Friday, May 11, 2012

Stuff this!

We did it!  There are over 1,300 "Lifestyle, Eating Habits and Your Wellbeing" surveys currently making their way to women ages 43-53 all across New Zealand.  What a feat to get the job done!

If you thought that stuffing surveys would be easy. Think again!

Follow these simple steps and you, too, could achieve a nearly 80% response rate.

  1. Handwrite each participants name on the "Dear ___" line of the cover letter.  Next, handwrite signatures for both students named as the researchers.
  2. Bandage paper cuts.
  3. Stick a pen to each cover letter.
  4. Bandage paper cuts. Complain about fingers being sticky.
  5. Make sure each survey has all of its pages.  
  6. Bandage paper cuts.
  7. Fold a free post envelope around each survey.
  8. Bandage paper cuts.
  9. Match cover letter identification numbers with survey identification numbers.
  10. Bandage paper cuts.
  11. Paperclip cover letter to survey.  Slide a tea bag into paper clip.
  12. Bandage paper cuts. Take a break for a cup of tea made from a "reject" tea bag.  
  13. Stuff into envelope for mailing.  Place in mailing flats. DON'T LET ANYTHING GET OUT OF POST CODE ORDER!
  14. Bandage paper cuts.  Flash the evil eye to other students who look like they are about to place a survey out of post code order.
  15. Locate envelopes for randomly selected women to receive small monetary token of appreciation.  Insert $.
  16. Seal all envelopes.
  17. Bandage paper cuts.  Complain that back hurts from bending over to seal envelopes.
  18. Package mailing flats by buckling covers around the flats.
  19. Call mail room guys to pick up the bundles of joy.  
  20. Breathe a sigh of relief and mutter, "Goodbye and good riddance" as the bundles of joy leave the office.
But, by no means are we done yet.  We still have to send thank you/reminder postcards in a week.  Then, we'll send a replacement questionnaire to non-respondents about a week after that.  Then, we'll send a final reminder postcard.


Then, and only then, the real fun begins... after about two months the answers will be input into a database and the work of cleaning and analyzing data will begin.

And you know what? I can't wait!

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