A Small and Rewarding Moment

I used to work at T.N.S. International, a survey company. It wasn’t fun. I got hung up on, I got yelled at, I had to deal with elderly men and women who didn’t understand the questions and hung up in the middle of conversations, I got to hear tirades about the questions I asked and their irrelevance. The single, and only, interesting survey I ever conducted was one that had to do with the elections for Prime Minister which had been counted and the results announced the night before.

Just now, I got a call from another survey company – Shiluv. I’ve heard of it before and I know that it was based pretty near where I used to work. The man on the line asked if I could please answer a few questions in regards to many different subjects, and he promised – lying through his teeth – that it would be interesting for me. It wasn’t, since it dealt with a TV show I don’t watch, cigarettes, and ice-cream. There was a little bit of interest when I got to diss the Israeli army by saying I believe it was 10 (“How corrupt is the Israeli army, from 1 to 10?). Other than that, the survey itself didn’t give me kicks.

At the end of every survey, there are questions that are “purely for statistical purposes,” as I remember saying so often – age, family status, income, health insurance etc. When I finished answering the questions quickly and succinctly, I asked again what survey firm my friendly caller was from. He told me, and I revealed the fact that I’d worked at another one.

And there, right there, was my small and rewarding moment. I could hear him smile through the phone as he said “Ah! That’s why you answered so well and quickly! You know how it is here!” and I told him that I hoped he’d have an easy day and that he wouldn’t get hung-up on too many times and he wished me a happy new year.

I remember being so happy when someone helped make my horrible job just a little bit easier, and it’s fun being able to return the favor by giving this guy another check-mark to add to his number-of-surveys-an-hour page as well as an easy and quick five minutes that I know are more fun than dialing number after number and getting angry responses in return.

It’s the little things that make a day, or an hour or a minute, just a little bit more special.


9 thoughts on “A Small and Rewarding Moment

  1. You have totally made me rethink how I answer the phones when a survey person calls… the only problem is, they tend to call when we’re eating dinner so that makes it hard (those mechanical ones should die though). Next time they call at a better time, I’ll take five minutes to answer. =)

  2. Erin M says:

    Nice! =]

    I’ve tried answering phone surveys before, but as long as I live in my parents’ house, they’re really anal about us giving out information about age, income, &c. So after I finish the whole thing, it’s like, Oh well, I can’t answer that; I wasted both of our time! Sorry! O_o

    That must have been a gruelling and disheartening job, though; you have my admiration/sympathy/pity/whatnot!


  3. Penny says:

    I have never worked with surveying people, but I managed customer service – – and boy, that was not a rewarding job. People also yelled, hung up, and what not. I am glad you were able to help this guy today! Go girl!

  4. This is so true – the smallest gestures of kindness and politeness can make all the difference. Saying please and thank you, holding the door open. And especially for anyone who works in customer service – the people I call when I have to complain about something – thanking them for their professionalism and treating them with respect, because they aren’t the ones that caused the problem. What a lovely post!

  5. I sometimes get those surveys calls too. I always try to answer politely, even if I never did that sort of job. But I understand it’s a job, and shittier than mine. What I can’t stand are the call center that try to sell you something. I try to say “no thank you”, but if they insist I tend to become rude. I know it’s just another shitty job, but I don’t need a satellite TV (I don’t watch TV9 and I’m fine with my phone company and I’m smart enough to look for another solution myself without someone calling me, know what I mean? But surveys, yes, I always “waste” those five minutes (sometimes less as my answers don’t fit their needs! ;-))…

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