Congratulations! You have been selected for the opportunity to tell us all you dislike about surveys. Research indicates that you are able to complete this section in two minutes. When finished, you will be invited to enter our sweepstakes for the chance to win a lifetime subscription to one of the thousands of periodicals we offer!

1. Of all mailed or online surveys recently received, which was your least favorite?

A. Survey Monkey

B. Mail Chimp

C. Survata

D. This one — you can already tell

2. Place numbers 1 through 5 next to the quality that is your “least favorite,” with the 5 indicating your “somewhat more favorite” aspect of surveys.

A. The name of the generating entity

B. The frequency with which said entity clutters your communication pathways

C. The salutation “Hey” appended to its greeting

D. The impersonal nature of utilizing your first name with unearned intimacy

3. Which of the following best quantifies your choice in question #1? Place numbers 1 through 5 next to the quality that is your “least favorite,” with the number 5 indicating your “somewhat more favorite” aspect of surveys.

A. Requires the most premeditation

B. Will make absolutely no difference to customers

C. Affords you the most irritability

D. Is useless to the originating company, except as an empty P.R. gesture

E. Clearly, the spasm of a market research algorithm intended to alienate

4. Which of the surveys…

A. Made you want to retire and do nothing but answer surveys full-time

B. Made you want training for part-time or full-time work creating surveys

C. Made you doubt that your opinion has had or ever will have value

D. Made you want to take your life

Thank you! Your sweepstakes opportunity will be sent in a separate post. While we’re at it, here’s another opportunity to give your life purpose, for an estimated four minutes.

5. When engaging with a corporation’s toll-free number, which aspect of an automated phone tree disturbs you most:

A. The immediate offer of a follow-up survey from a cheery female voice before your problem has even been addressed if you press “1” now

B. Putting your life at risk, if you press “2” now

C. Putting the voiceover actor’s career at risk, if you press “2” now

D. The music played while you were held prisoner under one of these circumstances:

  • Your arm cramped from clamping the phone to your ear, or
  • the speakerphone vibrations making your brain and office throb or
  • the repeating loop of mediocrity making you wonder if you might sell some of your own compositions, and which number would you press to ask about this once your request or complaint, which you’ve now forgotten, is addressed, or a dial tone disconnect is heard

E. How much more you dislike the company due to the time it takes to contact it, and how the music is becoming a viral contaminant, underscoring your day and night

F. That one false move can put you on a path to hell, with a mistake leading to: “Due to high call volume, we may never answer your call, no matter what time of day you place it. Please try back at 4 a.m. C.S.T.”

G. Giving the polite worker with whom you finally interacted, for whom English is a second language in some war-torn, impoverished locale, whose name is definitely not “Sean,” who is as much a prisoner of the company practices as you are, less favorable marks than s/he deserves for quoting company protocol like a brainwashed parrot

H. Worded in a way that has no impact whatsoever on the corporate policies you’d prefer to criticize if they would only send that survey

I. The fact that you may have been disconnected hours ago, but the silent hold keeps you engaged with naïve hope as your phone continues to tick off the many soul-sucking minutes wasted

6. What is your least preferred form of on-hold entertainment via receiver or speakerphone?

A. An endless phrase of smooth jazz that never resolves in a satisfactory chord, lest you feel that culmination is a cue to disengage

B. Heavy Metal with indiscernible, but angry lyrics and a bass throb that makes your phone, brain, and office vibrate

C. A silent hold, which, although a relief, makes you feel that no one cares, nor will ever come on the line, that they may already have hung up, and that you might as well just live with the defective product or service as is, despite having just paid thousands for an extended warranty like a sniveling victim

D. Upbeat fanfare that makes you expect a climax at any moment, but may never lead to the comfort of a non-robotic, empathic human voice with any accent at all

7. If you have opted to enjoy your on-hold time in hands-free speaker mode, what activities do you prefer to pursue?

A. Deleting emails

B. Filing nails

C. Organizing physical and virtual desktop

D. Clearing nostrils of detritus

E. Flossing teeth

F. Photo-shopping images of yourself

G. Making cartoons out of your brother’s family photos

H. Coughing up forgotten pockets of phlegm

I. Weightlifting angrily until you sprain something

J. Erasing your calendar of events now impossible to attend

K. Thawing, heating, and eating food, just as a representative comes on the line and, weak from hunger, you forget why you called and disconnect

You have now completed this “Survey of the Surveyed,” and are eligible to win more magazines that you may not read, but will create a favorable impression on an office toilet tank or coffee table. But first, please complete the following questionnaire about the type of magazines you prefer. According to our market research, your exasperation, held in check by your sense of common courtesy, will tolerate two more minutes of involvement.