Monday August 6th, 2012

The exercise:

Today we write about: the questionnaire.

Very successful harvest for locals this week, with enough cherry tomatoes and blackberries for everybody, not to mention the first peppers and cucumber of the season. It's like things are finally ripening out there.

Still having trouble with getting orders from the restaurant though. Hoping to sort that out tomorrow.


Joanna studied the questionnaire in her hands, her forehead crumpling under the weight of her confusion. She really didn't know where to begin.

"When I said take your time, dear," Mrs. Lopez (which was how she insisted she must be addressed) said with a venomous smile, "I didn't expect you to take all week."

"Oh, I'm sorry! It's just that... well, is all of this absolutely necessary?"

"Of course it is! Why else would I have required you to fill it out?"

"I appreciate that, I do. But... List all previous sexual partners and provide contact information for each one... seems rather invasive and ki-"

"Dear." Mrs. Lopez held up a hand to block further complaints, her thick red nail polish gleaming darkly. "Thomas is my only son. If you truly wish to go to prom with him, you must answer every... single... last... question."


Greg said...

You seem to be very busy at the moment, so I guess things must be ripening at last! Hope the restaurant is easy to sort out :)
Heh, Mrs. Lopez seems to be a very protective mother, I wonder how Thomas rebels against that? I guess that explains why Joanna's even thinking about filling the questionnaire in!
[Typo note: you've got a stray 'd' at the end of 'single' in the last sentence.]

The questionnaire
"The art of the questionnaire," said the lecturer, tapping the whiteboard with his pen, "is to extract the maximum information from the victim without them being aware of your intent."
"Question!" called a voice from the middle of the audience, and a smattering of laughter responded. "Victim?"
"We need a way to describe the fodder for the questionnaire," said the lecturer, still smiling, "and victim is a serviceable word. Now, look at the questionnaire up here. You were all asked to fill this out before attending the class."
Everyone looked, and most people nodded.
"Now consider the information we get from questions 1, 6, 9 and 10. It should be easy to see that we can work out the victim's favourite colour."
Murmurs and nods from the audience again.
"From questions 2, 12 and 4 we can tell if the victim prefers sweet or savoury foods, and from questions 1, 3, 4, 10 and 11 we can tell what the victim thinks of local government. Finally, for now, questions 5, 7, 11 and 13 tell us the last time the victim had sex with a family pet."
The silence that greeted the grinning lecturer was filled with horror.

Brendacious said...

The Questionnaire

There’s a small, but real pleasure in filling in the tiny circles on a questionnaire. When the end of a page is reached, the landscape is dotted with freckles lined up horizontally and spread vertically within neat columns. My eye finds the dot that needs some tidying and my pencil point, always a No. 2, goes to the little rough area and spreads some graphite so that it becomes smooth and black.

The questions are never too difficult. Perhaps two make me think for a moment and one of these will be the one that draws my anxious eye back to it again and again as I wait for the test period to end. I know we will then pass the papers forward, the teacher will pile them into a stack of about a half-inch’s height. From her hands they go to “the computer” that will “read them electronically.”

In about four weeks we’ll get printed forms that will show us how well we did and what kind of work we should pursue during our lives. Mine always turns out with nearly even scores in all categories, but math. This means I can do anything that doesn’t involve math. Somehow this news is never a help

morganna said...

Did you know not all the old prompts show up in the right-hand column under Previous Prompts? I was looking for some old prompts and ended up going through the old pages.
Emily sighed as she filled out the questionnaire. Nothing was going right lately. She had been so happy the night of the celebration, but then they had to run and return to the road. Now it seemed that she and Chris should have been more careful, with the result being a baby. There was no way she could raise a child on the road, thieving as she went, so here she was, filling out forms for government assistance while Chris was out looking for a job. This was not how it was supposed to have turned out.

Cathryn Leigh said...

Well I’m now back from my hiatus – had fun pretending to be living with a French army camp in the 1700’s in the middle of the 1800’s Sturbridge village – all part of my mom’s American Revolution reenacting. *grins* This time I made bread – at least the dough for bread – other people cooked it, but it came out yummy, both times. :}

The Questionnaire

The tests were handed in and everyone watched as the teacher took the stack of answers over to the machine. The class, seated alphabetically with tests collected that way, had no trouble figuring out whose was who. Glares were sent her direction as the first test passed through without a beep. Someone commented.

The teacher smiled. “Well,” he joked, “I use her’s for the key, so as long as you agree with her answers you do well.”

The next one passed through, a few beeps for incorrect, but mostly right. Then the commenter’s passed through. She felt sorry for him as the beeps were nearly constant. But she really couldn’t understand what was so hard. All you had to do was read the chapter the night before and the questions were easy. In fact some of the multiple choices had laughable answers.

Sighing, she went back to doodling, only half listening to the beeps and purrs of wrong and right. Now, she only had one question left to answer – did the teacher actually read their essays, because she had no idea how she continually got 100% on those. IF he did, then he’d see her comment somewhere around the middle of it.

Inspired by Brendacious’s answer, and my own memories from High School World History. My teacher really did say something like that about my test – and he did respond to the question I deliberately put in the middle of my essay.... I still wonder why I scored so high on those, when I did so poorly in English. Go figure right? :}

Marc said...

Greg - frigging typos!

Yup, that sounds about right from what I remember of my marketing degree.

Brendacious - hello and welcome! Thanks for sharing your writing with us :)

Love the descriptions in your opening paragraph. And I vaguely recall those useless aptitude tests they made us do in school. Well, they were for me at least.

Morganna - I've actually got it set to only show prompts that I've used at least twice. If I set it to show them all it would be... extremely large.

Sometimes the search function works to help find an old prompt, if you can remember what it was about. Though if you weren't able to find it let me know and I'll see if I can track it down for you.

Oh my, Emily and Chris have had quite the adventurous time together! That's not how I figured things would end either :D

Cathryn - welcome back, that sounds like a blast :)

Ugh, I can just picture having to sit through the tests being marked in such a public fashion. I'd have sunk so low in my chair that people would think I'd disappeared.

Brendacious said...

I hated it when tests were marked right at the moment. Then they'd pass them back and everyone around could see how much red ink was on the first page.

Thank you for your welcome. I intend to come every day and work with your prompts. Thank you for your blog. :)

Brittany said...

I thought I’d try something new…A mini-skit! It has been awhile since I’ve written anything for this blog. Sorry everyone.
Alright the scene is inside a department store like JCPenney or Macy’s. The characters are a female customer and a female customer service representative.
Customer- Hello there, I was wondering where your scarfs are at.
Representative- Are you looking for winter scarfs or fashion ones?
C- Winter ones. The nice fuzzy kind.
R- Hmm, well, follow me then…Here they are. I like the gray flannel scarf myself. It’s warm and professional and fashionable.
C- Umm, well, it’s nice. Well thank you…but I’ll just look now. (starts to browse and sifts through scarfs on rack, Representative doesn’t leave)
R- You don’t need any more help?
C- No…thanks though.
R- Are you sure?
C- (looking confused and uncomfortable) Yes, I’m sure.
R- Hmm, I disagree.
C- (confused look) Why?
R- Because that scarf you have in your hand is so last season. Don’t tell me you’re going to get that one.
C- Excuse me?
R- (Looks at C and scrutinizes her) Of course you’ll buy that awful scarf, just to complete your ensemble. Just look at those yoga pants. (laughs) You’re not at the gym honey.
C- Shut up! How dare you? Where is your manager?
R- Lady you need your own manager! Look at yourself. You’re a frump. You need a haircut. Your shirt’s too baggy and I see no sign of make-up. Not even foundation.
C- (throws the scarf on the floor) I’m here to shop not be insulted. (Stalks off) Crazy person (yells behind her).
R- (Yells after her) Yes, run miss frump. Just don’t forget to fill out a customer satisfaction questionnaire before you flee from the truth. (laughs) (Under her breath) Maybe they’ll finally fire me!

Marc said...

Brendacious - that's awesome, looking forward to seeing how things go for you :)

Brittany - good to see you back again :D

Hahaha, that sounds like a fantastic way to get fired. Also: I think that might have been a first for the blog... I like it!