We will need to go back just a few years. I was say 46 or so. Like literally hundreds of times before, I was referred to do research consulting as a focus group moderator. For me, pretty pedestrian. It is what I do. The difference is the person hiring me wanted to do the job of moderating the groups herself but her client said no, we want La Detra. Therein lies the rub, but I will get to that soon enough. So I am hired by someone I knew fairly well, even counted her a friend, to moderate several focus groups in several cities including Chicago and New York for her clients, THE US MARINES and a notable international ad agency. The clients wanted to know how African American mothers feel about allowing their son(s) to enlist. Easy enough I thought. Not so.
So I am doing my thang like only I can. Something I have been hired to do by Fortune 100 companies all over the country for well let's just say a very long time and for a whole lot of money. Several times that first night of working in Chicago I am called out of the room where I was conducting discussion groups with "my clients" the participants into the hallway. Each time I was told by a young 20-something I was doing something egregiously wrong. Much to my chagrin this went on several times. Each time I was brought to the hallway the air got thicker, and "my clients" back in the room looked more and more confused and concerned.
On about the 4th time, I looked at my "friend" and she could not look at me. She did not look at me. Then I heard these oh so patronizing words from this 20-something from the ad agency and I quote, "Well this is not working out. I am sure you would rather be back home with your husband and children. We are going to go in another direction. Feel free to stay and have a bite to eat, but we will not need your services any longer. "X" (my friend), will be conducting the remaining groups for this project. It is still early, perhaps you can still get a flight out tonight."
And then this is what I said......END OF PART ONE. By all means grab a seat. This gets really good.