Sunday, December 24, 2006

Future Instruments -- Part III

Carl was about to begin a new interview. He knew the drill. He would snap and shoot the respondent and an avatar would appear in the resource pool. He then would drop and drag the avatar onto the pipeline and, after a pause, the questions would begin.

Only today there has been a refusal right after the snap and shoot. Perhaps it had been stage fright. In any event he wouldn't get to see the respondent's avatar first turn busy and then progress in hues from gray scale to whatever rgb his monitor was set at as the interview unfolded. Indeed something new occurred as Carl changed the avatar's status to "refusal". Carl had been trained for this eventuality but the eventuality had never happened before.

Carl checked the resource pool on the dashboard again. He had not been mistaken: a match had occurred. In a match the actual respondent avatar and a funny one were joined at the hip: a twin was born.

Carl remembered a Starbucks around the corner. It was no telling how long working the match would take.

Once in line Carl ordered a triple short mocha and after almost no wait, he sat alone at a table ready for the eventuality.

Carl dragged the match onto the pipeline hoping against hope that now his heartaches would begin. A heartache, Carl had learned in training, was when an interviewer had to join the match.

This wasn't normal. Generally matches, the product of advanced simulation, didn't require interviewer intervention. But Carl's company which had developed advanced simulation in the first place (patent pending), had also written the book on active participation.

Active participation was a training module. It was also an avatar in the resource pool. This avatar had Carl's face. Carl would use it if advanced simulation called on Carl to speak.

The trouble with advanced simulation, Carl had learned during training, was that sometimes a match gave answers that would fail the consistency check. There were two types of failures (called lies by experienced interviewers) that the match might be caught in. K failures had face validity. With F failures a match made a complete non-sequitor.

In either event Carl would get to say the answer.

Carl kicked back, dropped the match on the pipeline and watched the match do the walking. He did steal a glance at the resource pool and saw himself. Carl smiled at his reflection. It wasn't every interviewer who could say: I am in the house. This required specialization.

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