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Rude customers? Bad attitudes?

Online survey for UFCW Members November 13, 2009

UFCW members across Canada have been invited to take part in a study conducted by McMaster University that is investigating the experiences of workers employed in the service industry.

The purpose of the study is to understand service workers’ opinion of their work environment, and how they respond to rude customers.

Members who wish to participate can access the study by clicking here.

Before completing the survey, members are asked to read the following information provided by the researchers from McMaster University. If you decide to participate, the questionnaire should take about 35 minutes to complete. The questionnaire asks about your demographic background (age, gender, education), personality traits, experiences with rude customers, as well as your attitudes and behaviors at work. In addition you will be asked to respond to 25 questions designed to assess patterns of reasoning and logic. The researchers want to see whether these are connected to your responses to rude customers. Most questions require only a simple check mark, and there are no right or wrong answers. However, if the study is to be useful, it is important to answer the questions as honestly as possible, considering how things are, not how you wish they were.


Please note that your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and confidential. Since you are not including any identifying information in the questions you answer, the researchers will not be able to identify who said what. If you do not want to answer a particular question, you will be able to skip it and continue with the survey. However, the researchers would appreciate you answering all of the questionnaire items because they feel that each question is relevant to understanding the challenges encountered in a services work environment. You may withdraw from the survey at any point by simply stopping and not submitting your responses. If you are filling a hard copy of the survey, you can keep this information letter for your own reference and return the enclosed survey to your Union Representative in a sealed envelope. This envelope will be then shipped directly to the researcher.


Since there will be no way for the researchers to connect your name to your responses, your privacy is protected. All data from the study will be stored in a locked cabinet in the researcher’s office. Once the study has been completed, the data will be destroyed. At the end of the survey, once you have submitted your responses you will be directed to a site where you will be asked for your email address or phone number. This information is optional and will be collected for compensation purposes only. Since your information goes to a different page, I will not be able to link your e-mail address or phone number to the responses you provide on the survey. Only summary information will be released in any reports.

Benefits and Risks

There are no known risks about this study. You will receive an opportunity to participate in ten Tim Horton gift card prizes of $50 each. There are no other direct benefits to you, but the researchers are hopeful this research will lead to a better understanding of workers’ experiences with customer, and in doing so, facilitate better outcomes for workers and organizations.

Ethics Approval

This research project has been reviewed and approved by the McMaster Research Ethics Board. If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a participant, please contact: The McMaster Research Ethics Board Secretariat c/o the Office of Research Ethics (phone, 905-525-9140 ext. 23142; or email, ethicsoffice@mcmaster.ca).

Contact Information

Please do not hesitate to contact the researcher for any reason:

Akanksha Bedi at bedia2@mcmaster.ca or (905) 525-9140 ext. 26181 

Dr. Aaron Schat at schata@mcmaster.ca or (905) 525-9140 ext. 23946 (Student Faculty supervisor)

They expect to have the study completed by the end of February 2010. If you would like a summary of the study results, please check your union newsletter or email Akanksha Bedi at bedia2@mcmaster.ca  after that date.

To complete the survey, click on the following link: http://buscom.mcmaster.ca/limesurvey/index.php?sid=72957&lang=en

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