The pollster

The trouble with polls and surveys is that they can only handle answers that fit the boxes on their forms. Give them an accurate but complex answer, and pollsters will fight to their last breath to try to persuade you that it matches one of their survey categories. It really makes you wonder what the value of these things is.


“May I question you, sir, for a moment or two,”
Asked the pollster who called at the door.
“Just some ticks in the boxes; there’s not much to do,
Then I’ll not have to trouble you more.

“Question One is straightforward. I’ll read it out now:
‘Do you think you are A, B or C?’
That’s really not hard, sir, I think you’ll allow –
You just have to choose between three.”

Well, I’m not A alone; I’m part B and some C;
It looks like I don’t fit your norm.
And some days I reckon I’m D, F and G,
Which you don’t seem to have on your form.

“Oh dear, I can only tick one box,” she said,
“Or else the statistics won’t work.
That’s something, you see, that we pollsters all dread
And drives my poor boss quite berserk.

“I’m not trying to influence your choices, of course,
But couldn’t you try to be C?”
No, the problem’s not mine, don’t you see – it is yours;
I’m not A, B or C – I am me!

[Cartoon: freepik.com]
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