Surveying the scene

John Ward
John Ward
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WARD’S WORLD: By madcap inventor John Ward

There was a time when if you wanted or needed to purchase something and in most cases, you did your homework as to the usual issues like price, brand name (if any) then if fit for purpose and importantly, it’s in stock as opposed to having to the ‘order it in’ malarkey.

The purchasing bit is now a doddle as the new ‘demons’ to confront are having once brought your item or service, whatever, its then moving onto the next stage in this time consuming process as the next thing to kick in is the ‘survey’ that needs your attention or more importantly your views as to the buying process as in assorted brain numbing questions that make you wonder just what use it will be to anyone.

Yes, the survey has now overtaken the waiting for a bus pastime as if you miss one survey, then rest assured another will soon be along.

So hold tight, ding-ding and away we go.

They can range from emails from suppliers or companies to ditto by telephone asking about your ‘experience’ and to be honest my idea of ‘having an experience’ is not one of buying a box of electrical connectors as happened to me recently as I was silly enough to give my email address so that – quote – I may ‘be kept updated of further interesting offers’ although apart from requesting or asking me to fill in a ‘survey’, which would only take five to ten minutes and I might (key word is ‘might’) win £100 by taking part, however nothing has happened although I now find other ‘suppliers’ sending me details of their offers.

To be fair I never bother anymore with surveys as they are time consuming – as in my time and yours don’t forget.

The last one I filled in was a while back and the section where I was asked to describe how my shopping experience could be made better and my reply was ‘Cut the prices by not having time wasting surveys’ and oddly I never heard from them again – or the supposed £100 ‘win’.

So far in life, I have never met anybody who has ‘won’ anything relating to filling in one of these surveys, but in case you did and called to let me know but I was out, can you try again but press the door bell push button a bit harder please. Many thanks.

Another ploy in the race to acquire information or rather personal data is the mobile device as mobile phone, tablet twitch-ometer or plainly being asked for your number, which “will only be used to inform you of deals that may interest you” etc, blah, blah and then spend the rest of your life answering ‘messages’ from anything or anybody relating to how your experience went or a deal that won’t be repeated (as if) until your passing.

When theNational Lottery was first thrust upon us in the mid 1990s, they promoted it with all numbers blazing you might recall and part of that session involved a bit of ‘on street’ pushing to educate the public about what it was all about and so one memorable encounter during this period of brain washing went thus.

I was waiting for my mum, she of the people for the people, in a shopping centre while idly reading a paper as I saw her emerge from her last port of call in the shopping sense before taking her home, a normal process in fact.

I had spotted Poppy Broom-Handle, she of the clipboard and bolt-on smile, with lipstick that had all the hallmarks of being applied with a paint roller and stencil, and who had all the aura of “I really don’t want to be here, but it pays the mortgage donchca know” – and it showed.

It was precision tactics as mum walked over in my direction as she was sidetracked by Poppy, who asked if she had a minute or two to spare and mum foolishly said yes – afterwards she said she did it as her shopping bags were getting heavy and she couldn’t really see me at the time as she was wearing her ‘other glasses’.

“Modom..” said Poppy – “..would you like to be a millionaire?” and mum replied straight as a die, “No, ta.”

Cue Poppy looking mightily confused, even a mini flabbergast or two even as her paint roller applied lipstick seemed to do a visual roller coaster ride from one side of her mouth to the other plus her highbrows were about to go into launch sequence.

“Pardon me, but did you just say no?!”

Mum replied “Yes indeedy” and on asking why, mum explained that she was asked if she would like to be a millionaire and she rightly replied that being of the female species the proper terminology was millionairess as being, well, female.

She pointed out even for that amount of loot no way would she consider any form of surgery in order to win such a sum, more so with having brought her summer range of clothes plus one male (dad) in the house was enough as it was.

Also with that amount of loot about, she would want to keep it at home even if it meant getting a thicker lock on the cupboard it would be stacked in as she did not trust banks, so perhaps ahead of the times considering events in recent years.

As I sat there peering over the top of the paper I was reading and listening as best one could with all the people wandering by, for those of us in the know, this was quite normal really.

Obviously this facet of the selling pitch was not touched upon at the x number of days, or even hours, training seminar but to be fair Poppy did well in regaining her composure and undeterred, she battled on.

Poppy then tried Strategy Number 2.

She pointed out to mum she could ‘live like royalty’ if she was lucky enough to win x number of millions and mum responded in kind by saying that sort of life style was not for her as at her time of life, she had no inclination or desire to take up skiing although some of the winter clobber seemed okay as it looked warm.All that sitting in cars waving her arm about at folk was not really her either plus with all those holidays they have a year, she would have to have breaks now and again from those holidays to get some work done, but polo – their mints were okay – but that riding a horse and clouting balls with long hammers was out straight away.

The white flag segment was her asking mum a few questions about the way the ‘meeting’ had gone and ticks in boxes on a points system to supposedly show those back at base camp how things were going, or in this case, not.

So there you have it. The item you brought in good faith has perhaps long worn out but this will not stop the survey brigade who will still be asking when and where you disposed of it and were it bio-degradable.

Your opinion is appreciated.