Sunday, 11 October 2009

HA - I've Been MORI-ed

Do you find yourself shouting at the telly or radio when the results of the latest opinion poll are revealed? NAH and I do - it's usually something along the lines of who on earth do they use in these polls? or that's nothing like me!

Well, on Friday evening the phone rang. As usual, I answered it suspiciously and steeled myself to hear some sort of salesman on the line, probably phoning from India. Instead I got a rather polite American woman.

Polite woman: Good evening ma'am, I'm from Ipsos MORI and I'm working on the latest opinion poll, would you mind sparing about 10 minutes of your time to give me the benefit of your thoughts?

Me (still suspicious - it could be one of those telephone scams you hear about, but taken by surprise as well): Errrrr yes, that's fine.

MORI: Firstly I need to ask you some preliminary questions, so I don't ask you irrelevant ones later. Tell me, are you pregnant?

Me (wishing for once I had a video phone): No

MORI: Would you say you're in good health, with no ongoing medical problems?

Me (aha she is trying to sell me something!): Yes

MORI: OK, The first part of the survey's about swine 'flu. Have you heard anything about swine 'flu in the last week?

Me: Well, someone I know has got it, I read it on their blog

MORI (obviously wondering what on earth a blog is): Their blog?

Me: Yes their web diary. They've been ill for quite a while. Oh, and my husband had a 'flu jab this week and we were wondering if it was a swine 'flu one

MORI (trying to place me in the correct pigeonholes): ...so that's the... Internet and... Word of Mouth as your sources. Now, how well do you think the goverment are prepared for a swine 'flu pandemic?

Me (laughing): I've absolutely no idea - I don't know anyone involved with the preparations.

MORI: That's a Don't Know then. Can you tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statements. The swine 'flu pandemic has been hyped up by the media...

And so it went on, me answering the questions and she putting them into some sort of category. Because I could only answer yes or no, or strongly/tend to agree/disagree, the conversation felt a little unreal. Even when I was invited to expand on something, she was still putting my answers into whichever tick box seemed the most appropriate. Square pegs into round holes sprang to mind.

I also had lots of questions on the financial crisis - 2 absolutely massive topics covered in just one phonecall. So sometime soon when you're shouting at the newsreader telling you x percentage believe the financial crisis was partly caused by people borrowing too much, do remember it's me who said that.

14 comments:

  1. VP ... OMG !! I am still laughing as I type this ! .. We are always suspicious of phone calls .. usually let the machine pick up and screen .. and yes too many times it is some idiot salesman or a language that is so not English .. husband is part of those opinion polls too .. so I guess we are part of that "all knowing" crowd ? haha
    And she had no idea what a "blog" was ?? how ironic is that ?? LOL
    Joy : )

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  2. Last time I did once of those there were about a hundred (or it felt like it) questions, and I was supposed to choose from the same answer set each time (something along the lines of no, a bit, some, occasionally, often and always, but not phrased like that) and after the first two I couldn't remember what the answer set was. Very tedious!

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  3. Joy - it was her not knowing what a blog is which inspired me to write this post! I was also knocked off guard because a number came up rather it showing it as Witheld which is what usually happens with sales calls. Mind you, we shouldn't get sales calls (which this wasn't) as we've signed up to the telephone preference scheme...

    Fluffymuppet - it felt like hundreds to me too. It didn't hepl that I'd just got back from the NEC after a long drive. That probably helped the sense of unreality too!

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  4. I get these from time to time - ten minutes they - usually at least 20 minutes and usually right in the middle of Emmerdale

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  5. We've had about three this year - one on transport use recently. Seem to also have researchers knocking on doors round here. We recently contributed to a survey on carers and something about media use (as I recall) - these can be quite time consumingm they have wanted seperate interviews with individual members of the family. Most recently answered the door to a promotions man for the Daily Mail, encouraging us to subscribe! I'm afraid I crossed myself (old Catholic habit) as a confirmed Guardian reader...

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  6. Well, thanks for 'fessing up, VP. I was wondering who these people were that the media and pols put so much import on their opinions! How funny that the term blog threw her for a loop too. We have caller ID, and don't answer any calls from toll free numbers so might be missing out on giving our two cents worth. HA
    Frances

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  7. Gerald - Yes, it was more like 20 minutes and right in the middle of a headache!

    Scattered Gardener - at least we've not had them at the door yet, but we've had several 'chuggers' (charity muggers) recently. Must come over and see how your Sing for Water went...

    Frances - sometimes I think we're living in a bubble. Lots of people I talk to look at me blankly when I say I blog. Though having said that, e.g. our radio news programmes are always going on about what's been happening on their blogs, so you'd think they'd be in our collective consciousness by now.

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  8. you have got the wrong interviewers - I do one for the Guardian online every few days and we get paid in Amazon vouchers... :-)

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  9. There are a whole load of surveys you can do on line where you get paid in vouchers. You accrue points depending on how long the survey is. I did them for about 6 months but it took me away from my blogging and the some of the surveys were very boring. My eldest does them and is forever getting HMV or Halford vouchers.

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  10. Hi VP
    I was amused by your cagey response so like many of us.

    The last researcher I spoke with who was researching on behalf of Surrey County Council and the Police got about halfway through before she found Mike worked part time for SCC and so didn't want me. I felt so rejected. I don't normally even bother to agree to do them.
    Must be all this blogging makes me want to speak out more.

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  11. I am another who yells at the TV so really deserve to be moried. I am not sure if I could cope with the survey though. The only telephone one I have ever done led to a very bemused man trying to work out how to fit my reason for not shopping at Tescos (attitude to HFW's free range chicken campaign) in to an assortment of boxes which obviously didn't include anything to do with ethics anywhere.

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  12. Emmat - where? Show me!

    PG - I think I've seen the paper versions of those, they're quite long and tedious aren't they?

    Joanne - I think you have a point there, I do seem more ready to talk about my opinions these days...

    Elixabethm - you're comment's reminded me of the time I went to one of those pyramid selling presentations. It was only because my friend needed people to make up numbers. At the time I'd just resigned from my job in IT to go back to Uni to do a Masters Degree at my own expense with the object of finding an envorinmentally based job at a fraction of my previous salary. The whole sales pitch was based on the assumption that everyone there was only motivated by money and the guy doing the presentation clearly couldn't cope with my complete disinterest!

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  13. Whenever anyone calls & wants VIS or I do to a poll, we tell them that we're very reasonable, and charge only $50/hour for our opinions. They hang up very quickly.
    BTW - only the media calls it "swine flu." Health care professionals (and myself, even though I'm not) call it H1N1. Not catchy, but at least it doesn't defame pigs. ;^)

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  14. MMD - that's a very good idea, but being paid in Amazon vouchers sounds attractive to me too!

    I never knew that about swine 'flu - thanks for the info!

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