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-newsletters we feature 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 or otherwise entertaining experiences of research gone just-slightly awry. Submit your own War Story today!

December 30, 2019

Kathleen L. DeWitt reports that while screening for respondents on a study involving baking products, she came across an elderly woman who was offended by DeWitt asking to speak with the “senile head of the household.”

December 9, 2019

Ron Sellers tells about one of his clients who decided to discontinue using a moderator after the client received a fully-itemized travel bill that included limousine, body massage and full spa treatment.

November 25, 2019

An unnamed focus group moderator, often on the road, made a practice of shipping home his used underwear while he was on long trips. One evening he instructed the hostess at the focus facility he was visiting to FedEx a package holding his underwear to his home, and ship the audio tapes to his client.

When the moderator returned home a couple of days later he opened the FedEx package and, to his horror, saw audio tapes. Realizing what his client had received, and more concerned that his client would know whether he wore jockey shorts or boxers than with the client not having audio tapes, the moderator immediately called the client's secretary, who said that the package hadn't yet been opened. He then instructed her not to open it, and to FedEx it to his office, next-day priority.

November 11, 2019 

Kevin Reilly reports conducting a focus group with five-year-olds and explaining a five-point  rati...