Crying with strangers 

‘If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’.

As a consumer researcher I’ve spent the last few weeks stepping into the homes, cars and generally the lives of complete strangers, many I wouldn’t come into contact with ordinarily. The type of people I would pass fleetingly at a train station, or who might give me way as I scurry along the platform to catch my next train. And so as my job would have it, these strangers enter my life as randomly as I enter their homes.

As we chat through what is often a prescribed discussion guide depending on the project, we laugh, and at times we’ve cried. In the hour or so that I’m invited to their world, it’s like my anonymity makes people feel like they can be more honest with me than the people in their lives. Probably because it’s a no judgement zone. I’m just here to listen, and then they’ll never see me again.

A desk, though comfortable, is a dangerous place by which to view the world

During these times I’m reminded that the most important value in life is our humanity and ability to access compassion and love one another. Whether you’re a bank, a brand, or bee-keeper, we all want is to be loved and listened to. My job, although peculiar at times, it’s exciting most times, and I’ve always thought that a desk, though comfortable, is a dangerous place by which to view the world. I’m writing this on the train back into London, and my eyes have that dry sensitive feeling they get when I need to sleep.As much as much as I can’t wait to get back to London, I never stop having a real appreciation for what I do and the angle by which I get to see the world. I certainly think it makes me a better person.