Research War Stories: Crossed out an attribute, then changed her mind...
The popular War Stories column, which presents humorous tales of life in the research trenches, has historically been compiled by Art Shulman, president of Shulman Research in Van Nuys, Calif. Each month in our e-newsletter we feature a few anecdotes from past War Stories columns and over time, we have received a handful of submissions from our e-newsletter readers who want to share their own outlandish, quirky or otherwise entertaining experiences of research gone just-slightly awry. You will find two of these such stories below.
One anonymous researcher tells about her experience at a former company when a manager edited a questionnaire, crossed out an attribute, then changed her mind and wrote "Stet".
Unfortunately, the employee who received the questionnaire to finalize and send to programming wasn't familiar with this copyediting term (which basically means "leave as-is" or "no change"), nor was the programmer. The change was missed during QA and the questionnaire was fielded with several attributes - among them: Stet.
Jim Nelems recounts conducting a dessert group, where participants were tasting some new products. One lady brought an assistance dog with her and insisted it be under the table during the tasting.
But the dog would not stay under the table and when Nelems tried to explain why the arrangement was a problem and offered her the incentive without participating, she became very upset and wanted to see the owner of the company over this "discrimination." Fortunately, Nelems was able to handle this to her (and the team's) satisfaction.
But who would ever think to screen food groups for assistance-dog-ownership?