Tuesday, May 10, 2016


At my work they run a survey every week on the front page of the intranet. Usually it's mild (what are  you looking forward to this summer?) and sometimes it's internally topical (what do you want to learn about the HR system?). This week's says:
National Peace Officers Memorial Day is 15 May, kicking off National Police Week. Have  you or your loved ones worked in public safety services, including police, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, etc?
Forget the lumping of firefighters and medical personnel in with the cops. Let's just look at the choices:
Yes, I'm currently in public safety service.
Yes, I am or previously served in this as a career or volunteer role.
My family members/loved ones currently serve in these roles.
My family and loved ones previously had public safety service careers.
No, but I've always admired and respected this work.
No, none of my loved ones have worked in these fields.
Again, let's forget the clumsy wording here - the "family and loved ones" one place, "family members/loved ones" in another, and just "loved one" in the third. Instead, just look at the two possible "No" answers. 

Is that last one meant to be "no, and neither I nor they ever would" or even, possibly, "no and we distrust cops"? Clearly it means "... and I don't admire or respect this work" - even though here we do have to consider that they put firefighters and emergency medical people in, probably to make it harder to say you don't admire and respect them. And this is a federal agency, pretty well staffed with jingoists and knee-jerk police apologists. And yet: nearly one in five (19%) chose that last answer.

I find that fascinating.

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At 11:40 PM, May 10, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Is answering these surveys compulsory? Is the privacy of those who reply protected?

At 4:47 PM, May 12, 2016 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

The answer to both is No. It's absolutely voluntary, so the sample is very self-selecting. The second one is slightly nuanced, as no one but the survey-writer has access to the answers - people reading the survey on the front page have no idea, but nothing is truly anonymous on the intranet. Which actually makes those 18% even more interesting, in a way.


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