What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Friday, November 04, 2005

On telephone surveys

The article was a sad tale of woe about the fact that survey takers can no longer reach people who only have cell phones. This has apparently become a real problem.

Funny, they didn’t mention the fact that these same survey takers often call people during meals or family times to gather their facts. They didn’t mention the fact that even though the opinion takers are paid for those gathered opinions; they never offer to reimburse the opinion makers for their time.

I am more than a little curmudgeonly when it comes to unsolicited evening survey calls. I used to just hang up on these kinds of calls. Somehow that just wasn’t satisfying enough. Now, I stay on the line and make up the most outlandish answers I can come up with off the top of my head. As long as what I tell them is as far from my true feeling as is possible, I get a certain wicked delight in doing my part to skew their results.

I wish I could say that my odiousness was a product of the accumulating years; but, in truth, being difficult is just something that has always come naturally for me. There are those who would maintain that I have an absolute genius for it. During one of my stints in college, I answered a want ad on a bulletin board for a part time job at the Medical School. They needed people to be “pretend patients” to help the med students learn how to gather medical histories from difficult patients and improve the new doctor’s beside manner. It only involved a few hours a week and paid quite well. I did it off and on for about two years.

They would call you up when they needed you. You would go to the med school and you would be given about an hour to study a fictitious medical and personal history. Then the instructor would put you in a room with a video camera. He might tell you a specific quirk that he wanted you to portray in order to flummox that particular med student. The student doctor would then enter and conduct a taped fifteen-minute interview. I played everything from a truck driver with hemorrhoids and a bad temper to a chronically depressed dance instructor suffering from a rash. The med school Profs liked using me, since I was particularly good at flustering their student doctor/interviewers with off-the-cuff off-the-wall off the scale obnoxious answers to the questioning. I think that they enjoyed siccing me on the students who had annoyed them recently.

[Student doctor] “How often do you have a bowel movement?”
[Truck driver] “Every time”

Perhaps, I missed my calling in life.

I wonder if the DMV is hiring.


Blogger Ayekah said...

You are TOO funny.......yes, you may have missed your true calling in life....although, your writing is a great outlet. I'm chuckling because I actually say things like that favorite is, "do you smoke?" "Yes" How much.....(they know people lie anyway...and understate their habits).....I say three packs a day,.........I had one guy drop his pen......they stare..........I stare back.....and smile slyly.

4/11/05 10:30 PM  

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