift basket?

Posted by: james on August 6, 2004 09:10 PM

the answer goes back, in a tangential and reching way, to George Trow's circle of two and circle of many, in 'Within the context of no context': a) no one I know likes getting a gift basket b) everyone I don't know likes getting a gift basket.

Posted by: dbrown on August 8, 2004 08:23 PM
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