The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 18, 2021 1:00 am

Survey says ...

Questions start hitting a little too close to home

Frank Hill

I am conducting a survey to determine how many of you are being bombarded with surveys. And, no, you cannot count this survey as one of those bombarding you. Your assignment is to let me know if you have had similar experiences.

My recent experiences have been as follows:

After I got our car serviced, we received a survey two days later from the service department assistant who checked me in and escorted me to the window to pay my bill.

Questions on the survey included: How did I like the service? Was it prompt? Were my problems addressed?

Then another two days passed and I received a survey from the manager of the service department. How did I like the service department assistant? Was he, or she, courteous? When my car was returned, was the radio still set on the same station? Had the coins in the tray been replaced with Canadian coins?

The radio station and the coins were just as I left them. However, I do have a question.

What about those little chocolate mints wrapped in green paper? The waitress at the restaurant gave us eight and only five were still in that tray by the dashboard. Did my spouse eat them? Did the mechanic who worked on the car eat them? Should I mention that in my survey response?

And what about the cookies in the customer lounge? Only sugar cookies? Really? They do not count as cookies. I need chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies.

The key question, of course, is whether I was happy with the work performed on my car. How should I know? I am not a mechanic.

Similar surveys have come from the hospital. Those folks are mechanics of the human body.

Was I happy with the services at the hospital? Well, as with the car dealer, the people with whom I dealt were very cordial and seemed to know what they were doing.

Did the doctors and nurses do their work well? Yes, I think so. I hope so. But let me first go to medical school before I answer that question. As with car repairs, I do not know which end of the screwdriver or scalpel to hold. So why ask me?

A survey from my optometrist was in large black letters. I felt proud that I could understand big words.

All the surveys were courteous and assumed I know something about our car and my body. That is not true, but they can assume it if they wish.

The current trend to send customer satisfaction surveys has produced unexpected copycats.

Yesterday we received an envelope addressed only to me. There was no return address.

I opened the envelope and inside was another survey – sent by my wife.

My wife's survey questions showed no respect. Her questions were poorly disguised commands. Here are some sample questions from her survey:

“How is your aim when you throw dirty clothes in the laundry basket?”

“How easy is it to read beneath a lamp with a burned-out lightbulb?”

“Why don't you buy lightbulbs that want to do the job? Those imitation lightbulbs you buy seem shy... as though they do not want to be noticed.”

“When waiting for a stoplight to change, do you notice other drivers looking at our dirty car?”

“When you go to the supermarket – assuming that you do go – would bottled water be a healthier choice than beer?”

“Does the dog like me better than you because I feed him and take him on walks?”

I will be so busy responding to the other surveys that I may toss my wife's survey in the wastebasket. I just hope I have good aim.

Frank Hill is a Fort Wayne resident.

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