I’m guessing you’ve read the Poll. Yes, that one. Australia’s Annual Alcohol Poll.
It landed on my desk this morning.
Australia has spoken, or so they tell us…except Australia hasn’t spoken, as much as whispered.
Do you hear that muffled noise? Quiet! Listen again…that feint distant sound you hear…that’s the supposed ‘voice of Australia’.
Here’s the thing. Polls are simply not representative of Australia. Seriously, who has the time or inclination to take part in a poll, online or otherwise?
The desperately lonely for starters. When not falling over themselves to invite Jehovah’s Witnesses and vacuum cleaner salesmen in for a cup of tea and a bit of a chat, these are the same people gladly accepting unsolicited calls from overseas call centres and agreeing to take part in the latest poll.
I’m sorry, but that’s just not right. In fact it’s downright un-Australian. It’s understood and accepted that when Raj from Delhi rings and interrupts you, slap bang in the middle of your steak and chip dinner, your glass of Shiraz raised to your lips; it’s not just socially acceptable, it’s compulsory to swear like you’re on the set of Underbelly and hang up the phone.
That, and when Jocelyn from Marketing enters my office without knocking first. Seriously, it was 5pm on a Friday. What did she expect to see?
Now I know what you’re thinking. The pollsters didn’t just cold call these Australians; they used a permission-based panel. From what I can gather, that means the respondents had already put their hand up and volunteered up front in the hope that they could take part in multiple surveys.
Multiple surveys? Now that’s keen. Again, I have to ask, who are these people? Isn’t volunteering for multiple surveys akin to volunteering for multiple wars? I would have thought one would be more than enough. Quite frankly, I’d far rather stab my hand with a fork.
Then there’s the sad but true fact that Aussies can’t answer questions to save themselves. I queue behind these half-wits on a daily basis at the coffee cart in the AIL lobby.
They break into a cold sweat just trying to choose which size cup they want, let alone their actual coffee order. Then Sharon, the trainee barista asks them for a name for their order and they look at her with this fixed empty gaze and you can see they hadn’t anticipated this question. They glance up at the menu board again…pause for a second and then repeat their order. Just this morning, Gerald from Accounts whispered ‘flat white?’ in response to that very question and I swear to god, I almost hit him.
Admit it, Australians don’t know how to correctly answer questions. They can barely tick a box correctly. How else to explain why QLD Labor spent 20 of the last 22 years in power.
That’s not to say the poll is all bad. I’ve shot the consumption trends and demographic results down to the boys in Marketing. Turns out, not only is the data useful, but we might even be able to sack one of our own researchers and save a little money.