Tom Germond Sig New

Here's a piece of advice I just read for conducting a telephone survey:

"Try to make the questionnaire as short and clear as possible. It is better to keep it under 10 questions."

Agreed. Unless you're going to throw money at me.

How about three questions? And don't call me when the Rays are playing. Same goes for the Gators. Or when I'm watching the movie "Tombstone" on television for the hundredth time or destroying my dinner in the oven.

Can't count how many times I get asked via email or at the end of phone call on whether I'd like to participate in a survey.

From health care services to restaurants to cable companies, everybody wants my opinion — and my money.

I have been asked after some non-life-threatening surgery about how I liked the hospital food. It wasn't bad. Certainly had worst.

But if I were asked for comments, I would have written, "Once they get this damn catheter out of me, I'm making a beeline for doughnut shop on the ground floor."

What's next? Surveys on funerals. How was your experience? What would you do to improve the recent outdoor service you attended?

Ohhhh, I don't know. Tell the mockingbirds to shut up.

I knew a funeral home owner a few decades ago who gave me his business card. Under his name, address and phone number, was the line, "Thank you for smoking."

My kind of a funeral director. Warrants an A ranking on survey.

True story. I'll carry that memory to my grave.

Fortunately, I can't recall getting asked from grocers to participate in a survey, but I have some unsolicited advice to give to some convenience stores.

Please turn on your store's air conditioning and make sure your bathrooms are functional and are equipped with some type of paper products. Soap, too.

I guess it would be too much to ask them to make sure the vents work.

I'd feel more comfortable if they just put a port-a-potty behind their building. Or just dug a hole.

From what I've read, whether surveys over products or services make a difference is uncertain. Robocalls are a nuisance especially when I'm doing something important, such as eating a doughnut.

I know what you're thinking. Are you done getting this off your chest, Mr. Germond? Sorry, still in grumpy mode and mood.

What prompted to me to rant about this issue to begin with was getting an email from a service provider wanting me to complete a survey following a conversation I had with them. To participate in the survey, I had to create a password or do some other silly login work.

No can do. Especially since "Tombstone" was about to begin.

I wish more surveys would be fun. Nobody seems to want to know who I think is the best football player ever, what I think is the best beer on the market, who is the worst U.S. president ever, the most painful medical procedure I ever had and whether the powers to be erred in not giving Val Kilmer an Oscar for his role as Doc Holiday in "Tombstone."

And I'd also like to participate in a survey on what Americans think we should do with the automobile warranty department phone scammer scumbags.

I'm of the opinion that they should all be incarcerated for at least 24 hours in a convenience store bathroom that has non-working vents.

That'll learn 'em.

Guess I shouldn't be so grumpy. I know where to buy a good doughnut, my bathroom is clean, the Rays are having another great season and I don't hear any mockingbirds violating the noise ordinance.

Oh, and Doc Holiday sent Johnny Ringo to hell again.

Tom Germond is the former executive editor of Tampa Bay Newspapers. He can be reached at