Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Push me, poll you

The trouble with the Don't Call list is that "political outreach" is exempt

I was just Push Polled by some mysterious operation called "Topical Marketing" asking me to respond to some "theoretical" rumors about our senatorial candidates, then respond whether that information made me more or less likely to vote for that person.

Ex:  "Which party do you have more concerns about, Democrat or Republican?"
I challenged the pollster to clarify her terms.

I said, "What kind of concerns?"
"Yes, that's right."
"You didn't answer my question.  What do you mean by concerns?"
"Which one concerns you more?"

After going through the usual non-question/questions ("do you think things are going in the right direction?" )she dragged me through a bunch of "Have you ever heard" about both Warren and Brown.  I was supposed to say whether I had heard that accusation (her word) and whether it was very, somewhat, blah-blah likely to change my opinion (the one I hadn't given about whom I would vote for).

There were FIVE of these.

"Are you more or less likely to vote for [this candidate]?"
"Than what," I said.
"More or less."  
"Than the other candidate?  I just told you I do not have a leaning."
"But based on these statements --- "
"Your choices don't make sense."

Frankly, it doesn't surprise me that Elizabeth Warren now presents herself as a Native American.  She used to present herself as having brown hair and glasses.
It doesn't surprise me that Scott Brown's house is valued at $1M.  We live in Massachusetts.  All that means is his house has 10 rooms.

The pollster says, " I am now going to read you some theoretical statements about [the other candidate]..."  I said, "Let me stop you.  I am going to give you the same answers as before.  I have not heard these statements, and they have not changed my mind.  If you want to write those down now and end the survey, we can.  or we can end the survey.  Your choice is A or B."

Then I stopped talking, so she thought I hung up.  She disconnected.

And America....
She called me back.

"We just completed this survey," I said.
"If you would let me read the statements, I can enter your answers."
"Why is that important?"  I said.
"It's important that we finish."  (in the Milgrim experiment, this is pronounced “The experiment requires that you go on”)

I almost said... "Are they holding you there against your will?"  but instead I said, "Who is sponsoring this survey?"
"Topical Marketing, she says.

"Topical marketing is conducting the survey.  for whom are you conducting this survey?"

Oh, don't make me whoooom your ass, girlie.... I am home allll daaaay.

She stammered and admitted that she wasn't made aware of that.  I said, "Your questions are not based in fact, you won't cite who these 'supporters' and 'opponents' are, the answers don't match the questions, and you won't tell me how the data will be used.  Why is it so valuable?"

I am so sorry to say that in the end she won.  I let her read the questions so she would never call me again, but I banged a lot of dishes while she did it.  Very mature.

Demographically... my options were single, married, living with someone, divorced, widowed , or never married.
Let's review.
"Single, divorced, widowed AND never married?"  You know how I love to be called unmarried.

How's this for the ethnicity question:
"Is anyone in your family Native American, Asian, Spanish-speaking, or African-American."   
Spanish speaking?  Yes, my Filipino cousin is Asian Spanish-speaking, and my Nipmuc sister-in-law is African/Native American.  I said, "Any of those?  Yes."
"Can you be specific?"

Because f**k her.  She doesn't even know who she works for.  What is the frequency, Kenneth?

In the end, she apologized for calling me back.  I said, "I am sorry they made you do that."
And reminded myself to answer the phone more vigilantly in the future.

Countdown to "this finally stops":   181 days


  1. My practice is to simply state "I do not do telephonic surveys" as soon as possible and the not so politely hang up. So far no one has called me back. M

  2. I have come to enjoy these 'surveys'. Mostly, you can figure out who's sponsoring the survey from the tone of the questions. As a flaming liberal, I love playing with their heads by giving the "wrong" answers. Sounds as if I'm not alone in this. Ann A.

  3. What a good idea from Ann A. I may try it, too. Because sadly they will not end any time soon. Did you hear that ... no, no, that was a couple of elections ago. Aargh!!


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