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Archive for September, 2006

Why Is Giving Something Away For Free So Hard These Days?

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Play Ball!A Texas Sunday afternoon in September could mean another 100 degree day. But on this glorious Sunday that wasn’t the case. The clock struck 1:10 PM and the first pitch at the Texas Rangers / Cleveland Indians game had already been thrown.

It was decision time!

In my right pocket I had four of the best tickets in the stadium—ten rows behind home plate. Before my perfect day could start, a decision had to be made regarding the extra two tickets in my pocket. My choices were:

  1. Go up to the Season Ticket window and exchange them for another Ranger game
  2. Let them go unused
  3. Give them away

I chose option number three.

The next question was: who was I going to give them to? Since the Rangers—like my beloved Boston Red Sox—are really not in playoff contention and there weren’t a ton of people looking for tickets. I was hoping to find either a young couple or a father or mother with a kid.

I was in luck. From thirty feet away I spotted a couple in their early twenties. They were holding hands so I assumed they were boyfriend/girlfriend.

I quickly approached the young couple and asked them if they had tickets. They didn’t respond. I quickly said I have two extra tickets that I would like to give them. No response. I was shocked. One last time I said I have two of the best tickets in the house, ten rows behind home plate and I can’t use them. They are free. Would you like them? The gentleman never said a thing. I looked at the girl and said “here they are. They are yours. I hope you enjoy the game.” She said “Are you serious?” I responded “Yes. Enjoy the game.”

Chow Down!About 25 minutes went by and I was enjoying some peanuts, popcorn and my hotdog with my oldest son and I saw the young couple come towards our seats. They sat down next to me and we exchanged a quick hello. The only other comment she made was “Thank you so much. Today is my birthday. I must admit we were very nervous when you offered us the tickets. That just doesn’t happen anymore.”

If that is true, that is very sad. Do you think my story is common in today’s society?

Hopefully it isn’t!

People I Have Met Along My Research Journey!

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Marianne Schafer

Since I entered the research industry in 1984, I have met literally hundreds of people. Many of them I still call friends. Like countless others, I entered the industry by accident. Over the past 22 years I have met many interesting, smart and passionate people. I would like to highlight a few researchers from time to time (those that I don’t currently work with or am not related to).

The first of researcher I would like to highlight is Marianne Schafer.

Marianne was founder and President of Field Facts and is still involved in the industry today working at Field Facts Worldwide. Marianne was my first boss. She always had a can-do attitude. I wish I had a dollar for every time she said “just take the job and we will figure out a way to get it done.” She was right EVERY time. She also knew all the tricks of the trade. I remember 20-something years ago when she walked over to a table I was working at and noticed I was counting questionnaires to send to 30 cities for a research project. She looked at me, took a stack of 50 questionnaires, weighed them and said in her British accent, “Don’t bother counting them; just put 2 1/2 pounds in each box!”

I didn’t realize the effect she had on my career until years after I left the company. As I recall, Marianne’s dad worked until he was well into his 90’s. I think this is one of the reasons she has the incredible work ethic she has. What a lady!

Please feel free to post comments, especially if you happen to know Marianne and have stories that you would like to share.