Thursday, November 29, 2007


I have noticed that I am being asked a lot about myself, about my opinion. Sometimes the polls are telephone polls – and I always make time to answer them. The reason is that I have unusual opinions, and I like being outside of the normal range. I don't have cable, I don't drink coffee, I don't watch sports. Oh, and I do not affiliate myself with either the Republican or Democratic parties. So since they interrupt my dinner or book, I am going to be an outlier in their data. Dewey defeats Truman and all.

One think I have noticed, as well, is that a boatload of websites ask you to take polls. Most of the time, I don't take the polls – they are not scientific, and well, they sometimes are poorly written. Something in the pit of my stomach sometimes wonders if they change their cookies to say, "Don't let Leesa read the really interesting content because she did not complete our poll or questionnaire."

One site in particular asks about printers. I have gone to answering correctly to making up bizarre answers. So if Hewlett Packard has a bad quarter, I think they did it because they were trying to capture the Leesa blogger segment. Having completed a dozen or so questionnaires, I think I deserve being my own market segment.

So the next time you are faced with a questionnaire, perhaps you should make a game of it. I have taken different tactics, to answers these questions.

Making Patterns
My first foray into answering questionnaires was to answer all of a particular letter. But that is sort of predictable, boring. Then I would do the A-B-C-D-C-B-A type of patterns. And eventually, I would hum a tune and try to answer as the questions in the order of the tune. The answers would be a bit more random, well, not really random (tunes are not random notes, well most tunes).

My actually favorite tactic for answering questionnaires is to pretend I am someone else. Not people I know, but famous people. I have pretended to be Shakira, Ivana Trump, Elizabeth Bayley Seton (sue me, I am Catholic), George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans), and Britney Spears (I needed a shot after pretending to be Britney). It has the allure of fantasy, as well as the mental efforts of pre-supposing how they would answer such questions. Oh, and by the way, I believe the George Eliot would vote for Mike Huckabee, though she lived in an age where she could not vote.

Well, the next time you hear of a Gallop Poll saying that were the election held today, Americans would vote for Meatloaf, don't believe it. Just consider who wastes their time answering the polls, and their true intentions.


RWA said...

I'll confess. I like to screw around with those poll people, too. Usually after the first three or four outlandish answers, they'll say, "Well, that's all we needed. Thanks for your time."

Ian Lidster said...

Meatloaf would get my vote. I mean, why not, considering who would be running against him.

Leesa, my love, you always write thoughtful posts, and often you write utterly inspired ones. This is one of those. Beautifully done.