Market Research

A couple of weeks ago, I had an email from an employer looking for a Market Researcher. They’d seen my CV online and were offering me a position with a team of Market Researchers. The job description was vague, but it was a temporary position (only fifteen hours over one week) and as I am unemployed (other than a little bit of writing here and there) I thought it’d be a good idea to take it, even though I didn’t know all the details.

I arrived at the address I was provided, sat down with the other few new people and everything seemed fine. The boss walked in.

“As you all know, we’re all here to get the conservative candidate elected,” he said.

“Are we?” I thought, a little alarmed. There’d been no mention of any political side to this.

It seemed that they were expecting us to knock on people’s doors and have them fill out a political survey with you, this was changed (before we started) to just giving them the survey and asking them to fill it out and then changed again (near the end) to just slipping them through letter boxes. I’m not enormously fond of pushing my own beliefs onto others, so, you can understand why I wasn’t that keen to be pushing someone else’s beliefs on others.

Still, I don’t want to give a negative impression of the people: I liked all of the leaders of the groups, they were nice, and I was quite fond of the other members of the team. In fact, I find it a little sad that I won’t be seeing them again. This was just not the kind of work I’d actively choose to do.

I had one very memorable encounter while doing this job which I wanted to write down.

I knocked on the door of a house and waited.

Eventually an annoyed looking man opened the door, just an inch or two and looked out at me.

“Hello!” I said with a smile. “I am conducting a survey, would you mind filling it out?”

“Not at all,” said the man.

“Excellent! Thank you very much, here it is,” I said. As he had looked unhappy to see me, I had assumed he would be reluctant to do the survey, but since he said yes, I was very happy.

“No,” said the man. “I mean, no I won’t do it, not at all!”

“Oh I see,” I said, smiling because I found it quite funny. “To me it seemed like you were saying that you wouldn’t mind at all! You can see why I’d be mistaken there.”

For a small second the man smiled as if, he too, could see the funny side, but then it changed, like he had remembered he was supposed to be angry and he just said “Yes.”

“Well, bye bye!” I said, turning off. “Enjoy your evening.”

I heard the door slamming behind me.

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