Some companies send out surveys to find out what people like or don't like about their products and services. Gallup does surveys to see what people think about various issues. Some researchers conduct surveys to try to determine trends in the thought, belief, or response patterns of certain kinds of human beings.

Lots of campus groups conduct surveys which are worthless from a statistical point of view, and only serve to decrease the total amount of knowledge in the world, and support ill-defined/incorrect conclusions. Some of the "campus faith groups" at my college send out poor schmucks to stand outside all day and ask people to fill out "surveys", which ask the participants if they believe in God/believe the Bible/go to church/etc., as well as ask for their name, address and phone number (for the 'free bike raffle' or some such); then some weeks later, everyone dumb enough to leave their number gets plagued by incessant phone calls asking whether they'd like to come to a church service, or attend a Fun Social Event being held at a church.

The first time I ever took a multiple choice survey, it was the happiest day of my life. For once, I could bubble in two answers for the same question, and not face the consequences of losing points on a test. I'd been longing to do that since the third grade.

The careers service at the university I am associated with decided to have a survey pop up on logging in to their website. I don't mind doing surveys that are supposed to be about finding ways to improve a service I use.

How clever... Every time I log in it asks me if I want to complete the survey.

How clever... It saves the data so you can come back and finish it later.

How completely, absolutely stupid do they have to be to make me do the survey every time? Especially after I have filled everything in and clicked "submit"!

I certainly do mind a survey that makes my life just that little bit more tarnished. Thankfully, there is a bright, gleaming surface under this patina of frustration, one which can be brought forth through a liberal application of polish and elbow grease. The silver polish I need comes in a tin labelled, "Do you have any other comments about our service?"

Why yes... yes I do...

This is the fourth time I have logged in to YourWebsite and been faced with the same survey I filled in and submitted the first time I found it. I realise you may have difficulty understanding this, but that means I have had to scroll through it and click the submit button five times now.

While I understand your opinion of unemployed students is that they are shiftless layabouts who sleep until noon and watch daytime soap operas, the truth is wildly different. Even if I conformed to that stereotype, my time would still be valuable. Soap operas do not watch themselves, after all. To elaborate further, I am trying to inform you that the continuing adventures of people named after geographical features, who stare off into the middle distance struck with the awesome gravity of their situation when they hear the milk has gone off or the cat puked on the carpet, would be more stimulating than clicking "submit" for the sixth time.

However, it happens that I do not conform to that rather outdated archetype, which must have been formed at the same time as your library of resources crafted to help people with their job-seeking were created. I'm guessing that was the mid nineteen nineties - perhaps it's time to find a birdcage to line with them?

The truth is, I am a young, go-getting woman who wants to finance her high-flying lifestyle with a career other than sitting here filling in the same survey over and over. Well, that's not entirely true... I'm not that young, and every second spent scrolling down and resubmitting this form is another few grains of sand slipping through my fingers into the abyss... and the gigantic, bloated spider of being considered too old to employ draws ever closer.

This distasteful situation also has sour twist added to it. I have realised that the person who coded this survey no doubt graduated from this fine institution, and yet didn't actually have the mental capacity to imagine what it would be like for an end user to be confronted with the same form over and over. This is extremely galling to me, as I am in the same field, though no doubt I have a different skill set. For starters, I do not drool all over the keyboard and bang my forehead on the keys in a crude imitation of typing when I am programming.

I sincerely hope that this situation will be remedied as soon as you manage to find someone to read this complaint to you, and then you both find someone else to explain what it all means. As you will no doubt conclude, I am a bitter and twisted individual. But you must understand: This sort of time wasting has contributed greatly to my bright and cheery outlook on life. You only have yourselves to blame. If you're not motivated to fix the survey yet, just imagine this: After three to four years of putting up with this sort of stupidity, how many more students are feeling the same way, and on seeing this survey will feel compelled to tell you in excruciating detail?

Sur*vey" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Surveyed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Surveying.] [OF. surveoir, surveer; sur, sor, over, E. sur + veoir, veeir, to see, F. voir, L. videre. See Sur-, and Vision, and cf. Supervise.]

1.

To inspect, or take a view of; to view with attention, as from a high place; to overlook; as, to stand on a hill, and survey the surrounding country.

Round he surveys and well might, where he stood, So high above. Milton.

2.

To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.

With such altered looks, . . . All pale and speechless, he surveyed me round. Dryden.

3.

To examine with reference to condition, situation, value, etc.; to examine and ascertain the state of; as, to survey a building in order to determine its value and exposure to loss by fire.

4.

To determine the form, extent, position, etc., of, as a tract of land, a coast, harbor, or the like, by means of linear and angular measurments, and the application of the principles of geometry and trigonometry; as, to survey land or a coast.

5.

To examine and ascertain, as the boundaries and royalties of a manor, the tenure of the tenants, and the rent and value of the same.

[Eng.]

Jacob (Law Dict.).

© Webster 1913.


Sur"vey (?), n. [Formerly accentuated universally on the last syllable, and still so accented by many speakers.]

1.

The act of surveying; a general view, as from above.

Under his proud survey the city lies. Sir J. Denham.

2.

A particular view; an examination, especially an official examination, of all the parts or particulars of a thing, with a design to ascertain the condition, quantity, or quality; as, a survey of the stores of a ship; a survey of roads and bridges; a survey of buildings.

3.

The operation of finding the contour, dimensions, position, or other particulars of, as any part of the earth's surface, whether land or water; also, a measured plan and description of any portion of country, or of a road or line through it.

Survey of dogs. See Court of regard, under Regard. -- Trigonometrical survey, a survey of a portion of country by measuring a single base, and connecting it with various points in the tract surveyed by a series of triangles, the angles of which are carefully measured, the relative positions and distances of all parts being computed from these data.

Syn. -- Review; retrospect; examination; prospect.

© Webster 1913.

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