Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Give me Bubblegum Or Give Me Death


Those of you who read the New York Times may have seen this article the other day about people who chew gum for a living. Yes, that's right-- there are a bunch of people who get paid to come to a lab and try different flavors of Dentyne all day long!!
If you know me, chances are you've given me at least two pieces of gum. I must always have gum and I must always chew at least two pieces at once (but preferably three or four.) The best present I got for my birthday last year was a bag filled with several rolls of grape bubble tape. Anyway- as you can probably tell, I'm a regular Violet Beauregard.
When I realized that the job of "gum chewer" existed, I made it my mission to get my ass hired.
Even the hefty qualifications listed in the NY Times article didn't deter me:
Chewing gum might be seen as child’s play, but just 10 percent of Americans have palates discriminating enough to distinguish between strawberry flavors that are, say, green, gritty or jammy and nearly 70 other ingredients in a typical piece of Bubblicious, Dentyne or Trident. Tasters must also succinctly convey their findings and resist being swayed by their colleagues’ opinions.
You see, I'm a gum expert and my palate is highly refined after years of chewing. I promptly looked up the gum factory which is called Cadbury's Gum Center of Excellence. On their website, they have a current jobs page. I searched all 120 open jobs in the US. I decided I was willing to move to any state necessary to become a professional gum chewer. Unfortunately, my search led nowhere. There don't seem to be any listings for "chewers." However, I did find an equally cool job titled "Associate Flavor Scientist." Some of the job duties include:
- Creates flavors by independent formulation or builds upon flavor formulas from others to improve consumer liking of products and increase purchase, especially repeat purchases.
- Remains abreast of new developments in flavor industry by reviewing professional literature and attending technical meetings, conferences and seminars.
- Provides a perspective on future flavor development activities.
Sounds perfect! Too bad the job also requires a BS in Chemistry. So once again, my dreams have been shattered. Damn you, Theater Degree!

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