I like surveys

So I was tickled to find this morning in my work email two invitations to separate work-related surveys. Of course I went and did them, posthaste, and then I wrote an email to the group dispensing one of the surveys to tell them why certain multiple-choice answer options probably wouldn't get them entirely accurate or useful responses. (Yes, in addition to doing surveys, I also like to tell people how to run them better.)

Just like week, I also did a big-ass survey at work. That one was old-school: we had to colour in little ovals on an optical answer sheet --- the ones that get fed through a machine for the results to be read and that I remember were a big deal when they were introduced in school in the early '80s. I felt like I was taking a test, except that I did know all the answers for once (or could, at least, readily make them up).

I should qualify my blog post title by saying that I like surveys about stuff that I like answering questions about, which is why I once happily spent twenty minutes standing at the door, answering questions about what I feel is the inadequacy of family-friendly policies in our economic system, with someone who'd come a-knocking on behalf of the government. And I happily plugged the MIT Weblog Survey some months ago.

I will not, however, stop along Orchard Road or any other public place where random people wave fliers in my face and try to interest me in a "survey" that will mysteriously lead to offering me a credit card or a vacation home in Malaysia. And back in school, when it seemed that for weeks on end we were subjected to a battery of surveys about health, careers and who knows what else, I remember diligently colouring patterns into the optical answer sheet, without referring to the questions at all. Factor that into your survey results, why don't you.

Er ... I think I should go do some work now.


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At 10/04/2005 10:44 pm , Blogger Ondine said...

I think we got the same surveys and I think I just deleted them. Think we very free. Bah. =)

At 10/05/2005 4:52 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually do online surveys for money, when i have the time. oh the life of a poor student. heh

At 10/05/2005 11:42 am , Blogger Tym said...

Just to reiterate: I only screw around with surveys that I don't give a flying eff about.

Of course, if I could make a living off doing surveys, I would do all and sundry, no questions asked, no shading of patterns indulged.

At 10/06/2005 4:03 am , Blogger tscd said...

I'm sure whoever looks through the surveys will notice the shading of patterns...hopefully.

At 10/08/2005 11:16 am , Blogger Tym said...

trisha > Why, thank you. No one's ever considered my fondness for surveys as a positive character trait before :)

tscd > I think it's usually a machine that scans these surveys, so I guess it depends on how complex the algorithm is. Heh.


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