When the Gallup Pollster Handed Me a Mirror

Now that the election is over (sigh of relief), I have a story for you.

Probably like you, we have received approximately nine gagillion political phone calls over the past month. It surely doesn’t help that I live in North Carolina, a swing state, nor does it help that I am a registered Independent. And a woman. And married to a teacher. And the daughter of an entrepreneur. Who is evangelical. But not really conservative.

Let’s just face it.  Pollsters are drawn to me like a yuppie to a Whole Foods.

So on Monday night, the ProvidinaTOR (my husband) was working out in the garage and the kids were in bed.  I was on the computer doing research for the election, trying to figure out who believes what and why.  This is especially important for me in all the small races like school board and county commission.

And the phone rang. The caller ID said Gallup Poll.

Now, I stopped answering the phone entirely about two weeks ago, but I was feeling just chipper enough to think, “I’m gonna give those suckers an earful.  They will not know what hit them when they get done with the cynical, sarcastic, PMSing ball of politics-hating fun that I am right now.”

So I answered.

The nice lady on the phone confirmed it was me and asked me to answer on a scale of 1-5. Five means strongly agree with the statement, and 1 means strongly disagree.  (I tried to look on Gallup to find the EXACT questions, but couldn’t, so these are just paraphrases from memory.)

Thinking about your day yesterday, would you say the following?

  • I am very satisfied and content with my life.
  • I feel respected and valued in my community.
  • The people in my community encourage and love me.
  • I have more than enough to meet all my needs.
  • I am in near perfect health.
  • I am hopeful and optimistic about the future.

I won’t tell you how I answered yet. First, I’ll tell you about Sunday, my point of reference.

Since we went to church on Saturday night, Sunday we slept in–till 6:30. (Pretty good, considering Daylight Savings.)  I made poorganic waffles for the kids. They watched cartoons. I worked on my real food couponing post. My husband watched football. I wore my jammies MOST of the day until I changed into clothes to score some great deals at my amazing, beloved Harris Teeter.  The kids played stuffed animals.  Anika refused to go potty and kicked me in the ribs and acted like she was in the exorcist.  We went to SC to drop something off for one of my bloggy friends. We ate dinner at Sonic. (No judging.) We met someone who my husband bought an electric guitar pedal from. We came home. The kids went to bed. We watched Alias on Netflix. I finished my couponing post. We went to bed.

So, it was a perfectly normal, uneventful yet busy, quiet yet wild, simple yet complex, still yet rushing day.

Instead of getting to berate the Gallup girl for contributing to the endless flood of political nuisance, I just smirked to myself as her questions handed me a mirror.

The mirror said, “Can you really see yourself?  You are wealthy, blessed, healthy, loved, esteemed, and valued. You live in a free country and can vote. You can volunteer. You can give. You can help. Stop complaining and be grateful. “

So I answered her with 5s, and hung up the phone with a little broader perspective of my life. My job hasn’t changed since the election yesterday.  My job is STILL to do the work of Him who sent me and to finish it.  My job is to teach my children, respect my husband, honor my parents, love my neighbor, and go unto all the world.

Wanna join me?

What about you? Maybe your life isn’t feeling full of fives today.

I encourage you to look in Scripture to see how God can encourage you with His many blessings for you and His deep concern, love, and provision for you. Read Isaiah 40: 26-31 if you don’t know where to start.

How would you have answered the Gallup poll?

19 Responses to When the Gallup Pollster Handed Me a Mirror

  1. Julie November 7, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    The Gallup Poll ( yes, it is spelled G-A-L-L-U-P) calls people on a random digit dialer. No one is singled out for any reason. And ,before someone fills the need to berate anyone for the call, this person is just doing their job, just like any other job. The interviewers range from college students, retirees looking for additional income, persons with masters degrees, and for me, after 12 years of loyal service to my company, I was laid off. I have 2 children to support. I am in my fifties, which puts me in a unique position when looking for a job. Gallup hired me. It is a paid per performance job, so I only get paid for the interviews I complete. I am glad you received a call about health and wellness. Gallup does many different kinds of surveys for many different causes and companies. It is refreshing that instead of staying angry about the call, it made you reflect about your life. Like you, I feel I am truly blessed, and one of those reasons is that the Gallup Poll hired a senior and made it possible to be proud she has a job.

    • Julie November 7, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      I must correct myself, Gallup does satisfaction surveys that are client supplied numbers, ie. customer service surveys, hospital surveys, etc.

    • Katrina November 7, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      Julie, thanks so much for your comments! I will fix the spelling. Egads! I actually am registered with Gallup to do online surveys, and have done a number of them, but I haven’t received phone calls, so maybe that was truly random. Of course, I would never be truly rude to anyone, knowing that the pollster is certainly non responsible for my mood. (I was trying to be funny, but I hope you know that if you ever call me that I promise not to let my PMS get the best of me. ;)) I am also happy that you found a job with Gallup and that you feel blessed. I don’t suppose you could get me a copy of those questions? I looked high and low on the website to no avail.

  2. Julie November 7, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    However, surveys like the health and wellness or political and the like are randomly dialed.

  3. Kaitrin November 7, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Great post.

  4. Laura November 7, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    So true, loved this as always!

  5. Julie November 7, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I am currently on medical leave, but as soon as I return, I’ll see what I can do to get you a copy of the questions. Sorry, I got on my soapbox. I used to work for Borders and was grateful to get the job at Gallup. I can tell you that I never knew how many people could be so rude until I took this job. I have been reduced to tears by many a screaming person who could just simply tell me “no thank you” or “I am not interested”. I am always grateful to just hear those words and even more grateful to get the survey. Interestingly enough, I have spoken to many a person in dire straights financially or terminally ill, who even though enduring these hardships, were kind and felt they were blessed and were happy to complete a survey. Those calls bring on the tears of happiness and I put them in my God box for a special prayer. My job at Gallup has been very eye opening.

  6. Marsha November 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    I took that same poll this weekend! I tried to find the results online but was unsuccessful. You are absolutely right about being handed a mirror with this one. It made me realize how good we have it with our home, community and jobs. I was sure that I would have a negative answer to at least one of the questions but nope there it was……..life is pretty darn good and we should be greatful everyday!!!

    • Katrina November 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      Well, didn’t they ask something about “eating healthfully all day”? I had to give myself a low score on that after the Sonic excursion. :)

      • Marsha November 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

        Yes they did! I believe it was something about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Thankfully I had been a good girl all week :) If they had called a week earlier………..

  7. kaybruner November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    I would have to answer with a “10” to every one of those questions. I’m so grateful!
    kaybruner recently posted…An Anatomy of Redemption: The Mostly Dead MarriageMy Profile

  8. Joye November 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Your post is just another example of God’s perfect timing. I have been feeling down lately. God has been working on me, showing me that this is the time that I need to learn how to lean on him completely, all the time, every day. He has been showing me His steadfastness, despite what happens in life. He has been showing me that in order to be more “optimistic about the future”, I must surrender all to Him. So I guess you can say that my scores are somewhere in the middle now, but headed upwards!

  9. Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents November 8, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    :-) I picked up on your humor. Excellent job!
    Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents recently posted…Better Bran MuffinsMy Profile

  10. Kendra November 8, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I’m a new subscriber to your blog, and I just love it! The way you write about healthy food on a budget, family, and faith is just perfect! We are about to move to Japan to help start a church, so I probably won’t be able to use your coupon tips for long, but I still plan to keep up with your blog :)

    • Katrina November 8, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Hi Kendra, I’m so excited to have you as a reader AND commenter. You’ll probably find that I don’t write quite that much about food as other things anyway because other bloggers do such a good job. I’d love to hear how your transition to life in Japan goes. We moved to Papua New Guinea as missionaries in 2005 and learning to shop, cook, and manage food was a job in itself! :) Keep in touch.

      • Kendra November 8, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Thanks! Schultefamily.org is our website…that I haven’t done very well at updating yet, but I plan to blog more when we are in Japan. There will be much more to write about then! How long were you in Papua New Guinea?

  11. Rebecca November 12, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    good word. good focus.

  12. Tami February 11, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    I just absolutely love you!! I really do! You have such a beautiful way of speaking the truth! You are humble, kind, and honest all at the same time.(not too many people can pull this off!)… You are a light! The fragrance of Christ!! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Katrina Ryder February 11, 2013 at 4:34 am #

      Thanks so much. I am so blessed with wonderful, faithful readers. :)