Yeah right! I love my job ...
as a Field Manager
Picture it. Having spent all day taking it easy and commending yourself on how under control things are in Field at the moment, completely out of the blue, you get the dreaded email.
The job with the ‘relaxed’ timetable on which we were aiming to get the interviewer packs out by Friday, has suddenly become a job on which there is a tight deadline, and needs to be in the post by 6 o ’clock tonight.
Trouble is, it’s 3 o’clock already and you haven’t even looked at the sample or sorted out the quotas, not to mention the 9 million screeners and questionnaires that will need printing out. And so, it begins. The real reason surely why anybody wants to become a Field Manager: The Sending Out Of Work Packs. First up, the sample: the part of the process that always stirs up anticipation as you try to predict which interviewer is going to call in first, on receiving their pack, to tell you that when they said they could cover ‘anywhere’, they actually meant ‘anywhere within a 1 foot radius of their front door ’...
Next up, the quota allocations (quick check first that a sneaky colleague hasn’t cancelled your print run in favour of printing out something they won’t need until tomorrow). After finding, with an overwhelming sense of deja vu, that there is not as much sample as the client had promised, the next task is to juggle the quotas to make everyone happy, thus ensuring that those ever suspicious interviewers who like to accuse you of giving them the hardest allocations will not have anything to grumble about this time (apart from their sample of course).
Sample and quota allocations sorted then we can move on to the questionnaires which, unless the photocopier has behaved unusually well, won’t be ready by now anyway.
So fix paper jam, add toner and then while it’s doing its thing we can move swiftly on to what is by far the most satisfying part of the Sending Out of Job Packs process: The writing out of address labels.
Now lets get one thing clear, anyone who tells you they hate this bit is lying. Yes, we all know there is a really clever way to print these off from Word, and yes, I do know how to do this, but in a sick perverted way I actually like doing it, even if it is just to see how many of the interviewers' addresses I can remember off by heart.
25 address labels later (of which I remembered 19 by heart), your hand hurts and your head aches, but it’s okay because finally it’s all ready to go. Only slight problem is that in the rush you haven’t had time to read your emails, one of which was sent at 3.05pm and tells you the client wants to make a few changes to the questionnaire and as a result the packs don’t actually need sending out ‘til Friday...
Yeah right! I love my job...
I love my job ...
as a Field Manager, Sir!
OK now listen up. As the MRWho correspondent embedded with this Field unit it is my duty to report impartially the news from the front line of market research.
We are moving forward and engaging targets in a broad range of sectors. We’re in constant contact with our field force and most of the news is good. Since this time yesterday a number of cells which were proving difficult to break down have started to get mopped up.
Having said that, you’re in the field now, and there have been casualties of course:
Other agents are encountering a hostile response, particularly in the b2b part of the campaign and mostly among IT Managers and Directors - we have assigned ‘special forces’ and we are confident they will wrap this up.
- Operative Pam Wachowski had three straight refusals yesterday, was sworn at by a respondent and says she will be playing no further part in this campaign
- Operative Kenny Burton has been captured by the enemy - that is to say, a more lucrative 6-month acting contract came up and he also is out of the reckoning.
Despite the tough deadlines we have been set, we are meeting our targets and proceeding according to plan. Some of the fastest moving operatives are now no more than half a dozen interviews from their objective, and the bulk of the force are crossing bridges as they come to them while the Telephone Unit mops up behind. Of course, particularly where innocent consumers are concerned, we are bound by the Northburgh Convention and we are fully discharging our responsibilities in this regard.
In particular, once captured, data will not be paraded on television or elsewhere in any identifiable form.
I’ll now hand you over to Field Assistant ‘Smith ’ who will play you a tape.
[thirty seconds of static / muttering and squeaking]
What do you mean, ‘It ’s not possible to clearly identify any actual words on the tape ’? Look, you’re not in some comfy-comfy viewing facility with directional microphones now you know – this is life on the streets. You ’ll just have to take it from me,those were the voices of actual respondents you heard. Sheesh, you guys on the Executive side – sometimes you’re a bit out of touch, you should get out in the field more. This is where it’s happening, this is the sharp end. Now I ’ll take another question if you wish ...
What’s that? Do I love my job? Well let’s put it this way, Sir: it’s what I’ve been trained to do...