If you are concerned about whereyou fall in the financial classorder that characterizes Americatoday, a recent discovery by ourtalented research staff ofGraphic Artists should enlighten you(see highly complicated and calculatedfigure they've developed).
To find out where you fall on thecontinuum, simply fill out the followingshort questionnaire. Place a "C" inthe box next to the number that bestdescribes your "current" preferencesand place an "F" in the box next to thenumber that best describes your predicted"future" preferences.
What is your preferreddinner?
__ 1. Anything that's free.
__ 2. Anything for a dollar.
__ 3. Anything served on a bun.
__ 4. Hamburger Helper with abrand of fine wine that comes in a box.
__ 5. Whatever is on special.
__ 6. The most expensive thing onthe menu.
__ 7. Any food or beverage as longas it's French.
__ 8. Anything that your personalFrench chef cares to cook today.
What is your preferred formof entertainment?
__ 1. Watching the police pick up vagrants in your neighborhood.
__ 2. Enjoying watching teenagerssteal hubcaps in your neighborhood.
__ 3. Sitting on your front porch watching the neighbors come and go.
__ 4. Watching reality shows on TV.
__ 5. Watching reality shows on a wide-screen TV with cable.
__ 6. Watching reality shows on a wider screen TV with the Super-Cable-Bundle.
__ 7. Watching real people in live theatre, preferably in New York City.
__ 8. Watching your neighbors, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, come and go.
What is your preferred formof transportation?
__ 1. Your thumb.
__ 2. The bus.
__ 3. Your 10-year-old Pontiac.
__ 4. The car pool.
__ 5. The minivan.
__ 6. Any make of convertible.
__ 7. The latest model of Lexus.
__ 8. Depends on the day of the week. I like having Jeeves drive the Bentley on Tuesdays.
If you find that you have placed amajority of your Cs and Fs by a particularnumber, each number correspondsto the following categories on the Continuumof Financial Status:
1: You fit in the category of DirtPoor. Let's hope that is temporary.
2: You are not that poor, but youare Struggling. If you're not an Intern,there's something wrong.
3: You are living Paycheck to Paycheck.You'd better put some moneyaway for a cushion.
4: You are Working Class. You areprobably a primary care doctor.
5: You are Middle Class, the greatAmerican dream. Is that where yourdream ends?
6: You are Well-Off. That is a niceplace to be, but you still need to work.
7: You are officially Wealthy. Youdon't need to work. Maybe you enjoyit though.
8: You are Filthy Rich. You eitherhave family money, or you're in a specialtythat's incredibly overpaid.
One final important note: If yourcurrent Cs are different from yourfuture Fs, you need to develop a plan onhow to get from your current situationto that future prediction. What is it?Maybe you'll find out next month.
Louis L. Constan, a family practice physicianin Saginaw, Mich, is the editor of theSaginaw County Medical Society Bulletinand Michigan Family Practice. He welcomesquestions or comments at 3350 ShattuckRoad, Saginaw, MI 48603, 989-792-1899, or firstname.lastname@example.org.