Apr 14, 2006

Prologue….or Monologue!

Not once…but most times I have interviewed consumers for Market Research…I have had to mindlessly explain to a bunch of bored looking housewives why I am sitting there with a camera pointing to them.

(Only recently I discovered that it was mandated by the Market Search Society of India to set a preamble to the discussion).

There are few occasions however, as I have gone through the motions of my boring speech…something in me has jumped out (well...almost) pestering to grab my attention and despite my incessant efforts at trying to banish this rebellious thought…has persisted enough to almost form a paralleled mental process.

Here is some anecdotal evidence in support of what I am saying…Enjoy!

Hi…My name is Reshma and before we start the discussion let me give
you a brief introduction

(Oh crap! Here we go again…)

The company I work for, we don't make or sell anything… we just meet people like you and take your opinion on the products that you use and your opinion is very
crucial to the companies who make these products. Once such company
has sent me here today

(and today being the key word…since last morning I found out that I if I don’t come here TODAY something earth shattering would happen)

and this company is into making

(well…what should I say about them…they make LIFE SAVING DRUGS and they have put it into research TODAY…since they have ONLY until tomorrow find out about the results and so they have sent me here to talk to all of YOU about)

… JAM !!!

To this some one from the groups asks - trying to make conversation and sound intelligent…Madam Jam…wohi khane wala (JAM...the one we eat)?

I put on my warmest smile since it is just the start of the discussion and don’t want to piss them off…Haanji wohi …aap ne kaise guess kar liya? (oh yes! how did you gues s that)

(You are sooooo intelligent…Yes it is JAM…that hideous looking pink blob...)


Then there are times when I’ve been at the same place so often that I’ve seen the same faces in the audience for researches that I have done on tea…jam…biscuits…you name it …and they use it!

‘Repeat Respondents’ as they are known in the industry or ‘professional respondents’ like they fancy calling themselves can fit into 2 categories….actually 3.

The soft spoken ‘mama types’ the ones who nod their head as you give your opening speech for the (n+1)th time…even though they have heard it only two days ago…they have such a concerned look on their face…almost to say…haan beta mujhe pata hai tum par kya guzar rahi hai ! (I know what you are going through, love) They are by and large 'nice'. They behave themselves at the discussion, even try to answer intelligently...make my job easy...I don't have anything against them.

The other category is the ‘marketing savvy….I know all the jargon’ babe. These can be real pests and talking to them can be a real test of anyones patience

Your opinions are very important to us…there is no right or wrong when it comes to an opinion…so feel free to express what you say

Haanji yeh sab hume pata hai…ab group discussion shuru karein
(Ya..ya we know...now can you start the discussion)

Haan jaroor…abhi 5 minute mein shuru kartein hai…par uske pehle mujhe aap logo ko kuch dikhana hai (Ofcourse we'll start in a bit but i need to show you something before that)

Haan dikhaye…jo CONCEPT BOARD…dikhana hai (Ya...show us the concept board you have)

Come...sit here...take my place...is what I feel like telling them...and I'll happily take yours!

The third slot is reserved for the real duhs! They’ll be the ones who as soon as you enter the room would say….

Aare Madam Aap…aaj itne dino baad dikhayee diye…
Madam You…Seeing you after a long time…

(While trying my best to not recognize her…and trying to drop big hints her way by nodding my head to say yes and no all at once I say) Achha…Main…Nahin…Shayad Koi Aur Hoga (Me - You may have seen someone else). But Duh is what Duh does…so Duh does not get the hint...since she is looking into the camera and waving & smiling...as though it were a live telecast

Aare…Kaise nahin yaad hai aapko…abhi 2 hi to hafte hue hain…kailash cllony mein to hua tha group…wohi kissan wala!
(How come you dont remember. We must just two weeks back at the Kissan group)

(SSShhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…dumb woman…your live telecast is my client sitting in the backroom!)


Though I’ve fretted and fumed when these incidents have happened…in hindsight many a time they’ve saved the day and given me some interesting stories to narrate when I am back from the travel.

Categories: Humor_

, qualitative research, qualitative research and humor


Mr. J said...

Hey you know what, after reading this, this kinda reminds me of Meg Ryan from Kate & Leopold.

So when you becoming the head honcho for the London office?


Reshma Anand said...

Saw K & L a long time ago, so dont remember what could have triggered that thought.

I am head honco of Freelance Inc currently. May be someday will give up this freedom for an office overlooking the thames :)

Mr. J said...

Hey Resh, you got a domain registered to redirect to this blog. Pretty kewl.

Charu said...

I like repeat respondents. thye make life easier! and spice up the proceedings by asking 'madam, aap aaj personification nahi karengi'? :)

Reshma Anand said...

charu...yeah some are cute and fun but i cant stand the cocky ones - jargon dropping and getting everyone around them uncomfortable

Anonymous said...

Hilarious !!!!!!

You have a knack . May i add an anecdote from experience. One of my respondents told me "Aaj to group late start ho gaya.Aap warm up mat karo sidhe ad dikha do." ........:)

Fun job we have :)

Anisha (Qual)