A rogue respondent as seen from the viewing room

focus group in viewing

pic nicked from The White Rooms in St Albans (UK) – not where I was last night but v. highly recommended

I was at a viewing facility last night and in the second group there was one respondent who was a real pain in the neck for the moderator.

There’s always one (let’s call him Bob), who has an opinion on everything and thinks that they know the right (and only answer) to whatever the poor moderator might be asking the group.  They tend to insist on delivering this opinion at considerable volume every 30 seconds, but unfortunately, don’t normally get warmed to full volume until half way through the group when its too late to boot them out.

Poor Louise (the mod) did her very best – she blocked him with body language, ignored him, cut him short, redirected the conversation and engaged every respondent except him, but still he went on. And on.

The clients in the viewing room outnumbered the respondents so I had to shush the giggles as the last twenty minutes turned into something from an episode of The Fast Show.  When the lights went up, I pointed out that we should all be grateful that we don’t have to work in an office with Bob every day.  Or, as one client piped up, be married to him.  But then I went back through my notes – he was (perhaps unsurprisingly) divorced.

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