Survey miracle challenge: day 11

Love these lazy weekends. Today I had my first meeting with the association, it got very heated thanks to my questioning of processes and procedures. The old man didn’t like it. I enjoyed it, wicked me. In the afternoon I got a massage and physio treatment. Later in the afternoon it was chaos with hubby going all psycho because he was so stressed with the Japan trip. He booked the flights on a whim when recovering from the cancer operation, and now he gets confused and frustrated with the Japanese way. And when he gets stressed he is unbearable. Today was no exception. So much that he could not book a single night. I made the bookings for the first 5 nights. One night in Narita, two nights in Tokyo and 2 nights near Mount Fuji. Still to do Kyoto and Hiroshima. First world problems our fights because of the quality of our hotels in Tokyo. Most people do not get this great opportunity and we are arguing about little things. Thank you Lord for the gift of travelling. Give me patience to keep going. Hubby is a pain, for now my pain. My anxiety went up when doing the booking exercise.

No more responses. Miracle that I got at least a couple in early weeks. I feel overwhelmed. Lost. Breathe.


Survey miracle challenge: day 10

No miracles, no responses. Feeling overwhelmed, defeated. All that work and nothing to show for. Nil responses today and that’s after sending the survey to 30 or so wholesalers. No one response for a week. Painful silence. How am I going to advance? Progress?

Today I am starting to write a conference paper, just to get me out of this defeated feeling. Due date for first draft is 8 October, the day when I am back from holidays. Then one week to send to supervisors for feedback, then fix, edit and format. Three weeks for that. I’ll be doing that while working to get surveys done. Research is bloody hard, doing research part time is crazy stuff. I should have never done it. I am kidding myself thinking that I could do it. Nothing, nothing is right with my research.

Today I was meant to have breakfast with one of my contacts to convince him to answer my survey, but he forgot. He stood me up. So no survey response. Also no response from contact in Vietnam or WA. Nothing. Again disappointed, broken.

Still must be happy with the very small miracles. I got my air flights and accommodation booked by the uni, more than $1,000. Less money for my research. Also, I got the courage to msg MS about my coming to the roadshow, and she responded positively. Also sent msgs to two colleagues who will help me with transport next week.

This weekend will be family and community. Tomorrow I have the first meeting with the new association, at lunch I am taking the boys shopping and in the afternoon I will be having a massage. Full day. Sunday Boy 1 got soccer and boy 2 got a birthday part.?

Survey miracle challenge: days 5-9

Last weekend it was boys 2 communion. A great weekend, with relatively little stress,. I only got upset with hubby twice during the whole weekend and for me that’s a real improvement. Sunday was perfect. The celebration went on for almost 12hours. Father gave a beautiful sermon, child-friendly even, with no reference to burning in hell. Comadre got us an awesome cake as always and the other comadre prepared the tamales. For breakfast we had tamales and pupussas, with hot chocolate and quesadilla, volteado de piña and red velvet muffins. Then piñata for the kids, with more lollies and the communion cake. For late lunch we had bbk sausages,chicken and steak plus plenty of beer. Some friends stayed for dinner with tamales and coffee. So much food, so much fun. Just like I remember my own communion party. Both boys had a great time, we had a house with 15 kids. Games, fun and laughter. God blessed us with a beautiful day, all our friends were there. In the evening we were told that a friend died of cancer. Life is so fragile, one minute laughing, the next crying.

As for PhD work, the responses have been very slow coming. Correction: no coming at all. The miracle is my resilience and my faith in God that all is going to be ok. Whatever happens it will be the best. Still I am anxious, no much sleep, waking up in the middle of the night. Shallow breathing, butterflies in the stomach. Suspicious that my ex is sabotaging my research. In reality, I think the problem is my methodology, on-line survey is obviously not appropriate for my population. For now I am just going to keep at it until I get at least 50, but well aware that even 50 is not significant sample for my research. Awful feeling, thinking that all this work is such a waste of time, little to show for, using precious hours in useless tasks. Life is unfair and research is bloody hard. Good research impossible for me. Maybe I am taking on way too much for my little brain. What to do? God be my shepherd and guide me through the dark valley of no responses, no data and no publications. Today I went to the 3M presentations, gosh those students are really doing brilliant work, my research is nothing compared to that. Impostor syndrome hitting hard this evening!

Survey miracle challenge: day 4

I managed to hurt my shoulder and I am in agonising pain. Can’t move my neck to the sides and hurts when moving my left arms. For a few days I have been having breast pain, that sensation when you breasts are full of milk, but you cannot breastfeed. Ouch! Am I dreaming or is this the pain people with breast cancer feel? Hopefully it’s nothing and the pain is only the stress of this challenge. Boy 2 had a nightmare, that’s all I am saying for now.

One more survey today: one. At this rate I will have 20 by the time I finish. No much complaining, a response is a response and each response is a miracle. Thank you. Another miracle happened today. I finally had the meeting with the association. The lady was lovely and we bonded over coffee, kids and cancer. I even have my doubts that this is the same lady I met before and have been communicating with. She was way too nice and didn’t seem to know much about my research. Could it have been a divine mixed up and I ended up making the meeting with the wrong mS? Good news is that she was receptive to the idea of me coming to NQ and happy to send copies of my survey out. She has to check with her supervisor still, but for now I am grateful with the meeting. Another miracle happened today: the NT lodged the grant application, I don’t know if they included my name, but at least I got the notification. Breathe.

Miracles happening around me and my research. I just need to stop, open my eyes and see the mysterious ways God is helping me. I contacted one of my ex-colleagues, and he is still in the industry, so will convince to do survey, maybe even interview later on. The guy in Vietnam and the guy in WA still to respond, but I trust they will. Divine power is working through them. With crazy ex, my new GS feels that I should just forget about her and concentrate on my surveys. Easier said than done, but will do. The Lord is my shepherd.

I had a day at home, morning meeting with lady and afternoon shopping for boy 2 communion this Sunday. Had a Chinese massage for my pain, but I think it made it worse.

Survey miracle challenge: day 3

Is anything that’s is happening to me in this PhD is normal anymore? Old supervisor is actively undermining my research. She is even very subtly asking for me to be removed of the NA project. I am feeling hurt, yet amused that she feels somewhat threaten my me or my research. Even the NT person was shocked by her behaviour. Other academics have said that she is crazy, but I never imagined she would turn against me. Although she dropped me, I still had lots of time for her and bear no grudges. She was a role model. I thought to myself, if she can accomplish her PhD and get a professorship position in such a short time with all her academic shortcomings and her illness, I can do it too.

So what’s happened? Why is she behaving this way with me? I wouldn’t really care about her if she wasn’t impacting in my data collection. Later today I’ll have an appointment with the association and will ask why they have not returned my calls. Is she using the grant money to block me? Manipulating her finance power? This just shows how financial incentives can have a very adverse effect on technology diffusion and adoption. In a way how she is misusing grant money corroborates my research. Thank you.

No new surveys responses. Life is hard. Research is harder. Breathe.

The Queen is travelling again, at this stage no much to do but wait for instructions. It’s going to get busy at work soon. Missing my colleague, but hopefully she will be back on time to take charge of this trip. It would be extremely hard for me to have all ready by myself.

With Latin association, things are getting interesting. Just translated the meeting notes. Interesting that the note taker didn’t mention all the discussions and arguments we had during the AGM. As the minutes were sent they are not a truthful representation of what happened at the AGM. Anyway, I prepared the notes based on my recollection of events. I really don’t have time to be arguing with old stubborn man about this. I will get out as soon as possible. For now distraction from low response rates and mum’s illness. Breathe.

Survey miracle challenge: day 2

No more interviews received today. Nothing, nada, zilch, zero. Miracle no happening yet. I must believe, have faith that this is going to work, the interviews are going to come, the research is going well. I need to trust God. All it’s going to be ok. If no faith, then no miracle. I called this challenge: survey miracle, because I need to believe that this PhD is part of a divine plan for me. Only with Gods help I will get my 200 valid surveys and be able to conduct the analysis. How else will I get 195 more interviews?

Today I sent my interviews to 30 wholesalers. I also asked a fellow researcher from WA if he could forward the survey link. We’ll see his response. Fingers crossed he will be able to distribute it. I sent LinkedIn msg to an old contact living now in Vietnam, and when he is back in Australia, I will ask him to answer the survey. Also, contacted an old colleague working now in exports, I think he could answer the survey and may send it around. Maybe? Biggest news is that I managed to get an appointment with the association, at least I am going to get an answer about their support. Today I had a meeting with my GS who had encouraged me and gave me some ideas on how to go forward. Thank God for having such a great supervisor.

This evening we have the rehearsal for Boys 2 communion. He is looking so cute!

Survey miracle challenge: day 1

It is a miracle that I have not gone crazy yet. Only got 5 responses out of 200! One week after sending the survey to about 1000 people and bloody nothing. I am grateful to the 5 out of 1000 who decided to complete the survey. Still very painful and distressing that the response rate is so low. What can I do now? Only a miracle will do. I’ve got my suspicions that an ex-supervisor is bad-mouthing me. Am I going paranoid? I know how desperate business/associations are to get funding, I know how manipulative my ex can be with her grants. Would she have said something to block me? Regardless, my fault for basing my research on an association.

F & F weekend!

This weekend it was a family and friends weekend, with only minimal PhD work!

Saturday we had the AGM for our association. As always our gatherings are loud, full of drama, bordering on aggressive. Passions run high, suspicion and manipulation are rampant, and worse we never get to discuss concrete projects to advance our community. This time was more of the same: screaming, finger pointing and dramatic exits. Hubby and nanny main culprits, understandably so because some committee members had abused their position. At the end there was no election because the committee members had already nominated the committee and there was no room for the new members. All had been pre-arranged to avoid any so-called outsiders, aka Bukele fans. I Enter Grateful Mamita! I somehow managed to convinced them to accept new nominations. So there you have it this blogger is now part of the Association’s management committee. I’m still wondering if this is a reward or a punishment. I should not have self- nominated because I have no time, but the temptation to make things right and support the democratic process was too much for me. So I did it! Hubby no happy at all. At night we had cuchubal. Food, good wine and long chats with friends.

On Sunday was Father’s Day. Breakfast in bed, cards and much loving for dad. I didn’t get him a present, but planning something good: a Paella class or Tango lessons? On Sunday night we had PC, more time with friends. Boys has a great time playing with the kids. Food and faith based chat. Topic was faith vs obedience. Question should I be obedient to God and he will help with my research? Or should I have faith is God and know that whatever happens with the research it is going to be good?

Survey set and go challenge: day 30

One more day to go and this is challenge is done! As I mentioned yesterday, it has been a busy month with many small wins. But the big win: a good response rate, still no coming my way. I have left it all in the hands of God, but what if God wants me to take charge of my own research without fear? Just a thought. With the data that I already have I can write up a Masters thesis, I need the new qualitative data for PhD quality work. Maybe at this stage I am still in the master level stage and not yet ready for PhD? I need to go through a process of transformation, leave the cocoon and fly like a butterfly. I am scared though, scared of professional embarrassment, of rejection, of pestering my colleague, of making a fool of myself, of being blacklisted in the industry. So much fear.

Today I had the communion interview with Father Dan. Boy 2 is having his first communion next Sunday. May God bless him. I asked him whether asking God for help with my survey is going against the 2nd commandment. For Farther asking God for help is perfectly alright. Maybe I need God to help me be courageous and creative. Courageous to take my survey to all places and creative to be able to convince people to answer my survey. My methodology may need to be reviewed. Is that what God wants me to check. Breathe.

Survey set and go challenge: day 29

This challenge is coming to an end. I am half done. To start, I had the expectations that my industry colleagues would share my survey and invite their contacts to participate in the research. Sadly, that has not happened. The two industry groups I was relying on to do the dissemination have not even answered my calls. Consequently, my survey is not with growers and exporters yet. Feeling incredibly overwhelmed by this. This would have severe repercussions in my research.

On the positive:

  1. I got approval for change to ethics
  2. Survey instrument was pilot tested with practitioners
  3. Prizes for competition were identified
  4. Scale items for constructs were agreed by all supervisors
  5. Survey was set up in on-line environment
  6. Invite emails were prepared with marketing input
  7. An article was written in the uni Newsletter
  8. A LinkedIn article was prepared
  9. Emails sent to retailers, logistics associations, transporters and 3PL.
  10. Four surveys were received!
  • So it this challenge has almost being a success. Pity no much to show for after all this work. This is PhD research and this is why it is very difficult. My topic is hard because the industry is so suspicious of all and lack of trust prevails.
  • This PhD challenge has been marred by the news of the murder of my uncle, my back pain, boys 2 asthma attack and full time work. Anxiety is high. Breathe.