Friday, October 15, 2010

We Interrupt this Dinner for a Few Questions

So last night the phone rang at exactly 6pm. Exactly 6pm. I was right in the middle of fixing dinner. Who calls at exactly 6pm?

It was someone doing a poll about the elections. Ugh.

I'm embarrassed to say that I have no clue who I will be voting for and was mortified to think that I was going to have to answer questions about the candidates.

One time, a reporter was trying to interview me for an article about local candidates. I had to decline the interview because I was so clueless.

Anyway, back to the 6pm phone call.

I always try to take part in those phone surveys because my minor in graduate school was consumer behavior and that's how you get your information--surveying people. So I try to take one for the team and answer questions when I can.

I asked how long the survey would take, given that I was in the middle of making dinner and was using a knife. There are many well-documented circumstances of me trying to talk and cook at the same time and it never ends well.

The survey woman said it would take 5 minutes.

OK, I could spare 5 minutes.

We started the questions.

Immediately, I was annoyed. The survey woman had such a heavy African accent that I literally couldn't even understand the candidates' names. Now, I know I said I was clueless about who I was going to vote for, but I at least know their names and I was completely unable to understand who she was talking about.

The survey dragged on.

I gave some flippant answers, including one that asked me to give my opinion about the ethics of the various candidates.

"They're all crooks."

She also wanted to know who I was voting for. Even though I didn't know, I wouldn't have told her if I did. Isn't this why we have secret balloting?

She kept asking. I kept replying, "I'm not going to tell you that."

I'm sure it was annoying.

Ten minutes later, I asked how many questions were left because it didn't feel like we were reaching closure.

She told me in an impatient voice, "Just a few more."

Truthfully, I wanted to hang up at this point. We were long past the 5 minutes, and I was having to concentrate so hard to try and figure out what she was saying that I'd had to abandon my efforts to make dinner.

Really. Annoying.

Finally the call ended, 15 minutes after it started. And I have to say, I was totally bugged, not only that I spent all of that time on the phone and dinner was delayed, but that a survey company would give a phone job to someone with such difficulty in pronouncing key elements of the survey--like the candidates names. Doesn't that seem like it should be a very basic thing?

It's got me all riled up. This is me. Riled.


Sheila said...

I hate it when they call at dinnertime! The caller ID shows up as a cell phone, so you think maybe it's someone you know and you answer it. I just keep saying that I'm undecided. Mostly true, but I don't think I'd want to tell them anyway. I'll be glad when the election is over and the phone calls and the constant nasty tv ads are done!

1dreamr said...

Yeah, and she was probably calling from India....grrrrr....

Kristie said...

I am working part time, covering for maternity leave at my old office, and someone called to request medical records with such a heavy Asian accent I had no clue what they were saying, or which patient they were asking about. I confess, I finally just transfered to someone else's voice mail. :)

jean said...

That's what CallerID & voice mail are for - your safety & sanity! I've always heard that when you call customer service, you can request a native-English speaking person to talk to - I wonder if the same is true for surveys...