The National Public Research Center published the results of a recent poll pertaining to people’s perception of public polls. The upshot: 84 percent of the public hates public polls.
Chief Pollmistress Ann P. Davis provided details.
“When we poll the population on the popularity of public polls, we purposely employ precisely one pair of pollsters,” she explained. “100 people are phone polled,” explained Davis. “We ask if they’d like to participate. If the answer is ‘YES,’ the response is placed in the ‘YES’ pile. If the answer is ‘NO,’ it’s placed in the ‘NO’ pile. If you get sworn at, hung up on, or threatened, that’s an automatic ‘NO’ so the results usually are procured in no time flat!”
The findings were published in the polltaker periodical Popular Pollster, the primary publication for polling professionals.
Before you say to yourself ‘I’d rather poke out my eye than do phone polling,’ – listen to how Davis makes the task fun and challenging for her staff.
“We have a little competition every month. If you get 50 out of 50 “NOs,” then you win round 1. As a bonus, if your score comes from only hangups with no verbal interaction or threats, then we induct you into our Pollster Palace of Pride and we treat you lunch!”
The perky pollster does, however, miss what she calls the ‘good poll days.’ “That’s a play on words,” she explained. “By the way, 49 percent of people hate when other people use a play on words around them.”
“Years ago,” she proceeded, “pollsters physically participated with the public – pen, pencil, pad; but with people’s faster pace, pedestrians no longer pause long enough to provide answers.”
According to Davis, person-to-person polling did have a downside, though.
“We used to get punched a lot,” she said. “Literally, people would take a poke at a polltaker, no matter how polite we purported to be,” said Davis, pointing to a pill-shaped scar above her left eyebrow. “I got this from an elderly gentleman who thought I said ‘poll tax.’ I ate pavement that day, but, it’s all a part of the pollster game. 24 percent of people polled have been victims of public assaults.”
“But I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” she added, glancing around the office. “Every day’s a party!”
“I DID IT!,” shouted senior poll taker Steve McNamara! I got a 50! BOOYAH! FREE LUNCH! WOO HOO!” he exclaimed.
“Looks like Steve wins again!” said Davis. “He’s won 57 per cent of our contests!”
An exclusive interview with Ann P. Davis will appear in the October issue of Popular Pollster.