NWR Newsletter 2017 V5_Newsletter 16OCT17 - Page 26

TELEPHONE RESEARCH August 10, 2017 I have just hung up the phone after a seemingly endless lot of questions regarding the recent unrequested switch of my Mastercard to Visa with the National Australia Bank. Unless it sounds like an overseas scam call I am hesitant to fob them off as I briefly had an evening job once a week doing research so am usually an agreeable if not terribly enthusiastic respondent. We would go to the Esso Oil offices in downtown Toronto and use their office phones. We were given a page of the local telephone book with a line marked under a name and told to phone everyone from there down until end of shift. Being the sexist 60’s we had to speak to the male motorist of the house and ask if he would answer a few questions about his petrol usage. Sound simple? Well, firstly the questions filled two pages, and second it was Hockey Night in Canada which 90% of the male population watched, plus we started at 7.00 p.m. when everyone had eaten and settled down to watch television. It was hard work to get enthusiastic recipients to give their time. I tried to speak clearly in spite of my accent and turned on the charm. The most responsive were elderly men, many of whom had possibly not had a phone call for months and after answering the questions usually asked “Where are you from girlie?”, and when told “Australia”, settled in for a nice chat about the Aussies they fought with in the war, what great blokes they were, etc. etc. One night I had a young sounding woman answer the phone and when I told why I was calling, she handed the phone to her resident ‘male motorist’. It sounded as though another couple was there as well, having a few drinks and they were very interested in hearing the questions I was asking, as the host relayed them to his audience causing a few laughs. He sounded very amused by it all and as the questions progressed, the reaction from him and the listening group became longer and louder laughter. I was starting to get a bit giggly myself just listening to them having such a good time with such a mundane topic. I figured they must be smoking something. I was more than half way through the questions when the reaction from all four of them was mass hysteria. Through