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.

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. 

Curiosity about crowdsourcing delivery shows up in both my professional world and my play. My play is being a DoorDash and Instacart driver. When I travel to various markets, and I’m on my own time, I’ll turn my driver apps on. What mission will come my way? These missions take me to communities, to houses and into people’s lives that I would not have the opportunity to see.

It's play when I show up and even before I ring the doorbell, I hear through the open window people running and saying, “Oh cool! Our Chipotle’s here!” It’s two guys playing pingpong and the pingpong table is the living room – no other furniture.  

On the grocery delivery side, I once delivered to an elderly woman and it’s all she can do to open the door. She had indicated just to leave it at the doorstep, but I realized she wasn’t going to get the groceries in her house after taxing herself while opening the door. So, I lingered, and she started to ask, “Would you …?” Right away I could say, “Absolutely, I’ll take these in.” I took the groceries in and put them on her counter. “Do you need some help putting this away?” Yes, she’d love that. I put things away for her. 

I have the luxury of time since I am not driving for a living. I can take the random mission I am given, whether it’s $10 or $20 because for me the payout can be the satisfaction of helping an elderly woman with her groceries.