“Hi! My name is Cheryl, and I work for SFTW, a worldwide survey company. May I take up a few minutes of your time, Ma’am?”

“Huh? Wait a sec – PICK THAT UP, TOM! – sorry, this is a survey?”

“Yes, Ma’am. Would you like to participate?”

“Uh, sure, it’s not long, is it?”

“No, not more than a few minutes.”

“M’kay. Just a second, the cat’s on the table… GET OFF. Good boy. Yeah, I’m with you.”

“Here we go. What sort of cereal do you own?”

“Uh, let me check, let’s see… Cap’n Crunch, Cornflakes, Kellogg’s, and wait, we had one just this morning – TOMMY, WHAT CEREAL DID YOU FINISH THIS MORNING? OH OKAY, THANKS. Yeah, and Quaker Oat Squares.”

“Thank you. Now, how would you rate each of those cereals – let’s start with Cap’n Crunch. Would you say Cap’n Crunch is a very good brand of cereal, a good brand of cereal, a mediocre brand, a bad brand, or a very bad brand of cereal?”

“It’s okay, I guess, I don’t eat the cereals, my kid does.”

“I understand. I still need you to answer the question to the best of your ability. As far as you know, is Cap’n Crunch a very good brand of cereal, a good-”

“I get it, I get it. It’s good, okay? Are you going to do this for every brand?”

“Yes, ma’am. So let’s move on to Cornflakes-”

“Can you just list them all as good brands? I really don’t have a lot of time here, sweetheart.”

“Well, I’m really sorry, but I really have to read you each of the questions. It’s the survery policy.”

“Well, honey, I can’t stand around here listening to you read each of those brands and if they’re good or not. No offense or anything but – TOM, WILL YOU GET YOUR SHOES ON, WE’VE GOT TO GO SOON! – I’ve got to drive my kid to soccer practice soon.”

“Alright, okay, just for you, ma’am, let me just write the brands as good… Okay… Yup… Now, let’s continue.”

“There’s more?”

“Not much, ma’am, please stay with me, just another couple questions.”


“Out of the cereals you mentioned, which you would say is your favorite?”

“What? I just told you, I don’t eat them, my kid does – TOM, HURRY UP – and I really need to go.”

“I understand that you don’t, but still, to the best of your ability, please. Which is your favorite?”

“Lord, I don’t know – darn I need to fill the cat’s food bowl, hang on a sec, I just need to get – ouch! TOM LEONERD DAVIES, I TOLD YOU NOT TO THROW YOUR GREENS IN THE CATFOOD!”


“Listen, hon, this isn’t a good time, let’s say it’s Cap’n Crunch, okay?”

“Okay, now I just need to ask some statistical questions for our database, okay? I’ll be quick about them!”

“How many of those are there?”

“… Just twelve.”


“Hello? Ma’am? Hello?”


“Damn. Lost another one.”


12 thoughts on “Survey

  1. I can certainly relate to this story. I just cut them off when they ask me to take the survey. Nice job. Pretty realistic. I like realistic.

  2. Erin M says:

    I HATE PHONE SURVEYS. I totally feel for you, though: working at one of those places must have been soul-crushing. I try really hard not to be rude. Did you find that most people were polite?

    Also, whenever I agreed to take a phone survey, it was, like, “Uhm, I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. You probably don’t want my opinion anyway; it will skew your results. Trust me.” XD

    Great piece! ^_^

  3. That. Is. Hilarious.
    It’s not just like that with surveys, either. I worked telesales for an industrial supply company, business-to-business telesales. There were people whose JOB it was to take my call, and I got weird crap like that ALL the time. Weirdest being “Look, I can’t do this right now, my boss is here.”

    “But you have an account with us… You ASKED me to call back today. Doesn’t your boss want you to have gloves for your employees?”

    “Well, strictly speaking, he does. But I think he’s going broke.”

    Then he hung up. I was like “Um… what? o.O”

    Too funny. ❤

  4. Entertaining. It can be a real hassle at inopportune times.

    If only the surveys could sound as funny as when one is actually being put through them! 🙂 I’d prefer surveys on the Internet anyday if I had to do them.

  5. “I still need you to answer the question to the best of your ability.” Ha! That phrase – to the best of your ability – is so loaded. Argh!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s