Friday, November 09, 2007

More panda eyed meetings

On Thursday I had another early morning breakfast seminar. Sighz… had to wake up early and touch up those panda eyes… the seminar was on Innovative Trends in Qualitative Research.

I booked a taxi the night before to take me to the Oxford Hotel in Leederville where the seminar was being held.

Well it turned out not to be all smooth and easy going. First thing, the taxi company got my address mixed up. Instead of 1/85… they thought my address was at No. 185... good thing I spotted the taxi driving around trying to find the address so I waved him over.

The next thing was even better. I reiterated again that I was going to the Oxford Hotel and asked if the driver knew where it was. He confidently told me that he knew where it was. So we drove through the usual morning traffic to Leederville and he stopped in front of a building with a café/restaurant on the ground level. I couldn't see any sign that said Oxford Hotel. So I asked the driver again "Are you sure this is Oxford Hotel?". He assured me that it was and even pointed the entrance out to me. So I paid the fare and got out. He of course drove off while I walked up to the entrance where the café/restaurant was.

The café was quiet and there was hardly anyone there. I walked further down to see if I could spot a sign or another entrance. Nope – just other shops and cafés. So strange. I stopped to ask a few people but they didn't know of any Oxford Hotel. Finally one guy told me that Oxford Hotel was much further up, near the Scarborough Beach side. *Sian* "How long will it take to walk there?" I asked. He looked at me amusedly and said, "In those heels? Probably 15-20 minutes". Alamak! The seminar starts at 7.30am and it was already 7.35am. The guy helpfully told me that there was a taxi stand around the corner. My mobile was ringing, it was my colleague asking where I was. I hurriedly click-clacked to the stand to hail a taxi. Thankfully there was a taxi waiting there, so less than ten minutes later I was at the correct Oxford Hotel. Running late, but at least I finally got there.

Anyway, the seminar itself was great. I ordered blueberry pancakes for breakfast. The first speaker talked about new research technigues like using blogs and online communities to stimulate discussions from an online panel, and ethnographics which means the researcher actually physically observes the subject going about their normal routine to understand their habits, preferences and practices. The second speaker presented a case study on iinet's successful advertising campaign using innovative research techniques.

So the seminar itself was good. Regarding the taxi episode, I lodged a complaint with them when I arrived back at the office. I received a reply from them saying:

Dear Ms Lee

We acknowledge receipt of your email and wish to advise that we are currently investigating the matter.

Due to our extensive investigation and interview procedures, which can include accessing computer and audio records and/or interviewing relevant drivers, your complaint may require up to 14 days to process, at which time you will receive a final response giving details of the outcome.

Yours faithfully


2 weeks??? Well, it better be a good outcome.

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