I broke up with a credit card company last week, and they sent me a survey. It was your basic ‘how did you like our service?’ type survey. Um, I would think it should go without saying that if I liked it, I wouldn’t be dumping your sorry ass. Do they really want to know, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much I hate them?
The world is inundated with surveys. Telemarketers call us at home, asking for just 15 minutes of our time… always during dinner, or at least that’s the excuse I use to get off the phone.
They want answers for everything: market research, political opinions, customer feedback. I don’t recall the last time I walked through a mall without someone with a clipboard approaching me for just a few minutes of my time or trying to corner me in the food court. Product surveys, service surveys? How about surveys about surveys and your survey experience? I’m sure those exist too.
Who takes the time to fill these out? Someone must, or why would they be so popular?
I’m constantly getting emails asking me to take surveys from home, promising I’ll make millions. I’m sure you get those too. I signed up for one, in my early 20s, and quickly learned that it wasn’t for me. It takes more than time; it requires stamina to fill out survey after survey on every topic imaginable. To this day, I still receive the occasional email begging me to come back and take another survey.
This got me thinking. Since we’re already such a survey friendly society, wouldn’t it be fun, or at least funny, to have a survey ready to go for other situations?
1 – First Date Survey: A first date survey would be an excellent opportunity to get feedback on your dating skills, and there’s no better way to show that you care about your date’s feelings and opinions. Of course, you’ll want to choose your moment carefully. And, no matter what you’ve been told, waiting a whole three days is not a good idea! For accurate and timely results, I recommend picking a moment near the end of the date. The question is do you hand it to your date before or after the big first kiss? Before, and not only can you find out if they’re ready and willing, but you can ask about style and technique preferences (Q: on a scale from 1 to Niagara, how much tongue is too much?), while you take time to pop a Mentos. After, and you can get feedback on the kiss itself. Either way works.
2 – Jury Duty Survey: Jury duty takes all day and they ask so many questions. Why not hand the judge, lawyers and fellow jurors a brief opinion survey and ask a few questions of your own? But keep in mind: you snooze, you lose. Different states have different rules. There’s no way of knowing if or when you’ll be randomly chosen again. And, who knows? Maybe this will somehow alter your odds of getting selected. Surely, you won’t be getting sequestered. You certainly don’t want to miss the opportunity!
3 – Neighbor Survey: If you rent, why not corner your neighbors by the mailboxes or on their way in/out of the building. If upscale is more your cup of tea, have your doorman hand the surveys out for you. Ask questions about noise level concerns or weird smells. You may be the weird, noisy, smelly neighbor, and you’ll never know unless you ask. While this would work best (or maybe worst) in an apartment building setting, homeowners can do it too. Why not hand out surveys on your block or around the neighborhood? How do you like my parking? How annoying is my dog? Or, rate my Christmas decorations.
4 – Parenting Survey: If you’re lucky enough to have your kids move out or go away to college at 18-ish, why not pass them a survey while they’re packing? Ask your son or daughter’s opinion on your parenting abilities or how they’ve enjoyed their extended stay. It’s a great opportunity to get an additional opinion on whether you should turn his/her bedroom into a home office or gym. Remember, nothing says I love you like a survey.
5 – Relationship Break-Up Survey: You get the old “it’s not you, it’s me” line. Instead of crying, pleading for another chance, begging for breakup sex or wasting your breath asking a ton of why me? questions, why not whip out a survey instead? Imagine the look on your new X’s face. Priceless!
I’m sure there are plenty of other examples.
With the economy in its current state, maybe this is an untapped job opportunity?
Personally, I’d love to sit around all day and write surveys! Wouldn’t that be fun? If you’re the one writing them, you could make them about whatever you want, and even sneak in a few subtle jokes, double entendres or subliminal messages here and there just to see if anyone’s actually paying attention. I mean, why not? You could corner the market on all sorts of surveys.
But, please don’t ask me to take your survey. On a scale of 1 to 10, they’re such a waste of time.