Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Monday, February 16, 2015

I give this post 5 out of 10

Ever have one of those moments where your so irrationally annoyed with something, that you realize that thing must be a pet peeve?

Did I get you?

For me, this moment came recently when I was asked to rate something with an overly-inflated rating scale. Let me explain with an exaggerated example.

Say that you stay in a hotel, take a class, or buy a friendly weasel from your neighborhood ferret salesman. At the end of the experience you are asked to rank it based on the following scale:

1- Very Bad

2- Bad

3- Average

4- Good

5- Very Good

Ok, pretty straight forward. But wait, it is a 10 point scale??

6- Excellent

7- Very Excellent

8- Unbelievably Exceptional

9- This room/educator/customer service experience was so exceptional that everything else in this life will pale in comparison

10- I have entered Nirvana because of this room/educator/customer service experience

What drives me crazy about this is that since they have taken the time to describe each term, I assume that they mean it. I'm someone who doesn't give out perfect scores lightly. Heck, even when I love a movie I'm hesitant rate it five stars on Neflix because I mean, it wasn't Sense and Sensibility good.

So if that thing/person/experience was pretty great, but I think "very excellent" let alone "unbelievably exceptional" is pushing it, I'm going to give 5s and 6s. I also imagine that the person reading the review will be suspicious of anyone who rushed through it and gave all 10s, and will give more credence to the thoughtful person who gave a mix of scores.

But this is NEVER the case. Inevitably you find out that EVEN THOUGH they described 10s and 9s as exceptional in ways that few humans achieve, "all 10s" is expected as the STANDARD and anything less is seen as a failure. And by listing your ferret sales experience as a mere "excellent" you are giving them a black mark on their record which will inevitably lead to their firing.

And this makes me irrationally annoyed.

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