Thursday, April 11, 2013

Friday Nov 2 Phone bank the second

1. People who said they were going to show up didn't show up. I got mad. Then I got mad at myself for being mad because they are volunteers and dang, can you blame them for not coming? It's crap working at a phone bank. And then they did show up - they had forgotten but then remembered. Then I felt guilty for being mad because they are such nice people and are so sincere on the phone. "We know Primo. He's a great guy."

NB: Sending out an email two days before the event and leaving a voicemail the day before is not enough to be top of mind. Good learning for next time.

2. There was a group of people leaving the phone bank when I arrived. They were paid callers who were working for the Polka Dot Senate candidate. After eavesdropping for a minute, I thought, "I would rather not have anyone call on Primo's behalf than have someone with that grammar call." Their language was atrocious. Honestly. We were (sort of) picky about our volunteers. They represent Primo. We don't want people to think, "This person is ignorant and crass, so the candidate must also be ignorant and crass." Maybe I sound like an elitist, but I do think the proper use of the English language does give a person some credibility. I wonder if the PD candidate knows whom the call center hired on her behalf. I also want to know why they have to pay people if the candidate is so great.  We're not paying our volunteers. Except in cookies.

3. One of our volunteers is going to spend Tuesday stopping people on the street to ask if they've voted and if not, directing them to their polling place. My question to her is if someone doesn't know where her polling place is by election day, isn't that person in fact too ignorant and uninformed to vote?

4. If you get about 20 hangups in a row, it might not be that you're making a political call. It  might be that somehow, the outgoing sound on your headset has been turned off and the person at the other end of the line cannot hear anything.

5. Some people eat supper at 5:40 p.m., which is when I am rolling in the door after work. I get home at 5:30, feed the cats, change clothes, get my clothes ready for the next day, pack my breakfast and lunch for the next day, and then I start thinking about supper. Who actually has supper on the table at 5:40? Well, apparently, some voters do, because this woman got really testy with me for calling at suppertime. I don't blame her for not wanting the political calls, but if you don't want to be bothered at supper, why do you answer the phone? When I was in high school, the phone was not answered during meals and that was before answering machines. My dad always said, "If it's important, they'll call back." I don't recall that there were huge life events that were missed in the 70s because people didn't pick up the phone every time it rang.

6. It bothers me a lot less for a voter to reject Primo because she's checked him out and doesn't agree with him than when someone just doesn't care to make the effort. One conversation last night:

Me: Have you heard of Primo's campaign?

Voter: No.

Me: Would you like some information about him?

Voter: No. I've already decided who I'm voting for.

7. But there are some fun callers:

Me: Have you heard of Primo's campaign?

Voter: Oh yeah! He came by. We talked. I got you covered!

Me: Well great!

Voter: You have a blessed and a good day, now!

8. Primo: Oh! It's calling Leslie B!

Me: Who's that?

Primo: Our neighbor Leslie! Down the street! I talked to her when I was doing doors!

Me: Oh, right! She's really nice.

[Call connects]

Primo: Hi. This is Primo. I'm running for --

Primo: She hung up!

Me: I'll bet she's tired of political calls.

Primo: It's OK. I know she's voting for me. She was the first person to donate to my campaign.

Me: Really? How much?

Primo: Five dollars.

Me: Wow. She is an older divorced lady on a tight budget. You must have really impressed her. [No snark - I mean it. She does not have money to spare.]

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