Posts tagged “jeff albertson”

Loss of Context II

From Secret Lives of Comic Store Employees,’s aspiring-to-anthropological-but-no-dice exploration of the subculture comes:

Biggest pet peeve about customers?
The perfectionists. Like the clerks with the eggs, inspecting each one.

That makes no sense. They’ve captured literally what they think the interviewee uttered (but not what they said, and certainly not what they meant). They should know enough contemporary culture to remember that Kevin Smith’s 1994 film Clerks featured a customer who would obsessively check every egg in every carton.

This guy is going through all of the eggs. Look.

An ODD MAN sits on the floor, surrounded by cartons of eggs, all opened. He grabs a carton from the cooler case, pops it open, and examines each egg carefully.

This is a regular challenge in interviewing. We must embrace enough of the respondent’s context (and Kevin Smith movies are absolutely within the context of a Comic Store Employee) in order to understand what we’re hearing. Simply reporting it will produce misleading garbage.

Also see: Loss of Context – where the interviewer/editor mixes up Digital Equipment Corporation and a digital equipment corporation.


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