I received a rather disturbing email just now. It was from the owners of Sonic Yoga here in NYC, and here is what it said:
We want to know what you think of our teachers and give you a chance to be heard…and, maybe even win a free month of yoga, too!
Click the link below, fill out the short online survey, tell us what you like, don’t like and who you’d like to see more or less of.
The attachment to the email is a list of names of all of the Sonic Yoga teachers, with spaces in which to write things like “I like him as a teacher, but he has really bad body odor”, “I wish he wouldn’t close his eyes when he talked or touch me inappropriately” or perhaps, hopefully, “She ROCKS, more like this one please.”
There is no place in the “survey” in which one can say anything about the types of classes offered, like, “Please have more Ashtanga classes” or “Hot Nude Yoga would really improve my morale” or “Please include Yoga Pole Dancing on next month’s schedule”.
Apparently, the whole thing is all about: which teachers get the most glowing reviews. And which don’t.
And frankly, although I think I already said this, I find this appalling.
First of all, let me just say that I do not teach, nor have I ever taught, at Sonic Yoga. I don’t even take classes at Sonic, nor have I ever even set foot in the place, so I don’t know why I am on their Slam Book Mailing List.
I just feel that this solicitation to “tell us which teachers you like, and which you would like to see canned” to be highly disturbing. It reminds me of those surreptitiously passed-around contests in high school that had titles like, “Best Hair and Boy does She Know It” and “Least Likely To Catch a Punchline, but Most Likely to Catch a Social Disease”. Perhaps worse, it reminds me of those slam books we girlie girls used to pass around when were in, like, Fifth Grade, that invited us to say mean things about our “friends”, anonymously of course, and then to read what all of our “friends” had said about us, anonymously of course.
It’s nice that Sonic wants to please its students (clients? students?). But don’t the numbers speak for themselves? And if somehow the numbers do not speak for themselves, can’t the owners of Sonic take their teachers’ classes and see about the quality of the teaching and the way the teachings seem to resonate amongst the students?
As it is, this Survey is anything but scientific. Not everyone will respond. And those who do may have a propensity to bitch and nitpick. I know that I would never respond to a survey like this, even if I didn’t like a particular teacher.
Please remind me to never ever work at Sonic Yoga.