Disclaimer: I confess that this post appeared in my former blog Spring of the White Robin. Forgive me for plagiarizing myself. I have probably broken one of the cardinal rules of blogging. I like this post and wanted share it with my new readers. Of course, you realize that posting old stuff is much easier than composing new thoughts. Maybe the rest of you would like to check out this week's Fun Monday offering. The participants are writing poems. Hurry over to Nikki's blog to sign-up or to read the verses created by our blogworld friends.
I am one of many people that detest receiving calls from telemarketers. My husband and I put our number on the “no call” list to avoid dealing with salespeople offering aluminum siding, subscriptions to Southern Living, and books about the lovely and tragic Princess Di. However, apparently, some solicitors can still call and interrupt whatever you are doing, which you probably would like to continue doing even if you are de-fuzzing your wool socks. We still have charities calling our home, and companies calling to conduct surveys. Evidently, charities and people conducting surveys are still allowed to disrupt America at mealtime or anytime.
Now, I am hard-hearted when it comes to forking out dollars over the telephone wire. When the poor telemarketer pronounces those first words, “my name is Horace and I am calling for the Policeman’s Mother’s Donut Provision,”I am quick to respond that “we do not make donations over the phone,” as I efficiently place the receiver on the cradle. However, for some reason, I am seduced in to responding to surveys. Maybe I feel this way because this kind of telemarketing is designed to make the respondent important. After all, The American Society of Wonderful and Courageous People is asking ME for MY opinion about some critical matter.
A few weeks ago, I received a call that began with the woman identifying herself and her organization. (I do not remember her name or the organization probably because I was not paying close attention.) She requested that I participate in a survey about American trends. Why yes, of course, you want MY opinion about American trends. Then, she started her spiel that implied that the moral integrity of today’s society is degenerate and decadent. When the telemarketer asked if I agreed with this implication and I replied “No.” She actually did not know how to respond to my reply; her carefully worded speech was supposed to lead me to shout, “Yes, the world is going to Hell in hand basket.” After stammering for a few moments, she continued with questions. The next question was something like, “Do you think blah, blah, blah family values? At this point, it was clear to me that this survey was designed to elicit specific answers to fit a specific agenda. I felt that I was carefully being guided to reply to the questions in a certain way. This survey was no survey at all but attempt to steer answers to a foregone conclusion.
Yes, I know that horrific things happen today, but I truly believe that society has some huge strides since the days of my youth. In the 1950’s, not every citizen of the United States was afforded the same rights. Not all people were guaranteed the right to vote, not all children were allowed to attend schools with adequate facilities, not all people were allowed to live in homes throughout the cities, and not all people had the same access to gainful employment. Although today’s world is far from perfect, our democracy has made significant gains in offering more rights to more people. In turn these improved standards increase the moral fabric of our society not diminish it. I know that my telemarketing surveyor does not agree with me, but I do not think that she really wanted MY opinion.