Recent Posts

July 07, 2009

Ask-o-logy: Introduction

For exactly one year, I asked for something -- a discount, a favor, a privilege, a perk -- and kept log of the results in an excel spreadsheet.

I read the results twice over the course of the year: once in the spring, to calculate how much money I'd gained at that point, and then at the conclusion of the project, when I did this more detailed analysis. I did not keep track as I went along because I didn't want knowledge of certain factors (like which approach is or seems most successful, or which industry is or seems more giving) to shape my attempts. I wanted a full year of regular, uneducated asking.

Over the next days I will post slices of data and offer possible interpretations. Here's the tentative game plan:

Today: Introduction & A few basics: Does asking pay off?
Wednesday: Maine or Milan? On location
Thursday: Disservice with a smile: On attitudes
Friday: Don't ask a librarian: On industry and context
Next Monday: Ask who? The gender divide
Next Tuesday: Ask for who? The altruism divide
Next Wednesday: Analysis and final remarks

Finally, a caveat about methodology and qualifications:

This isn't a controlled experiment. I'm self reporting, and the findings are not even close to reliable.

So take everything with a big grain of salt.

Also, I'm a comp lit grad student!! Until last week, I'd never used an excel function before in my life.

That's where Mr. A comes in. I am sworn to secrecy about his professional formation. Let's just say he has a PhD, and he's not a afraid to use it.

Onward! To the data!
blog comments powered by Disqus