I wasn't particularly surprised with the phone call I received a few weeks back. I've had similar ones many times before. It was yet another request to participate in.... A Survey.
I must be on some kind of "list" (although I am scared to find out exactly what list that could possibly be), as I am often solicited for opinion polls. From phone surveys to in-person conferences, I've done them all.
So I didn't mind. As a matter of fact, I was somewhat honoured this time around: Audience Studies Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio wanted to know what I thought about an actual TV sitcom pilot!
Coolness! Visions of a Seinfeld-esque episode flashed through my head.
An official looking package was delivered via UPS with a DVD and instructions asking me to watch it on a specific date so they could interview me the following day.
The big day arrived and I watched the show as instructed. On my TV (not on a computer), all in one sitting (no stopping), only once, no notes (um, wha?) and no fast-forwarding through the commercials (Commercials??? On a pilot?? Oh well, what did I know...) I was also asked to fill in a seven - question survey immediately following the viewing:
1) Overall, how would you rate the progam?
2) How would you rate the storyline?
3) Which character did you like best?
4) Which character did you like least?
5) Should there be equal amounts of comedy and drama in the show?
6) What parts of the show should be changed or updated?
7) If it were developed into a half-hour comedy series, would you watch?
So, like a good "select member of their preview audience", I dutifully followed the albeit strange, rules.
But soon after it began, I realized something wasn't right. This was an OLD show. With OLD commericals.
WTF? The Rocky LaPorte Show? It was bad. Really, really, bad.
Did I mention it was bad? Cause it was.
After cringing through 22 minutes, the credits, thank the Gods, finally rolled. And before I did anything else I GOOGLED it... because more than just the acting stunk. Something was fishy about this whole thing.
It was the best decision I made all day.
You see, *sniff* .... they didn't want my opinion on the show after all. It was a market research company tricking me (and many others over the past few years) to watch THE COMMERCIALS.
So I was ready when the "interviewer" called me the next day.
"Is this a good time to ask you a few quesions?" she sweetly asked.
"Sure." I stayed calm.
"Did you watch the DVD?"
"Yup. But I'm not answering any questions about the commercials. I was told I was going to be asked about the TV show. After watching it, I Googled it and found many blog posts about how this is NOT a survey about the show. It is a marketing scheme about the commercials that were in it."
She didn't like that. "Well, you should have told us that before we sent you the DVD."
I got defensive with her snarky attitude now. "I didn't know until I GOT the DVD what it was. Since this is not a survey about the show itself, I'm not interested in participating. Thank you."
Well, at least I am smart enough to save myself an hour of interview questions.
And here I thought I was sooooo special.
I feel so, so....
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