As a scholar of language and social interaction, I study social life in situ and examine the most ordinary, routine activities that people do in great detail. Since social actions are meaningful and orderly in their production, my analytic interest centers on talk-in-interaction as central way through which people get things done. At the center of my research lies my curiosity for discovering the procedures that people use to overcome institutional barriers, humanize the service experience, and to seek help without having to explicitly ask.
The beginning of my research endeavors started with customer service telephone calls from which I’ve published work that includes how customers use response cries for leveraging additional, unsolicited assistance. My interest in ordinary interaction and collaboration with other conversation analysts, have brought about findings that help advance the conversation analytic toolbox in the areas of sequence organization, repair, overall structural organization, and action formation. More recently, my collaboration with a State Police emergency dispatch center produced findings that sparked a policy change for managing a particular call type. My current research projects naturally extend from my work with the 911 emergency call centers. I am now working with a team of researchers on calls whereby professional negotiators and emergency call center dispatchers have to deal with people in crisis, with a specific focus on negotiation with suicidal people.