Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keep Your Mouth Shut and Follow My Lead

"So what exactly is the protocol for the meeting tomorrow?"

"Keep your mouth shut and follow my lead."

That's exactly what I said to the interviewer Monday when answering her question about the wrap-up meeting we'd be having with the client on Tuesday. We'd conducted more than 2,000 telephone interviews, along with another 4,500 self-administered interviews, over the course of the study. Nearly every interview she did came with a back story, a little tidbit she just had to share with me or one of the supervisors.

All we wanted from her was to talk about the questions that didn't work very well, either in English or Spanish or both, without the stories upon stories upon stories. Our goal was to work with the state to revise the questionnaire for 2011. That's it. A simple goal. All told, the meeting should take no more than an hour or two.

Four hours it took, thanks in no small part to her. Four freakin' hours.

So much for keeping her mouth shut and following my lead.

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