Thursday, May 04, 2006

To the Gods of All Surveys: An Apology

Talk about pride coming before a fall.

You know that post I wrote two days ago making fun of some survey? Alas, retribution has fallen upon me. On wings like eagles.

Today I got a call from another phone survey person. This one was about cultural life in Philadelphia. Okay, go ahead. Two minutes of the standard questions: age, income, occupation, etc. Then, just as I thought she would start on the real questions, she apologises to me, as politely as possible, tells me she's very sorry but they're looking for a different profile of respondent at this time. Maybe the next time they're doing a survey. Sorry for the trouble again. Thank you. Goodbye.

Great. As if all the women in my life weren't bad enough, I'm now being rejected by survey companies. And they'll interview anyone. ANYONE. Dammit, they'll pick up the phone and dial a bunch of random numbers and talk to the first person who answers. And yet I'm not good enough for them.

What is it I'm doing wrong here? Is it my phone service? Is it that when they hear my household income they have to put down the phone immediately so they can have a good laugh? Is it the fact that I come across as being too easy? Should I be playing hard to get, saying, no, no, actually I'm really busy just now could you call back later? Is it that they've heard ugly rumours about me from other surveys? Maybe the health survey woman has told them I'm a total loser - the kind of person who counts the pennies in his penny jar for entertainment (I do NOT. I know there are exactly 374 of them). Is it all the coffee I drink - does it make my voice sound bitter? Is it the Chad?

Random survey person, please come back. I'll change, I promise. No more muttering insults about double-barrelled questions under my breath. No more pedantic hair splitting. No more responding to restaurant feedback forms with haikus. No more claiming to be a 52 year old war veteran. Or the widow of a war veteran who would have been 52 today, god rest his soul. No more claiming to believe in God. No more sarcasm when the person on the line asks me whether I have a phone. No more quoting surrealist poetry in answer to questions about my occupation (Hell, I'll even give up watching Alphaville). No more claims about how no, I never buy medicine, I never need to you see, the force is strong in me. No more putting the handset down next to the phone half way through the survey and picking up the phone everytime there's a pause and saying "no". I'll be good, I promise. Just give me another chance. Let me back into your life. Can't we at least be friends? I'll do anything for you. Just don't cut me out of your sampling frame. Please. Please! (*cue starting of 'Cecilia'*)

What's the point of having free speech if there's nobody standing by making ticks in their little checkboxes?



The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

374 pennies? Have you ever shoved one up your nose?

confused said...

Serves you right!

For being such a snob, ok just a book snob but still.

Come, 374 pennies is a lot of money at least in my current state. :)

p.s I missed the interesting discussion on the L.A.T post, serves me right, for not checking your blog today. Argh! For the record and solely for the record, I am with Heh Heh on that one.

csm said...

f - you spend way too much time at home. almost as if you are waiting for surveryers to random select you.

go and get some researching done now. are you planning to collate your blogs and submit as your dissertation? hey wait...that may just qualify.

may be it would help if you just picked up the phone and called home and listened to someone who likes talking to you (as i would expect and imagine...but knowing you, thats another task altogether):-)

Dexter said...

he he ha ha ha ! that was funny! :)

maybe should should spend less time blogging and be "out there" where the river meets the sea ,where the mountains meet the sun and where idiots are told their opinions matter! :)

The Black Mamba said...

now now, is this reality creeping into this world of fiction? Or is this just in your imagination, that a phone survey person rejected (the imaginary) you?! ( and I don't know which would be better) ;)

pointblank said...

Falstaff, why don't you join a survey company, like Synovate, as a potential part of the sample? Then you can get calls almost everyday. And as it seems from your posts, you spend a lot of time at home and you can be a part of surveys everyday!(Maybe more than one per day!) :). Down the line, you could also aim for something like "best respondent of the year" award!! Dream come true, no? :)

dazedandconfused said...

u guys...tch tch...what's all this talk about Fal spending time at home? Really...people, I tell you!

Just Mohit said...

you could get a mobile you know. Also submit your phone number at any website (yahoo! google, et al will do just fine).
BTW, has anyone told you that you do sound quite a bit like Calvin at times (of the Bill Waterson fame, not the dead guy)! ;-)

Falstaff said...

Shoe-fiend: We shall NOT go into that. Let's just there used to be 375 of them. When are you getting back to blogging, btw?

confused: NO! Besides, she doesn't know I'm a book snob.

csm / dexter: I agree. That's why I'm off to New York today. And I'm leaving my answering machine off. That way I can pretend that all sorts of survey people called and I missed them. Too bad.

BM: What do you mean fiction? This is my life we're talking about here. It's all entirely true, I assure you.

(To be fair, you can see why they wouldn't want me in their sample. Most cultural things I go for have an audience whose median age is 54 and are the kind of people who leave bequests.)

Pointblank: Ah, but then I would actually have to answer surveys - which annoys me. I'm like the girl in high school who worries about her popularity. I don't actually want to do the surveys, I just want to be asked.

d&c: I agree. No appreciation for my bold, adventurous spirit.

mohit: arrey, such praise. Though on the whole, I'd rather be Hobbes. Life is too bloody, brutish and short.

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Soon. Maybe :)