There have been a number of cases of mental distress occurring among company employees. Lucien has devised a questionnaire and tries it out on Gavin.
Lucien: First of all, regulations require me to ask you this question. Do you give me permission to ask questions of you? (1)
Gavin: You’re asking aren’t you?
Lucien: First question. Do you ever say “No” to any request?
Gavin: No, yes, never. All the time. (2)
Lucien: Do you ever feel that you are asked to do too much?
Gavin: All the time. I never have enough time.
Lucien: Do you ever feel hopeless or worthless?
Gavin: All the time, on occasions.
Lucien: Do you ever feel you want to kill the boss? (3)
Gavin: Am I allowed to say “No comment”?
Gavin: Never have that feeling, no. He’s an excellent boss.
Fragment of a 180-item questionnaire designed to find out about employees’ mental health.
Riddled with legal intrusions (1), answers that are not answers (2), questions that will not elicit a truthful answer from anyone (3).
Hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers. There are questions that may not tell you anything. Questions get the answers they deserve.