December 07, 2003

The Joys of Telephone Surveying

More reading back through this old forum has brought to mind some old stories from back in the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college.

Back then I worked a temp job through Office Team at Miami University in Middletown as a telephone survey facilitator at the Applied Research Center. I worked for Dr. Seufert making phone calls and fixing all technology that broke. When I wasn't actually fixing things or making fruitless calls, I administered surveys (hopefully I managed 1/hour, but frequently I got much less than that.)

(It has been noted that I have a somewhat dark view of humanity and have been known to posit that people are stupid on a fairly regular basis. Reading on should give you some indicator as to why I feel as I do.)

Here are some of the fun things I came up with while surveying (all true stories, I wrote them down as I surveyed):

Cynic (on the phone): "Hello sir, my name is Cynic and I'm calling from...."
Man on the other end: "Y'all need to stop sendin' me stuff"
Cynic: "Uh, sir, I haven't even told you who I was calling from, and we don't send out any "stuff"
Man: "I'm sure y'all have been sending me somethin, and I ain't got time for this crap"
Cynic: "Sir, could I at least tell you whom I'm calling with so that you could make a more iinformed judgement"
Man: "No, just quit sending me stuff and leave me alone"
Cynic(muttering to himself): "I guess I mark that as a hung up and he gets called back until he politely refuses or completes the survey"


Cynic (on the phone): Now I'm going to read a series of statements and you need to tell me 'yes' or 'no' to each of them.
Man: Ok
Cynic: I will encourage my child to say 'no' to sex
Man: Is that until they're married or altogether, because while I want my kids to abstain until they're married, they're not like my neighbor's kids. I don't want THEM to EVER reproduce.
Cynic: Well, I'd assume it's just until married, but the question doesn't say. Oddly enough, nobody's ever picked up on that before....


Cynic: I'm going to read some income catagories and I want you to stop me when I reach the one that includes the approximate total annual income of your household.
Crazy Lady: I don't have any income.
Cynic: I mean for your entire household... everyone who has income in your household.
C L: We have no income
Cynic: ok..... [marks the less than $10,000 a year bracket]
Cynic: Now how many kids do you have?
C L: 4
Cynic: And how old are they?
C L: 17, 14, 12, 9
Cynic: And how old are you?
C L: 28

<Cynic is now on the phone with Crazy Lady's son>

Cynic: Do you feel it's wise or foolish to attend parties where alcohol...
Crazy Son: [interrupting] I'm not allowed to go to parties
Cynic: Ok.... And how do your friends feel about attending....
C S: [interrupts again] I'm not allowed to have friends
Cynic: Uh... ok, well.....
C S: I'm not allowed to go out of the house without my cousin or my mother
Cynic: ok....

[towards the end of giving the survey to Crazy Son]

Cynic: How old were you on your last birthday?
C S: I'm not allowed to celebrate my birthday

Cynic: Ok, how old are you?
C S: 17

Cynic: [ends the survey and cowers in fear that people like this exist]

And my personal favorite...

Cynic: "Our information says that Jimmy has asthma"
Sadistic Lady: "He got cured"
Cynic: "Cured?"
S L: "Yeah, we got a surgery for him.... we drilled 2 holes in his sinuses and broke off some bones"
Cynic: "Bones?"
S L "Yeah, they was gettin the the way of his his breathin'"
Cynic: "Uh.... ok..... I think you're ineligible for the survey ma'am"

Now Playing
Linkin Park - From the Inside

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at December 7, 2003 02:09 AM