Monday, November 05, 2012

To pollsters everywhere

It sometimes seems I am the last man on earth with a landline phone.

This election season has been a nonstop circus of pollsters of all stripes calling continuously for the past month.

From crudely worded push pulls to national organizations, we have got them all.

In light of my popularity, I offer the following suggestions to polling organizations of all stripes.

#1 Use native English speakers.  Nothing turns me away from responding to a poll quicker than someone who cannot pronounce not only my name, but the name of the candidates as well.  This is one of those places where outsourcing to India is a really bad idea.

#2 When hiring native English speakers, try not to hire, how should I put this, people of whom I would not ordinarily give personal information to.  If you call my home expecting me to reveal personal opinions, I will only give them to people who at the least, sound credible.  Inner city accents will rarely result in an accurate sample.  I lie to them or simply hang up.

#3 Push polls. Wow, who writes this crap?  If you knew candidate A killed puppies and drank their blood, would it affect your vote?  Really?  At least make it sound scientific.  As soon as I smell an agenda, I bail.

#4 Repeat business. If I have responded to your poll and sat through the entire thing, congratulations. I consider you reputable, or I am at the least not hostile to you. It would be to your benefit to identify yourself the next time with a reminder that I completed a previous poll with you.  I consider you all guilty until proven otherwise. Conversely if you lie about me completing a previous poll, I will blacklist your name for good.

#5 Give me a website to see the poll results.  I would be FAR more eager to respond to your poll if you tell me where I can see the results.  This to me is just common sense.

I know I should give up the landline.  Everyone in the family has a cell phone.  Hell, I carry two.  But the feel, sound quality and shear excellence of a landline makes it tough to get away from.  I will continue to get calls from pollsters, carpet cleaning companies and other riffraff. 

It's just part of the deal.