Earlier this evening, the phone rang. It was the landline phone, which is unusual. There had been an *ahem* illegal call from WQIK soliciting me to listen to their morning show and try to win a red pickup truck. Now, I’m on the “Do Not Call” list, so Boomer and Robbie Rose are not supposed to call me and leave a message … not to mention that the very last thing I need right now is a bright red gas-guzzler. So sorry, guys, but I’m not going to give up my Morning Edition habit to try to win your truck.
But I digress.
The phone rang a second time, and it was actually a call I wanted to take. A friend confirming for an event on Friday, and asking about tours in DC. That’s cool. We chatted for a few minutes, and then the phone rang a second time.
That’s unusual. The landline gets very little activity. One call in an evening was unusual. A second call was practically unheard of.
The person on the other end of the line asked for ‘Mr. Payton”.
Phone bank people need to learn some basic grammar rules. When you see a vowel followed by two consonants, the vowel almost always carries the short sound. So why, when people see “Patton”, they automatically think ‘Payton” is beyond me … but it happens almost every time. There was a famous general by the name “Patton”, but nobody bothers with history any more. Honestly, how hard is that, really.
Maybe that’s why they’re working in a call center.
Anyway, after I corrected her about the pronunciation of my name, which she seemed very annoyed about, she got to the reason for her call. A polling firm was calling registered voters across the state of Florida to get opinions about important issues of the day, and “does anyone in your household work for an elected official or a news organization?”
“Yes”, I said. It threw her.
“I work for a pubic radio station.”
“OK, thank you for your time.” and she hung up.
What I want to know is … where is it written that, because I happen to work for a news organization, my opinion doesn’t count? Why would they preclude me from participating in a poll just because I work for public radio?
I have a theory, which I’m sure you expected. I know too much.
People like me who spend their days steeped in the news might actually have a clue about what’s going on. Not to say that others don’t, but there’s a much higher probability that I’ll have a more informed opinion on the issues, and that might skew their results. The good news is, not every polling organization has that attitude. I have been polled, twice, and not been asked that question. One was a legitimate issues poll, one a stupid push poll for Mike Huckabee for which I’m sure they didn’t like my answers. I just assumed they were conducting a poll since Barak Obama won enough delegates to get the nomination. But I’m guessing that we’re in for this until November.
Heaven forbid that someone like me might be asked their opinion. But that’s the way it is. I guess I know too much.