survey, filler-outers will cleverly deduce that this is their one chance
to let the entire world know their feelings on whatever they're feeling
that's however related to the survey at hand -- whether or not the
survey actually deals directly with those feelings.
Case in point: I'm working on a survey given to gauge local interest and
potential demand for a new commuter rail stop. It was given to people
who regularly ride a shuttle bus to and from -- well, I'm not quite sure
where. This survey was not given by the MBTA, nor do I think by the
shuttle bus company itself. It's not a survey to gauge rider
satisfaction, either on the commuter rail or the shuttle bus itself.
These facts do not deter stalwart commuters from recognizing a free
soapbox when they see one, though, and so they use the "Additional
comments?" field to complain about such things as:
* The buses leave too early.
* The buses leave too late.
* The buses arrive too early.
* The buses arrive too late.
* The buses leak in the rain.
* There need to be more bus stops.
* It costs too much to ride the commuter rail (a valid reason, though, for
answering "Would you use the new commuter rail stop?" with "No")
One person ended a diatribe ("Cont'd on back!") with a frowny face; I am
loath to add ":(" to the end of any official spreadsheet entry.
Still, there are some gems. You gotta admire the person who checked off
"Not sure", crossed it out, then re-checked it. That kind of
indecisiveness takes talent.