FUNNY BUSINESS: Survey says: I think I'm still in seventh grade

Mike Redmond
October 15, 2007
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Goof that I am, I joined one of those social network Websites, Face Space or something, thinking it might help me get a little speaking or entertaining business.

What I have gotten instead are surveys, lots and lots of surveys. And I use the term loosely. Most surveys in which I've participated in the past had some sort of point-usually for marketing purposes. They wanted to know what sort of dishwasher you have, which political candidate you prefer, or how often you visit Clown Burger.

(Answers: Broken, None Of Your Business and Never If I Can Help It.)

These social network site surveys are different. They're just a bunch of dumb questions, strung together to ... well, I'm not sure what the intent might be.

Then again, I'm pretty sure I'm not the intended audience. Let me cite the first question from a recent one:

"Do you sleep in your bra?"

I'm pretty sure I got that survey by mistake. Actually, I'm pretty sure I get ALL of them by mistake, based on the questions, some of which I haven't seen since we were passing notes in study hall, back in the seventh grade.

Note to youngsters: This was in the days before cell phones and text messages, when we actually had to write our silly questions on paper-Longhand! In ink!-and hand them to each other. In person. Or at least by surrogate, which is how I came to find out that Helen Gregory had a crush on me back at Leland Junior High ("Thinning The Herd Through Dodgeball Since 1953.").

Back to the survey questions. Like I said, I'm pretty sure these weren't written with a 52-year-old man in mind:

How old do you want to be when you have kids?

Do you like someone right now?

Does your crush like you back?

Do you act differently around the person you like?

OK, the good thing about this survey is that you can answer all the questions-if you so choose-with the same phrase: "Oh, please."

The bad thing is you can see it was put together by the same people who slipped you a note in the hallway that said "Do you like Helen Gregory? Check here if Yes. Check here if no." That is, seventh graders. The giveaway is the word "like." People stop using the word "like" to mean romantic inclination once they've reached a certain level of maturity. Around the second semester of eighth grade.

Now, I did get one survey that was kind of interesting because the respondent was asked to choose between two not-very-tantalizing prospects. In other words, it was a lot like the surveys you get after the parties nominate their presidential candidates.

Would you rather be poor but happy or rich and unhappy? Extremely obese or have rotten teeth? Smart and ugly or skinny and stupid? Bad breath or stinky armpits? Gas or overactive bladder?

Once again, the answer comes back: "Oh please."

In addition to surveys, my social network offers bulletins, which used to mean "short items of importance" and now means:

"PLEASE DONT READ THIS You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life tomorow will be the best day of your life however if you don't post this comment to 3 videos you will die within 2 days. Now UV started read"

Which arrived just after:

"PLEASE DON'T READ THIS you will die in seven days if you don't post this comment on 10 videos in the next hour. if you do, tomorrow will be the best day of your life If you do not copy and paste this onto 10 videos your mom will die in 4 hours"

Oh, well. At least social networking proves that Frank Zappa was right when he said life was just high school with longer hallways. Or, with the Internet, junior high.

Check here if yes.

Check here if no.

Redmond is an author, columnist and speaker, and a consultant on business writing and workplace issues. His column appears monthly. You can reach him at mredmond@ibj.com.

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  1. A couple of issues need some clarification especially since my name was on the list. I am not sure how this information was obtained and from where. For me, the amount was incorrect to begin with and the money does not come to me personally. I am guessing that the names listed are the Principal Investigators (individual responsible for the conduct of the trail) for the different pharmaceutical trials and not the entity which receives the checks. In my case, I participate in Phase II and Phase III trials which are required for new drug development. Your article should differentiate the amount of money received for consulting, for speaking fees, and for conduct of a clinical trial for new drug development. The lumping of all of these categories may give the reader a false impression of physicians just trying to get rich. The Sunshine Law may help to differentiate these categories in the future. The public should be aware that the Clinical Trial Industry could be a real economic driver for Indiana since these revenues supports jobs and new job creation. Nationally, this account for 10-20 billion which our State is missing out on to a large degree. Yes, new drug and technology development has gotten most of the attention (e.g. CTSI, BioCrossroads, etc.) However, serious money is being left on the table by not participating in the clinical trials to get those new drugs and medical devices on the market!!!! I guess that this is not sexy enough for academia.

  2. The address given for the Goldfish Swim Club is the Ace Hardware, is it closing?

  3. Out of state management and ownership. If Kite controlled it, everything would be leased. Of course, due to the roundabout, there is limited access to the south side of 116th now also. Just have to go down to the light.

  4. Hey smudge, You're opposed to arresting people for minor crimes? Sounds great! We should only focus on murders and such, right? Let's stand around and wait until someone shoots someone before we act. Whatever we do, we should never question anyone, frisk anyone, or arrest anyone unless they are actively engaged in shooting or stabbing. Very sound!

  5. You guys are being really rude to gays in the comments. (Not all of you, I presume). You need to stop it. Gays have just as much of a right to marry as straight people do. It's not fair how you guys are denying them equal rights. They're acting more human than you'll ever be. We obviously haven't matured since the bible was last updated. Hate the sin, not the sinner. You've all committed a sin at least once in your life. You've lied, you've stolen, etc. (Those are just possibilities). We should have a planet for people that support gay rights and a planet for people that don't. Then, gay people could get married without you bigots interfering with their love life. How would you feel if straights couldn't get married? How would you feel if teenagers were afraid to come out to their parents as straight? If straight people got hate everywhere they went? If straight people were afraid to go out in public, because they feared being judged? It's never going to happen at the rate society is going. You haven't seen the side of me where I act obscene. You're glad my inner demon hasn't been released. I would, but oh no, my comment would be removed because of my very strong emotions about this subject. I love gays, and love how they show their affection for each other. I just ADORE how a state is going to give same-sex couples a marriage license, then changes their mind. (I was obviously being sarcastic there). I just LOVE how society thinks gays are an abomination to our society. You're caring about marriage between two men or two women. That's a small thing. Just grow up, and let them marry. Let them live their lives. You can't make them change their sexuality. You can't make them change their lifestyle. In my opinion, gays are more than welcome to marry. Please, grow up and realize that people should be allowed to marry, even if it's same-sex marriage. You guys are saying that "the bible said gay marriage is wrong." Well, guess what else is wrong? Read Matthew:7 and you'll find out. (I am in no way breaking that. I am saying a fact). I'm stating that gays have just as much of a right to marry as straights do. (: