· HARDLY STAND-ABLE
Last night I think I hit rock bottom in surveys. This was easily the longest and most tedious set of questions I have ever been asked. Our telephone number, I was told, was randomly selected for the survey, but I think that our # has somehow been earmarked as one where the answerer will participate in the survey no matter what.
The topic this time was the Colorado Supreme Court. The particular justices in question, as we should all know, were Nancy Rice, Michael Bender and Alex Martinez because they are up for reappointment.
Through the survey I learned that CSC justices are first appointed for two years and then come up for vote for a 10 year reappointment. This seems like a pretty good system, except I dont know how to get the information I want to know about them so that I can make an informed vote.
In the 2008 election of mostly unhappy memory, I called the Archdiocese and Colorado Right to Life to try to find out the position of justices and other judges up for reappointment, but no one seemed to know anything about any of them. So, for the most part, I skipped over the justices on the mail-in ballot. I remember voting for one of them because he or she had clerked for one of the good US Supreme Court Justices, so I figured he or she must be good.
The survey had the usual Rate 1 to 10 questions; the Highly favorable, slightly favorable, slightly unfavorable, highly unfavorable or dont know enough to have an opinion questions; and the always popular More likely, less likely or makes no difference questions. This is how part of the survey went:
Surveyor: lajjsdfjlsfljfjfkdlajsdlfjljfj aldkljldflsfljaslfjlajsflsjfjlfjjfjalfjllsadkffjafljalflfallsdfjljf
Me: I have no idea what you are talking about, so it makes no difference.
Surveyor: Understandable. Would you like me to repeat the question?
Me: Anything but that, please.
There was a set of questions that I was told would be asked about each of the justices. In an effort to speed things up I told the surveyor that since I didnt know anything about any of them my answers for each of them would be the same. This was understandable but he was obliged to ask the questions about each judge. This was not understandable to me, but I dutifully listened to the same questions three times and always answered, Dont know enough to have an opinion.
Three times in the course of the questioning I told Mr. Surveyor that the Right-to-Life issues were the ones that really mattered to me. This was understandable but didnt help to speed things up either.
After more than half an hour when the end of the survey was reached, Mr. Surveyor said, Thank you for taking the time to take this survey. I want you to know that I am greatly ..thanks. (I think even he had been put into a comatose state by the questioning.) I said, You are welcome. I know this isnt an easy job for you. He laughed and said, Thanks.
I decided today, the day after the long survey, that I was going to use this experience to make me pro-active. So I just e-mailed the editor of the Denver Catholic Register (the Archdiocesan paper) to say that I thought it would be a great service to the Catholics of Colorado to have pertinent information about the justices and judges up for reappointment given and to ask if the Register might be able to give that information. I will let you know what I hear in response.
Above all else, let us be understandable.
Jezu, ufam Tobie.
Talk about fast: the editor for the Register e-mailed me back in less than two hours. She thanked me for my great suggestion and is forwarding it to the Colorado Catholic Conference to get their input. Maybe that survey will end up being one of the best I have taken. And just so that you wont have to ask, when the next surveyor calls I will be highly likely to answer all his questions.