The Friday Funny: Clueless consumer feedback

Why are evaluation and needs assessment NOT simply a matter of reporting what people said they needed, or what they said met or didn’t meet their needs?

This classic, which has done the rounds on the Internet for many years, lists actual comments apparently left in 1996 on U. S. Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:

  1. “A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call.”
  2. “Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.”
  3. “Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness.”
  4. “Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.”
  5. “Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals.”
  6. “All the mile markers are missing this year.”
  7. “Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse.”
  8. “Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.”
  9. “Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.”
  10. “Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter.”
  11. “Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.”
  12. “The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.”
  13. “Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.”
  14. “Need more signs to keep area pristine.”
  15. “A McDonald’s would be nice at the trail head.”
  16. “The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.”
  17. “Too many rocks in the mountains.”


[Original author unknown; we found this version on’s Inbox Humor page]

3 comments to The Friday Funny: Clueless consumer feedback

  • It is a mazing how your website makes our work fun and enjoyable. I have started circulating the funny fridays to my colleaques
    William Saisi Mengich
    Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Manager
    East Africa Fruit Project (Project Nurture)

  • Jane Davidson

    Wonderful – many thanks for sharing “the joy of evaluation”!

    Nice to know, too, that the evaluation humor that we enjoy here in the South Pacific also resonates on all continents around the globe (although we are still working on getting our first person chiming in from Antarctica!).

  • William Saisi Mengich

    I commented first in November 3, 2010 at 1:57 PM about sharing your amazing work that demistify evaluation and makes our work extremely fun-filled and enjoyable. Fast fotward to the year 2014 Iam sharing all the materials in Genuine Evaluation page in my wall on FB. What an overwhelming comments pouring in and friends understanding what evaluation is all about. Iam currently sharing the work of Chris Whitehouse paper: The ants and the cockroach!! keep up Jane Davidson and Patricia Rodgers your good work!!!