Editor’s note: Nancy Cox is the founder of Research Story Consulting and former CPG corporate researcher. Her work and play include words, sketchpads, cooking (not baking) and the occasional sock puppet.

In the Venn diagram of work and play what happens when work and play overlap? 

Passions, hobbies, healthy distractions and even guilty pleasures – discover how the research community plays and how that plays out in their work life. In the Venn diagram of work and play, what happens when work and play overlap? Research colleagues share their work and play stories in this interview series by Nancy Cox. 

One “play” outside of my work life is Knickerbocker the monkey. There was a stuffed monkey from my childhood that was my favorite stuffed animal – the one I took to school for show and tell. His name was Knickerbocker because that was on his tag. Knickerbocker was the maker – good marketing! 

Fast forward 20 years. I bought a house and my mother announced it was time to take my things. There was Knickerbocker. This monkey became popular with my roommates – he would appear above the showerhead, the freezer or other surprising places. One day, Knickerbocker was put in the oven. Then forgotten. Until the oven was turned on. Knickerbocker burned, melted. I was shocked how upset I was and when I told my friends they thought it was funny. So, when I found this exact monkey on eBay, I not only bought myself one, I also bought monkeys for friends to show them how attached they would become. In 20+ plus years, I’ve given over 30 of these monkeys. People do become attached. One monkey now has an Instagram account. Other friends’ monkeys have traveled to Iceland, Hawaii, etc. On my 50th birthday, friends traveled from all over the country bringing their monkeys to the party!

I’ve had the same job now for over 30 years. While technology has changed, we have more emphasis on events, many changes ...