Dead tired after a 2.7 hours work day (interviews, admin and driving)… That is not a typo. And the day followed a good night’s 14 hours of sleep*. I hope I’ll be able to improve my stamina a bit.
The research interviewer role is a hyper flexible part time work. The flexibility means, primarily, that the interviewer has to work around the respondents schedules and be willing to work whenever it suits respondents – any time and day.
Interviewers do have a fair bit of freedom to decide suitable days and times of day to recruit households and conduct the short interviews. The employer expects to see variety in the times of day for the visits to maximise the chance of catching all respondents at home, but apart from that the scheduling is open.
I work a few hours per day on most days of the week, locally, and I guess that is a nice soft way to get used to work regularly again. A few hours in a row; flexible; independent; no workplace politics. Although, soft start or not, coming home feels post-marathon like**.
After the first week
Today I undertook my second set of long interviews, where I interviewed all members of a family. The first set took place few days ago. Each involved interviews with a set of parents and a bunch of kids***.
It went fine, overall. I navigated steady-handed through the long winded, labyrinthic interview forms and talked clearly, slowly, articulate, service-minded. Some answers weren’t ‘in the textbook’ and hard to categorise, but it turned out OK (I hope).
I did make a few mistakes that required follow-up and correction (which is: didn’t pick up on contradicting details straight away). However, I don’t think the employer expects total perfection from beginner interviewers. I talked with my supervisor, and she is happy with the progress.
While I am very happy that it seems I can handle the job, it is not enough work to make ends meet. It is still important to look for additional work/projects to fit in around it. For the time being, there doesn’t seem to be sufficient energy left after visiting respondents to undertake any additional serious work activity.
* In case you wonder: I don’t normally sleep that much, only when recovering from something
** I think. I have never actually been running a marathon, although I have been running long distances on my own
*** Reason for vagueness with details: it would be inappropriate to publish any details that could in any way be used to identity anything about any respondents and/or the survey.