So I just got off the phone with some survey company about DC schools. It was on our land line, the number we give to people & companies we don’t want to bother with. Most of the time we don’t answer the land line and let the answering machine take it. However, there are times when we do pick up the phone (when I have a feeling it’s IT or B) and just now it was an operator who wanted to do a survey.First, these phone surveys, the results you may see in the Washington Post or other publications, are too damned long. There was a moment where I thought, ‘okay, I have to eat dinner and I want to hang up.’ I know 10-14 minutes doesn’t seem that long, but I’m not getting too much out of it and a majority of the survey operators struggle with clear English (which means I have to struggle to understand them). So for me it is long and painful.
Second, I sensed bias in the questions asked. Thank you library school and whatever reference class regarding user questions! Whoever made up the survey wanted to remind me about the Antwon Williams scandal (bypassed the school lottery) and seemed to have a slight bias against charter schools.
And lastly, “I honestly don’t care” and “I really don’t have a clue” are never an option. There was a name, I think it was Scott Bridges, but with the thick accent I couldn’t be sure. I was asked how I felt about the person. I knew a Scott Bridges, he moved out of the area, I doubt he would appear in a survey, “don’t know” would have been my real answer, but that was not available. However, if I had those options, I’d make for a boring survey data point because it would almost be completely neutral and that does not sell newspapers or generate clicks. The survey operator did ask if I was a voter and my likelihood of voting in the November elections (highly likely) so it could have been a poll for a pol. Considering how few DC voters bothered to drag their butts out to vote, maybe this will count for something.