According to a survey (I am a worshipper at the shrine of surveys: they always tell you something strange), what bothers people most, what really gets their goat’s knickers in a twist, is ‘the state of the roads’. Only 54% of the respondents (down from 58%) are happy with them. It is not clear to me, nor, I suspect, those who were asked, whether we are talking tailbacks or potholes here, but this strikes me as a very Western World piece of angst. After all, we do have roads, and we can travel along them. It is a considerable time since I read of anyone unable to go somewhere because of the state of the roads. They may not be perfect, but we can still get from A to B (or any other letter) with caution and care, and also with ease, and, in many cases, at unnecessary speed.
Interestingly, I don’t seem to be consulted by survey teams. My name doesn’t come out of the survey hat. I was asked to report on which TV programmes I watched at one stage, about six months ago, but never heard anything more about it. I may have been the wrong kind of viewer. I have certainly never been consulted by anyone anywhere, in person, on the phone, by email, text or carrier pigeon, about how I intend to vote in the next general election. Perhaps I am being taken for granted. Perhaps even now there is a team of surveyors (I suppose they must describe themselves as something other than that) looking for me, to find out whether (and to what extent) I think I am being taken for granted.
It may also be that I live so far off the beaten track that nobody can be bothered to ask my opinion. I live in a small village in which three houses have the same name, and I’m one of the occupants of one of the three. It may be that the others are getting my questions.
So I would just like to reiterate that I am not worried about the state of the roads, nor indeed about another source of worry, rubbish collection (it all goes off very smoothly). I am annoyed by cold calls/ spam/ junk mail. I am especially annoyed by a company called Europlas, which attempts, weekly, to solicit my interest in replacement windows, but I am not worried by them.
Perhaps I should worry that I am not worried. In fact, it is starting to worry me. Although I am worried by the kind of worry that surveys engender.
I am ready to answer any questions about this worry. I don’t suppose I will be asked about it, though.