The life of a surveyor


… Is all about the suspicion. No kidding.

“Why do you want to know?”

“Is this going to be published somewhere?”

“That was embarrassing, can you please change my answer?”

“Is my answer going to come back and haunt me?”

And the worst: “Is this a psychology project?”

No, no, no. I’m sorry, your intense brainstorming is, sadly, not going to contribute to the study and development of the confound behaviours of the human race.

“Just wanted to ask, why exactly are you doing this?”

I’m sorry, I haven’t questioned my life choices as much!

I suppose a surveyor can double up as a meditation guide. Physics doesn’t need as much patience as a person trying to choose between five answers.

After ten minutes of standing and counting eighty Mississippis, your interlocutor says, “um, I don’t know, can you ask someone else?”

(fine. I confess I don’t count. I ask ten other people in the mean time.)

You’ve got to be super creative. You never know, after surveying ten people, four of the responses turn out to be your own. Five confused minutes down the line, your surveyee (is that a word?) asks you, “can you please suggest an answer?” and you feel so bad for the poor guy, you prompt despite maintaining that the answers must be their own.

You’ve got to be athletic too. And very aware of your surroundings. Just recently, I have learnt the art of writing on a paper while walking up the stairs. You also increase your memory power. You learn to remember four responses while writing the fifth. You lose your handwriting. At the end of a survey, you won’t recognize your handwriting anymore. That’s a start for undercover spies-to-be.

You’re on your feet all day. You see that one person you haven’t surveyed yet, you drop your lunch, pick up the book and run.

You begin to know people not by their names or faces, but by their responses.  “Hey, I know you! You’re the one who said she wanted to be shot into space, right?”

I don’t know if this one is for real or if it’s just me, but you end up randomly thinking of something, and wonder, will this make a good poll question?

Despite how bad your hand hurts, when you’re done with a survey, the taste of completion is just sweet.

And that’s enough to bring you back.

And so I will. As soon as a good question strikes me.

(these are just my experiences after two surveys… Pro surveyors, please don’t kill me for misinformation, particularly since I get that the facts are very important to you.)

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