Road Warriors Reveal the Steamy (and Funny) Side of Qual

Qualitative researchers have a lot of stories.  Their professional livelihood is a recipe for humor.  Consider that a moderator spends much of his/her life on the road schlepping bags, storyboards, product concepts and even product prototypes from city to city.   Plus, she works with everyday people who can be extraordinarily odd ( has nothing on the stories of a busy moderator.)  Add in the myriad product categories and occasional oddball assignment and you can understand why we qualies love this work so much.

Joel Reish of Next Level Research appreciates humor more than most.  In the Winter 2011 issue of QRCA Views, Joel has compiled a list of “sexy” stories from QRCA members across the globe.  If you appreciate stories about people and research, you will love this article of short encounters of the qualitative kind.

Here are a few tidbits to look for:

  • Betsy Leichliter met the self-described “Dr. Studmuffin.”
  • Julia Gartside-Spink “discovered” a transgendered female in a cosmetics group.
  • Ricardo Lopez had a “woman” in his group who was actually a man.  Not generally a problem, except for the poor guy sitting next to “her” who kept hitting on her/him.
  • Matt Towers had groups on domestic abuse in San Francisco in a facility where the rooms were named for local streets.  Luckily, he discovered he was in the “Battery” room before the groups started.  Whew.

Joel was also nice enough to include my encounter with the near video-taping of a group of Southern Baptists discussing sex education in my bedroom in Mississippi.

Joel, thanks for the laughs…and the memories.  If you have a story to add, please post it in the “Comments” section.  I would love to read about it.


  1. As a completely impartial observer, I found this article very funny and extremely well written. Kudos to the author, whoever he is. In fact, I enjoyed this article so much that I think I will pull out my checkbook and send the author a not-so-small token of my appreciation, you should do the same… =P

  2. Checks are soooo 1990s.  Instead, I’m sending you my 2-cents via digital communication.  Thanks for making my day with that article.  I could so very much relate to those stories.  

    Now, don’t spend it all in one place, my friend.  Hope to see you soon.  Maybe Rome?  

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