Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When pollsters come calling

A has been aggravated by the volume of polls he receives via e-mail. He never answers & therefore seems to get the same one several dozen times. No amount of get-me-the-hell-off-your-list seems to work. & then we got to talking about a technique of mine that has been working very well.

Not long after we moved into this house, we started getting calls asking us what we were watching on television. What did we usually watch. How much did we watch. What would we like to see more of.

What made this all extra-special-stoopid was we always told the truth: we are not watching anything. Cable was not (still is not) offered on our rural road & we were (then) too cheap to spring for a satellite dish we did not have time to watch anyway. We got only one channel: the local public television station. So our morning news program was Teletubbies. Our evening news was McNeil-Lehrer Report. Our favorite Saturday night program; why re-runs of the old Lawrence Welk Show of course.

This went on for years. Every couple months (or weeks) we got a call & they called & called & called until we gave them some kind of answer (this is in the days before Do Not Call). Until one day, I snapped. What are we watching: Gay Porn. In fact that is all we ever want to see. Our family wants nothing but man-on-man action preferably during the family hour. They have not called since.

A few people have suggested my hostile tone was the reason for the shut-off, but I swear I had been much more hostile many times before. I had hung up, I has asked that they stop calling, I had requested their home numbers, I had wondered if they were not just the teeniest bit embarrassed to be somewhere below telephone sex workers & dial-a-psychics. I was already plenty hostile. But call & call & call again, nothing seemed to work. Until I queered their data. & yes I do mean that sentence to go both ways.

This understanding has come in handy since. Most recently we somehow got put on a conservative christian phone-tree clearly drumming up votes for McCain/Palin. I am almost convinced that someone sold them the wrong list because there is nothing in our activities, spending habits, etc. that would give anyone the idea we were either conservative or christian.

The first time I laughed out loud & hung up. The next time I said I did not support the Republican ticket & could they please stop calling. Then I stopped answering when the caller id could remotely-possibly be them. Finally I decided to answer their questionnaire. Question one: have I made up my mind about how I will vote- yes I have. Question two: what was the most important influence in my choosing a candidate- choosing of Sarah Palin as a running mate. Question three: have I campaigned for my candidate- yes, absolutely. Question four: can they count on my vote for McCain/Palin in November- not a chance, I was always going to vote for Obama (a white lie: I was really going to vote for Hilary Clinton, but it was moot by then), adding Palin to the ticket just got me off the couch campaigning for the other side. I actually heard his busy little typing fingers stop & the guy sighed. Final question: what would I say was the likelihood I would not vote for McCain/Palin. & so I told him it was 300%. If I should die before the election I planned to rise from the dead & cast my vote for Obama/Biden. & that was the end of it, no more republicans-in-disguise calls.

I think it is just too disheartening for them to record a statistics so far from their own agenda. I not mean to single out political parties, I think we would all like to makeup our minds & then find that data to prove it. So when it comes to polls that just will not go away, if you can figure out what they really do not want to hear , you can get yourself off the list.

//A reminded me of my gay-porn solution while we were watching commercials during the Science channel's Geek Pride week-end programing. The actual program on the screen at the time was about six degrees of separation & well worth watching. If A had received one of the letters though, he is not sure he would have forwarded it. I, on the other hand, live for that crap. & I am almost certain I would not have deliberately mailed the letter as far away from the destination as possible. Not the first one anyhow.

1 comment:

  1. I have some standard answers, but your gay porn answer trumps them all. Thanks for the suggestion.