Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.



Helpful hint of the day: if a telemarketer calls you with a survey, and you want to get off the phone but don’t want to be rude, tell them you work in advertising. Call I got last night:
TELEMARKETER: Hello sir, I’m {didn’t catch it} with {didn't care} and I’d like to ask you a few brief questions.
ME: Okay.
TM: Is there anyone in the household between the ages of 30 and 34?*
ME: Actually, no.
TM: Is there a male between the ages of 34 and 42?
ME: Yes, I am.
TM: Great! First, do you or anyone in your household work in any of the following professions? Advertising or--
ME: Yes.
TM: Advertising?
ME: Yes.
TM: Um, what is it you do?
ME: I’m a writer.
TM: Oh, do you have anything to do with radio advertising?
ME: Sure. In fact, I wrote some radio scripts just today.
TM: Oh. Um, I think that might disqualify you from the survey.
ME: It usually does.
TM: Let me just check… {moment later} Yeah, I’m afraid that disqualifies you from the survey.
ME: No problem.
Now, unlike most people, I want to take these surveys, because I’m often using the info on the other side. I’m always curious about how the questions are phrased, if they are leading or misleading, and what order they are presented in. Phone surveys are notoriously unreliable, because there’s nothing stopping the recipient from lying outrageously.

And, depending on how clever you are with the questions, you can really get just about any result you want. Typically, on the surveys where they allow me to participate, I have a really good idea by the end of who’s sponsoring the research and/or what product(s) they are gathering information for. It’s fun. Well, for me, maybe.

I guess I could lie myself, and tell them I’m a bricklayer or whatever. But then I’d just be giving some poor copywriter down the road bad info.

* WTF? This is the first time that I’ve been aged out of a survey. For a long time I’ve been in that golden zone, the male aged 18-35 that all marketers want to target. I’m going to be royally pissed if I get bumped up to the next age range, and find myself lumped with 40-65-year-olds.


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