Who Has 17 Minutes?

I love the view from this park at this hour.

I’m not sure if this is a universal thing, or if it’s just my inbox that has been invaded by people who have no regard for my time. I’ve gotten used to survey requests after every leg of every flight and train ride. I’ve gotten used to Amazon and other online retailers pestering me to review books and products, including those I purchased as gifts. I’ve even gotten used to so-called research surveys.

You should know that “gotten used to” is code for “I’m comfortable ignoring.”

However, comfortable I am with the whole process of ignoring people, I can still be surprised and made to shake my head and mutter. For example, I recently received this email:

Subject: Take 17 minutes out of your day to learn about PSA

Professional Services Automation On-Demand Demo See the #1 PSA Built on Salesforce in action WATCH DEMO NOW]

Daniel,

As a services professional, do you want to manage your people, customers, projects and financials on one integrated platform? If the answer is yes, you’re in need of a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution. PSA gives you the visibility and power to drive revenue growth, improve margins and deliver on your promises.

First off, no male over the age of 50 wants to see ‘PSA’ in the subject line of an email. Second, I don’t make promises I can’t keep and third: 17 minutes? 17 MINUTES? If your product takes 17 minutes to demonstrate, it better include robots, and they should be able to read handwriting, sing, dance, buy groceries, bake cookies as good as my wife’s, deliver pizza, change the oil in my car, pour a beer without losing a drop, shoot straight and tell a joke with perfect timing.

If 17 minutes of watching a demo sounds like your idea of Hell, how about a 41 second voice mail message?

I normally read and delete voice mail messages based on the speech-to-text rendering in my email inbox. This voice mail “couldn’t be processed – it was either too long or indecipherable.” Great, just the kind of thing I want to hear.

The message was for a mechanical services company. I hung up as soon as the guy mentioned how I would be impressed with their client list, which includes Yale University and… Yeah, because that is so similar. Just yesterday, I was asking my boss if we should renovate the Library next year or the Chemistry building.

We are a 30-person company that rents a few thousand square feet of office space in a building where the landlord is responsible for all the mechanical services. Just for grins, I googled our company address, and in 10 seconds I had found the name of the property owner. If the guy had done that, he could have saved himself 31 seconds.

The last survey request I want to mention is the one I received after taking my car to the dealer for a recall involving the passenger airbag. This is the dealership who lied to me when I brought my car in for service and then lied to me again when I called them out for lying to me. They sent me a survey about the service I received. Just prior to that, they sent me an email, stressing how important it is for them to receive all 10s.

We consider anything other than a 10 to be unacceptable so please give us 10s.”

What’s the point of sending me a survey with multiple questions on a 1-to-10 scale if you want all 10s? Why not just send a survey that looks like the one below?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = disagree completely and 10 = agree completely) how would you react to the following statements?

I was satisfied with the service I received

□ 10 □ NA

Thank you for your time.

I didn’t give them all 10s. In fact, I gave them a few 6s, a 3 and a couple of 2s. If they had stuck to the recall, I could have given them 10s, but they wanted to know if I agreed with things like: “Based on this service, I am more inclined to buy a car from this dealer.” See, that’s just not ever happening again, so…2.

I could go on, but…

70 thoughts on “Who Has 17 Minutes?

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  1. It takes more than 17 minutes for the coffee to saturate the grey matter. I love surveys. In an unrequited way. The only thing that could be worse is an employee satisfaction survey. Fortunately it is a double edged sword and only takes 34 minutes to complete. Did I mention it improves the quality of my drinking time ? Or used to. I hate drinking without a reason. To forget, to ignore, to move on. to enjoy chicken wings. to practice being nice to Skippy. to relegate surveys to the ash heap of history. Happy Monday Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! This was a good way to start the week with a chuckle. When we bought our truck this spring, on the way out the door the salesman gave me two laminated cards. One was for Facebook and one was for Twitter. I was suppose to go online that day and tell them about my truck buying experience. They fit quite nicely in my recycling bin. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “They fit quite nicely in my recycling bin.” I like that, Judy!

      I don’t mind some surveys, except when that add a bunch of unrelated questions that I don’t want to answer. If I bought a car from you, chances are I was happy with the experience, because if I wasn’t, I would have walked out during the experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad to say I don’t get those sorts of emails… except from some sellers on Ebay (who drive me nuts!) But aren’t they mostly automated messages? I treat them like bots (even if they aren’t) and trash them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Dan…..I listed a yard sale I had this past Saturday on a website I used last year. I forgot I used them last year until I received an email from them saying “Hey, it’s been a while since you had a yard sale, isn’t it?” Yikes. They track yard sales? So I listed with them again. And Craigslist. And signs around my neighborhood. Yesterday, they send me another email: Please take our 2-question survey. Was the sale successful? Would you use us again? For a freakin’ yard sale. Way too many surveys, people!! MiMi’s quote is a riot. Yup. Bring on the flash!

    Like

  5. I don’t do surveys, period.

    Beautiful shots with reflections today. And Maddie doing her usual schmoozing while MiMi is enjoying her blue blanket. Yeah, I don’t think a camera flash would go over big with any of them !!

    Have a great week.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger – that’s The Editor’s approach to surveys – nope, just nope.

      I avoid most of them.

      I filled out a Chrysler survey about the service at my Jeep dealership when the other incidents happened. I was honest, and I got a call from a guy at Chrysler – I guess they do read those things (if they’re bad enough).

      None of the animals like the flash. The reaction is always one that lets me know I should be leaving.

      Like

  6. I feel your pain. When I was one of those annoying market survey researchers, our go-to survey was an hour long, having to deal with every credit card on the face of the earth. God bless the elderly gentlemen who, upon hearing that the survey could take an hour (or more), merely responded, “Sure, just let me get into my comfy chair.” He did, and stayed for the entire survey. Even as a former market researcher, with sympathy for those still doing the job, I would not, ever, sit for an hour doing a survey. Heck, these days I delete those emails as fast as everyone else, and refuse to pick up calls from numbers I don’t recognize.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Surveys. ARGH.
    I think your 2 was generous. I also got a car dealership survey after what can only be described as a cluster**** of an experience this summer. Yes, they made it right. After I contacted the service department manager and sent HIM an e-mail that detailed 30 days of incompetence in every conceivable area. I still haven’t been able to complete the survey because ARGH.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dan – mostly they’re a waste of time … so I ignore 99% of them … an occasional one I will do. I temped for an ad agency in London donkey years ago … it was correlating replies for a survey on baked beans – that put me off a great many things for life!! And I lasted only a week or two – though I think they wanted me to stay on. Ghastly thought … I do the occasional intelligent survey though – e.g. Wiki – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You made me laugh today!!! I had to create, distribute and collect a survey about local housing in my office location community this summer…. what a joke and what are companies thinking when we are forced to send these out and want honest responses… I ignore them too…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think many companies send out surveys so they can check off a box. I doubt if they actually pay much attention to the results (did you receive a call back after your honest answers about your car service?). I skip most surveys and often, when I do take them, they don’t ask the questions I want to answer. And, sometimes a “1” isn’t low enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All good points. I only ever got a response once, and that was form a survey that Chrysler Corp sent after the dealership lied to me. I do skip most surveys and I do wish you could add a negative sign to some numbers.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. “We consider anything other than a 10 to be unacceptable so please give us 10s.”
    Haha!
    They sent you a survey and told you what to write in it? They are crazy. You did well giving them those 3s and 6s. I would have done the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m with you, Dan. The problem is when you fill out a survey with bad marks no one ever contacts you to see if they can make it better. By the way, I have found most dealers lie to the customers about almost everything. Super photo as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right on all counts, John. The dealer lied when I bought the car, they said that a loaner would “always” be an option. It went downhill from there, greased by more lies, from people at all levels.

      Thanks for the comment about the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoyed this post Dan. I can relate. I hit delete on the majority of survey and review requests I receive in my email in box too.

    I love that view from the park before the city wakes up too. The lights, deep blue sky, the reflections… it’s a very peaceful, and pretty view to start the day with.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The whole survey thing is stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s relevance disappeared as soon as some wisebulb decided to use them to compensate their staff based on customer feedback.
    If companies REALLY wanted feedback, every executive, every manager would be required to spend some time in their call centre handling calls from customers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be an excellent idea, Joanne. Sending management into the field was almost common in the 70s and early 80s. I think when the focus shifted from operations to “value,” management stopped caring about operations beyond the numbers.

      Like

  15. I don’t have 17 minutes for that, either.
    At work, I am, we all are, bombarded/harassed by companies seeking B2B and I have noticed one glaring tendency with all of them: They are super, super polite and nice and friendly right up to the decline, then many of them become abrupt and rude, and most hang up. That is a TERRIBLE way to do business. Just terrible.
    Most of them want to schedule face-to-face meetings with the owners and that’s just not going to happen. If you can’t pitch it over the phone and close it in an email, it’s not direct enough, not clean enough, because you know the ‘relationship’ will also be time-consuming.
    Oof, I guess I needed to vent.

    Sorry about your dealership :(

    Flash kitty is pretty, if annoyed :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get some of these forwarded to me by my boss. “No, you can’t meet with him. You can’t even ‘meet’ with me!” If the request is related to our business and professional, I will reply with a short “no interest” message. The ones that bug me are the “you haven’t responded to my previous emails” emails.

      MiMi was not happy, but I told her that’s the price of being cute. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. And Amazon tricks you, baited like a fish on a hook. You think, “Ok, I’ll do a quick review.” After that they just keep loading them up. I get tired of typing “It was a a goft. They liked it”.Those reflection photos are awesome, especially the foggy one.
    Lol! Mimi is so funny. Poor kitty. You’ve been ‘flashed’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. You’re right about Amazon. I don’t even bother to open their emails at this point. I go back to “you had something for sale. I bought it. We’re done.”

      I love the reflections in the river and how they’re always a little different. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

      Like

  17. 17 minutes? Yikes! Too long for me too. And as for the give us 10’s – I have recently had a similar experience (except their top # was 5) and I refused the survey since they didn’t want honesty – just a top rating. Good for you to give them the survey honestly. I decided to ignore it. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ugh, surveys. They’re everywhere….. and if you filled them all out you’d have about 17 minutes of free time left a day. And don’t get me started on the silly personal surveys everyone posts on FB. Going to high school together is not sufficient reason for me to read some mind numbing list of your favorite ice cream flavors and nursery rhymes. Enough already!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. With so many commitments, time is the most precious thing we have. I usually wake up and focus on deleting the junk emails even before I brush my teeth. It takes barely 30 seconds for me to do that. However, I do participate in Google Surveys (for which I get paid). These surveys usually take a minute or a two. That’s it. However, your post reminds me of my work experience. When I was temporarily shifted to Gallup department (for 3 days only). We had to call up CTOs in different companies in the USA, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan and take a call-based interview. The questionnaire has 41 questions and it was a nightmare for us to convince CTOs to stay that long on call. Most CTOs wouldn’t pick the call and even if they did they would just slam the phone the moment they hear that they have to answer 41 questions. The good part was that the nightmare lasted only for three days and then we were back to MS department. Later I was moved to FranklinCovey permanently which I believe was my best call center experience till date.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. We had a system that would allow us to make a note of who picked up the call and who didn’t. Once I finish calling all 900 numbers, the remaining 898 numbers go back in the main system and get reassigned to some other representative in some other country. That guy will then again call those CTOs some other day.

            Liked by 1 person

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