Tales from the ‘Script: A Research Horror Story
A Truly Terrifying Tale For Any Ghoul Who’s Ever Had to Conduct Research
Chapter 1: The Man With the Short Temper
“Hello Mr. Lantz, I’m with Generic Company X,” says the marketer. She adjusts her headset in the flickering blue light of her computer screen. Her home office is dark. She modulates her tone — after all, it’s the first call of the night. “We have received your survey. Do you have time to provide valuable insights to improve our product, the Generic Company X Thingamabob?”
The man on the other end of the line belches. “Yeah, I gots the time. Let me turn off the TVs here.” The raucous sounds of what must be a wrestling match go silent. “What kinda insight ya need?”
He has said the word “insight” like it’s a fancy science term. He sniffs.
“First, I’d like to let you know that this call is being recorded,” says the marketer. The voice recording software on her computer counts the seconds dutifully as she speaks.
“Yeah, okays,” the man says. “Whatever.” He hacks up a cough, snorts, spits.
“Um… Let’s start with initial impressions,” the marketer says, shaking off these graphic bodily sounds from the man. “What do you think of our amazing product, Mr. Lantz?”
“I mean,” the man says, “it’s okay.”
“Mhm. What do you mean by okay?”
“It doesn’t feel great in my bare hands.”
“Interesting,” the marketer says.
The man, now inexplicably irritated, says, “Look lady, I gots enough on my plate tonight, I think we’re done here.”
“Oh,” says the marketer. “I just wanted to—”
She stops speaking, realizing now the line is dead.
Chapter 2: A Doctor, A Cowboy, and 2 Nuns
Throughout the night, it strikes the marketer as odd: Most calls have little uniformity. Tonight, however, very different people are all saying the very same thing… In fact, it’s kinda creeping her out.
Outside, a full moon is covered by a wall of cumulus clouds.
“It doesn’t feel great in my bare hands,” says a nun. Then a doctor. Then a cowboy. Then another nun. “It doesn’t feel great in my bare hands.”
Finally, at the end of a long shift, the marketer saves the recordings into a file. “Guess the R&D team will want to read this,” she says to nobody.
She sends the files through to the Terrible Cheapo Transcription Company. “Meh, good enough,” she says.
Turning off the lights, the marketer says to the empty room, as a sort of joke to herself, “It doesn’t feel great in my bare hands. Heh.”
Chapter 3: The Full Moon Returns
Weeks later, another full moon. In a massive transcript, results are finally delivered to the research team at Generic Company X. They run the data through a word analyzer.
A scientist in the laboratory there picks up the findings.
“Wait, wait, wait this isn’t right!” the scientist shouts. “Get over here, Johnson. Look at this!”
“My God, Murphy,” Johnson says, scanning the transcripts. “We didn’t even think of …”
“The bears!,” says Murphy, “The bears!”
“We have to think about the bears!”
“The bears!” the pair shriek. The scientists, now in a panic, vigorously smash all the chemistry gear on their lab tables.
“Back to the drawing board!”
Johnson prints out a picture of Yogi the Bear, underneath he writes in Sharpie: Know. Your. Customer.
Chapter 4: The Zoom Call… of Horror!
After weeks of toiling, the scientists host a Zoom call with Generic Company X’s CEO, Mr. Bump. They unveil the secret product they’ve been working on: The Generic Company X Thingamabob, but this time… for bears.
“What is this? What is wrong with you two?” the CEO asks. “Bears? Are you in your right mind? And who is laughing? I don’t find this funny at all!”
Except, neither of the scientists was laughing.
The laughter… was coming from another room.
Hesitantly, Murphy stands and walks from the meeting room into the lab.
“The inaccurate Cheapo transcripts!” he shouts. “They’re haunted!”
But it was too late.
The Zoom call with the CEO… had ended.
Tales from the ‘Script 2: Now You
Yes, that is a ridiculous story, but not quite so far off as you might expect. If you’re in the fantastical world of research (or have ever chatted with customers to gain insights), we wanna hear your weird, awesome, and/or hilarious stories about what you discovered (or didn’t discover). Did some small insight change the trajectory of your company’s history? Did you learn something you never expected to learn? We’re dying to hear about it.
We know research is a tight-knit community and y’all are missing the bonding you usually get from in-person events; so what better way to bring everybody together than trading a few stories? (Bonus: we may be handing out awards in certain storytelling categories).