March 24, 2018


Let me ask you to take a survey.

Are you sick of every business you patronize sending you an e-mail asking you to take a “brief” survey? They’re never brief. Some of them run ten pages.

The home improvement store is curious about my pleasure level received from my use of a pack of finishing nails. Not a lot. They hold the wood together and that’s helpful, but not exactly pleasurable.

The other home improvement store delivered my new bathtub, left it standing in the middle of the driveway, and didn’t even ring my doorbell. They want to know how I’d rate my shopping experience.

My insurance agent wants to know if I’m happy with them, in spite of the fact that I’ve never had a claim, yet the rates on my car and home keep going up and up. If I want that “accident forgiveness,” or the “money-back” check, that costs more up front, so they’re only giving you back the money they took.

The agent also wants to know if I’d be interested in expanding my portfolio by investing with them. I can’t invest in anything … I spent all my money on insurance.

The Chinese firm that took two months to ship a little necklace holder for my Fitbit wants me to leave “feedback” (that’s code for take a survey) on my satisfaction with their company. Remember that song, “Slow Boat to China?” This one would be “Slow Boat FROM China.”

The office supply store that charges an exorbitant amount for a quarter-ounce ink cartridge wants to know if I enjoyed my purchase. If you ask me, Congress ought to stop investigating politician’s sex lives and start investigating the cost of printer ink. That’s something we care about.

My Medicare supplement wants to know if I’m satisfied with my doctor. I had plenty of time to answer that one, I did it while I was sitting in a refrigerated room wearing a tissue-paper gown and listening to the staff going back and forth outside the door but never opening it … and that was after being weighed in a semi-public hallway and the nurse calling out a number I didn’t want everyone to hear.

My automobile dealer wants to know how I enjoyed my oil change experience. What can I say? An hour or two in a freezing waiting room sitting on a chair that could be used as a torture device with a TV tuned to a sports channel and no sound, and a stack of Golfer’s Digest for entertainment (next time I’ll remember to charge my Kindle) What more could I want?

My newspaper wants to know if I like the teeny-weeny print they’re using these days.

My florist wants to know if I enjoyed my order. Since I sent it to another state, not a lot.

They all want me to rate my shopping experience, but the only ones who do anything about it are the food producers. I didn’t wait for the survey. I wrote one company complaining that the frozen greens were like sludge. They apologized, said their quality control department was looking into it, and sent me a coupon for three dollars off any of their products.

I didn’t want any more putrid mixed greens, so I chose something else. The cashier tried to scan the coupon, and it didn’t work. She put the number in by hand, it still didn’t work. The quality control people who are looking into the kale disaster ought to take a peek at the coupon department.

This is all one of the reasons I love the 99c store. Their policy is “no refunds, no returns.” I can buy what I buy, and they don’t really care if I like it or not.


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