Just A Few…

Few is an overused word. I wonder if people truly know its meaning, or intentionally misuse it.

amounting to or consisting of a small number

Picture this:

I’ve just put my pasta on to boil. Instructions call for it to boil for 7 minutes to reach the al dente stage.

The phone rings. I answer it. The woman on the phone purports to be from an independent research firm and wants to gather my thoughts on current issues. “This will only take a few minutes.”

The questions center around the recent election in San Francisco and the upcoming run-off. She asks questions about did I vote, do I intend to vote, am I more inclined to vote for Gavin Newsom or Matt Gonzalez, did I think Willie Brown did a good job….

“I’m going to read you a few statements about candidate Gavin Newsom. Please tell me whether, after hearing the statement, you are more inclined or less inclined to vote for him, or whether it makes no difference.” She reads 10-12 statements.

“Now I’m going to read you a few statements about Matt Gonzalez. Please rate the statements in the same manner.” She reads another 10-12 statements and at this point I think she must be close to finished.

My pasta is done; unfortunately, it is not al dente. I have allowed it to cook for too long. It is soft.

“Now I’m going to read you a few statements about district attorney…”

“Excuse me, how many more questions do we have?”

“Um. I think we are almost, but not quite half way through. How long have we been on the call?”

“At least 8 minutes, because my pasta is no longer al dente. How long do you expect this to take?”

“Well, at least 15-20 minutes.”

“Thank you for inviting me to share my views, but this call is done. My dinner is ready.”

“But, if you hang up now I can’t use any of your answers.”

“Well, if you would have explained to me it would take 20 minutes at the beginning of the call, I would not have wasted your time or mine. I don’t even talk to my friends for 20 minutes on the phone, much less a stranger. I wish you much luck in your opinion gathering.”

She wasn’t happy and neither was I.

All could have been avoided by not abusing the few.

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