Friends

12 February 2017

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS...

Welcome to theOffice for National Statistics

The UK's largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK

Well, well, this was a different occurrence in my life, but interesting.

At the end of December I received a letter from the Office of National Statistics. Not to me personally but to my address. Apparently, it was picked at random and started off ‘Your address has been selected for the Crime Survey for England and Wales’ and stated that my contribution to this study was essential for producing information about the extent of crime in England and Wales, which is used to help reduce crime and make communities safer.

The same day I had an unrelated visit by a policeman in uniform who was conducting a similar enquiry, but strictly about police. He was calling to hand out a pamphlet and to invite opinions. I might have given him some but the request was to do it on line… which I didn’t want to do. I told him I wouldn’t and he was okay with it. What was nice though was being able to chat about the old days when I worked (to his amazement) for ten years in the CID as secretary and volunteer.

But back to the O of NS. The letter from them informed me that someone would call to carry out the survey and that I was to check their credentials before allowing him/her in. It was a lady who called, hell bent on making sure I knew who she was so that when she called again to do the survey I would know who I was letting into the house. I also received a phone call from her (yes, I gave her my number) to verify time and date. It seemed a lot of preparation just for a few questions.
 
Did I say a few? In fact, the interview lasted about an hour.

I was given two books, the pages of which contained possible answers to questions, each page dedicated to a certain question. I should choose one (for each question) the lady said, but half the time I gave my own automatic response. Responses were entered, probably with a tick or a cross, on her small computer. At first the questions were understandable and easy but they got more difficult when aimed at the past, like how many people worked in the building where I was once employed and which probably no longer exists. I couldn’t see the relevance but it was okay to give a ‘don’t know’ reply. My opinions of police, crime, and the community were easily dealt with but it was not up to me to criticise or praise … just state the facts as I saw them.

The woman made it more difficult because she spoke softly and, as is common these days, her speech was hurried. I bet she got fed up with me begging her to speak up, which she seemed unable to do.

Well that was it, my good deed for the day but I don’t suppose I will ever see any changes that might be attributed to me! 

A WEEK LATER

Phone call received from the Department, checking on the attitude and behaviour of the lady who visited. I thought that was going a bit too far!

19 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

Wow you were good to sit answering questions for a hour! Let's hope your time is put to good use elsewhere, but somehow I doubt it. So when they phoned back a week later did you tell them that she spoke too quietly and fast?

Valerie said...

Hi Joe, Yes, I did mention that I had to keep asking for repeat questions (which probably made the whole thing longer than it should) although I didn't remember to do it until the end of the phone call.

joeh said...

I would not have had such patience.

Ron said...

" My opinions of police, crime, and the community were easily dealt with but it was not up to me to criticise or praise … just state the facts as I saw them. "

Valerie, I love how you said that because you are absolutely right! You'd make an excellent lawyer!

I also applaud you in taking the time to go through this process of answering those questions; especially having to ask for them to be repeated because she was talking too low. OMG....that would have drove me crazy.

Glad to read in your previous comment that you did express your experience with her and that it probably made the whole thing longer than is should have been.

I'm curious to hear if they contact you again.

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday, my friend!
X

troutbirder said...

Well they should have given you the Good Citizen Award.... The whole process seemed somewhat overdone besides annoying. :)

S. J. Qualls said...

I don't like doing surveys, and am suspect of any inquiries. Call me paranoid, if you will. I don't know why I'm particularly leery of this sort of thing. Who knows?

A Cuban In London said...

First they come for your opinion, then they come for your feedback on the process whereby you have your opinion! :-) Welcome to modern life. :-)

Greetings from London.

Carole said...

There seems to be a growing tendency of some younger folks to talk very fast. It is very disconcerting, and often hard to understand. You were very patient to give up so much of your time for this survey!

Valerie said...

Hi Ron. A lawyer? Lol... I'm not and never have been clever enough for such a profession. I don't think I will hear anything more and I don't imagine I will see any results either. Sunday was quiet, everyone (including me) stays in to avoid the cold weather.

Valerie said...

SJQ, I have never taken part in a survey before so I found it fairly interesting. It was the woman's quiet voice that annoyed me more than the questions.

Valerie said...

Carole, how uncanny - I have just started to write a post on the subject of fast talking etc. Watch this space, as they say.

Valerie said...

Troutbirder, I'm not sure we have such awards here. I could be wrong, though.

kden said...

I don't like surveys as I'm rarely asked for my opinion and am afraid I am answering wrong. My husband on the other hand is all too eager to offer his. I would have had a headache at the end.

Valerie said...

kden, it was an experience I don't particularly want to repeat. However, look at it this way - it provided fodder for the blog haha.

Denise inVA said...

I think they should give you a medal for taking this survey. I have such a hard time hearing I would have had great difficulty with the soft spoken lady.

Valerie said...

Denise, I am willing to accept a medal if someone wants to give me one....

Jenny Woolf said...

Sounds like someone is getting paid per phone call here. I often wonder if these surveys are any use, but I suppose they must be. But an hour! you are a saint to do it!

Valerie said...

It wasn't too arduous, Jenny. I don't know about the usefulness of surveys and I guess I never will know.

Mr. Shife said...

They don't make it too motivating to help out. It feels like they should be a little nicer because you are doing them a favor. And this is why I generally avoid them.