Tuesday, December 21, 2004

push polling  

posted by Michael Piwonka 8:49 PM
I had an interesting phone call the other day. Caller ID indicated that the call was from Richmond, VA; whenever we receive a call with an Unknown ID, I don't bother to answer, assuming it's a telemarketing call.

Since I had an actual ID, I answered the call. A friendly female voice informed me that I "had been randomly selected" to participate in a poll. Normally, I would have already hung up the phone before she could finish her opening sentence, but I've been trying to be nicer to people like this (my wife has informed me that I need to work on my social skills; after all, the person on the other end is just trying to do a job).

Succumbing to curiosity, I said okay. I assumed I was about to be queried about what kind of car I drove, or what brand of credit card I thought had the best reputation, etc.

She told me she was with some organization with a nondescript name, and that this would only take a few minutes. And she immediately started asking questions.

Do you think President Bush is doing a good job?


Then there was awkward silence on the other end, she stuttered slightly, then hung up on me, leaving me with a dial tone.

I don't know if this would qualify as push polling, but I evidently didn't give the correct answer. Follow-up questions were irrelevant.

The next time I get a call like that I'm going to pay more attention to the name of the organization performing the poll. Or perhaps I'll ask what the correct answer is before I screw up the pollster's statistics.


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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.

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