Sunday, May 6, 2012

Walking with Strangers: Intro to Interviews.



       (the incredible value of a prepaid burner)


I was sent phone numbers by several readers. They were curious if I’d be willing to talk with them about their experiences, both past and present, and if I would add these interviews into the BLOG.

I was quite excited by the opportunity. I sent emails back to them indicating I’d be happy to talk to them.

I haven’t done interviews since about 1993. For a social work class, we were asked to interview 5 people with greatly diverse backgrounds, fields and incomes. We had a list of about 40 questions to choose from, having to pick 5 for each subject to answer.

The completed paper had to be no less than 5 single space pages typed.

In my paper I interviewed 10 people, asking them around 10 questions each. I covered a spectrum of people: A Catholic priest, Methodist Minister, Regional Manager of a large Fast Food Chain, an hourly worker for the same restaurant, Teacher, professor, prostitute (that I gladly paid her 15 bucks for her time and info) and several others.

My paper ended at just over 20 pages, single spaced. I nailed an ‘A’ on it, getting 100-100 point scale.

I can only say that so many missed the single fact this instructor posted and stated each class, so prominently displayed on the blackboard : minimum 5 pages single space typed. He failed all but four of us in a class of 75 that gave him papers that were four pages double spaced and so forth. Collegiate selection in full gear. They so deserved to fail. The four of us that didn’t? The smallest paper amongst all of us was 12 pages singled.

I remember the importance of having specific questions to solicit responses, noting how those questioned spoke their answers in regards to the body language they expressed. The tilt of a shoulder, hands clinched at hips, lips clinched with no display of parted lips opposing words given and emotional responses to be attained.

Remembering those things, knowing I would not have physical expressions to fall back on during telephone conversations, I would close my eyes and remember average expressions. From those things I would gather a sense.


Never having done interviews like the ones I would be doing, I had to work on creating questions relating to the subject matter of the BLOG. I contacted two of my former professors in the hopes they could give me a few starting points. I gave them the link to the BLOG. Three days later they called me back and gave me two questions to throw in the middle of each one. They suggested to start each interview with a strong question to provoke a difficult to answer. One that would get either thoughts or emotions pumped up.

The subject being what it is, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. Gearing questions that would equally cater to the predators and prey alike posed the biggest challenge. They are such opposing parts in the spectrum of light, that in my minds eye, it would be similar to that of interviewing a hawk and possum about their eating habits and how not become another animals dinner.

Again, I had my work cut out for me.

Thinking the prey would be more sensitive to direct questioning, I toned things down a bit, arming myself with as many verbal valiums as possible. I expected highly emotional answers, charged with electric profanity, hostility and I frankly believed if they were pushed too hard, I’d get a lot of hang ups.

Oh, well: NEXT!

With the NV-P’s, I knew I could go balls-to-the-wall and they would not be offended in the slightest. Knowing their ability to be both masters at pathological liars and manipulators, I was most curious to see how long it would be before they took over the whole interview. How many minutes would it take for me to become their subject of interest? Would they open both barrels, one barrel or have the accuracy of a sniper rifle while aiming their retorts like bullets squared directly at my head?

I somehow thought they wouldn’t. They being like that of Zodiac signs that so acclaimed extroversion and grand egos, have little problem telling me of their conquests and how they did it. Their motivations and perversions in the process to attain their goal. Their single minded obsessions and mindless self indulgence.

To eat and never feel a fullness that sets them apart from 96% of the population.


In my opinion, I could not pass this up.

Be it either for my attempt at finding an obscure truth or to simply find what is human, an element that holds a segment of fact or one that holds an emotion that covers all races and nationalities as true and unyielding. The place where so many tribes would like to agree on yet seldom find in accord.


I am going to other places. I have and will hurt many around me in this desire to prove theories about what makes us human.

A chance like this can only find its humble beginnings as a result of cell phones and blind happenings that occur in our communication age. The full breathe of emotion, lack there of and pure thought through complete anonymity that can be displayed on the black and white world of text.

That we can further journey into a land of the utter bleak and despair to the contrasting brightest sunrises and the smelling of flowers.

To take a travel into ANOTHER LIFE.

To the Predator and Prey: The Nonviolent Psychopath

Note this: I have already made these questions and will post them  and their answers  when ready to be completed. No time like the present, and i have a great deal of transcribing to do.
    Teaser? Yeah, i guess this is....