Salary Survey Extra: Late night craving or childhood nostalgia?

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Why did Salary Survey respondents go to a Chinese restaurant? Was it just a late-night craving?Most, if not all, adults used to be children. (Some were already adults even when their age was a number that we typically associate with childhood. And there are at least a handful of cleverly disguised sleeper agents out there walking around and waiting to be activated by Commander Zorbatron of the Galactic Empire.)

Childhood has many rituals, such as chicken pox, or forgetting to put on sunblock and then walking around looking like a boiled lobster for the next eight or nine days. There are also silly games, however, like that paper thing that has 96 different precise folds and predicts whether you will live in a hovel, or marry Zac Efron.

Many of these idyllic pastimes involve some combination of clapping, or slapping hands, while rhythmically chanting a silly rhyme — which is also how Taylor Swift wrote some of her biggest hit songs. (Incidentally, Taylor Swift is still single. That’s right, the prediction of the folded-up paper thing could still come true. Hope survives!)

Yes, we’re saying all of this in reference to a question from the Salary Survey about which we have data to report. Stranger things have happened. (Although speaking of Stranger Things, like, hurry it up with Season 4 already, gang. Those kids aren’t going to look like they’re still in middle school forever.)

And, OK, yeah, we’re talking about one of those questions from the end of the survey that cranky certified professionals always skip, while the cool kids actually take a couple of more minutes and play along. (Thanks, cool kids!) ANYWAY. Let’s get back to the topic at hand.

The topic at hand is that sometimes kids do weird things, and one of those weird things is that clap-slap-chant game that begins with the phrase,”I went to a Chinese restaurant.” We’re betting that still rings a bell for a handful of adults out there, so we staged a sort of Rorshach test, a call-and-response psychological experiment.

One of the Not So Serious questions from the 2021 Salary Survey was just those six words: I went to a Chinese restaurant. We left it up to certified IT professionals, in a “Why did the chicken cross the road?” sort of manner, to solve a cosmic dilemma. Sure, you went to the restaurant. But why?

Here’s what we learned:

Q: I went to a Chinese restaurant:

Because I was craving some delicious take-out. — 53.5 percent
Because I wanted to support local businesses during the pandemic. — 32.7 percent
Because I happened to watch the documentary about General Tso on Netflix. — 4.5 percent
To buy a loaf of bread, bread, bread. — 9.3 percent

So there are a couple of potential takeaways. For one, either almost nobody watches Netflix anymore, or (perhaps more likely) almost nobody goes to Netflix to watch esoteric fast food documentaries. Or maybe documentaries don’t inspire cravings — although probs not, because, shoot dang, people, if you actually watched The Search for General Tso and you didn’t get at least a little hungry, then what are we even doing here?

More to the point, most people probably just don’t automatically parse everything they see on a computer screen for offbeat echoes of childhood. Alas. Most of those who responded to the question apparently figured that the best reason to get some Chinese food is either because a) hunger, or b) civic responsibility.

Only about 10 percent of those surveyed were picking up what we were putting down, which is probably for the best, since who has time for silly rhyming games anyway? Not us. We have more important things to do, like finally watching enough YouTube tutorials to finish folding that paper thing. It’s past time to find out whether our romantic destiny lies with Zac Efron or Taylor Swift.

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CertMag Staff

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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