Too funny not to share...
My wife hates surveys. I don't mind them so much.
Back when I worked in television, I was disqualified from most of them anyway. So while Brenda watched the AFI Top 100 Movie Quotes, I picked up the ringing phone with "Gallup" on the caller-ID. (Kudos to them for being up-front about it.)
After the obligatory demographic information, I was asked some questions about my employment.
"Do you work for an ad agency or marketing firm?"Again, a no... but I figured the next one would hone in on me and knock me out of the survey.
"Are you directly related to anyone who works for an ad agency or marketing firm?"
There was no additional disqualifier.
So I ended up answering a bunch of questions about retailers -- specifically Target and Wal-Mart.
I guess it never occurred to anyone to ask if I had written anything about retailers in the recent past.
"Do you recall any news stories about Home Depot within the last four weeks?"Yeah, I actually recited all of that from memory. I'll bet someone flags my survey response. But that wasn't my favorite answer of the night.
"Do you recall any news stories about Target within the last four weeks?"
"Do you recall any news stories about Wal-Mart within the last four weeks?"
Well, as a matter of fact, I do recall a story I saw on the internet about a bill in the Ohio legislature that would give women the right to breast-feed in public, and the bill is a direct result of a woman who sued Wal-Mart after being tossed out of the Lebanon, Ohio store eight years ago.
"Excuse me, sir... I'm trying to write all this down."
I also remember seeing a story about a Wal-Mart ad executive who was pushing a vote to expand a Flagstaff store into a SuperCenter, and he published an ad comparing a "no" vote with book burning, but he used a stock photo of a Nazi book-burning, and he resigned.
I was asked to rate the stores in various categories from a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being "strongly disagree" and 5 being "strongly agree."
"Use any number between 1 and 5 -- how would you rate the statement 'Wal-Mart makes contributions to the local community'?"(I am such a nerd...)
Based on the question selection, my gut tells me it's Wal-Mart doing the market research. Which they had better be doing, now that they are talking to the press and everything.