The past fortnight or so I have noticed a number of missed incoming phone calls from a number and place I did not recognize. The number was from a small community in Western Kentucky; about 4+ hours from my home in Louisville.
I was home this morning and received the call. It was from what sounded like a young volunteer for the Wisconsin Democratic Party calling in behalf of the Barrett Campaign. I will explain the diary’s title after the orange curly-ques.
First and foremost I want to encourage and thank that young lady, and others like her, who called me this morning. She has chosen to spend a very valuable commodity, her time. More importantly, she was willing to get on the phone and ask a perfect stranger to support a cause in which she believes. I admire that because it is something my personality will not allow me to do.
I my 64 years; I have always been a somewhat shy, awkward, and non-confrontational fellow. I do not ad lib well, I am bereft of Noel Cowardesque banter; I do not think and talk well on my feet. I am quick tempered, impatient and am known to not “suffer fools gladly.”
The worst thing a political cause could do is to put me on the phone to garner support. So I must admire anyone, at least who supports progressive causes, who are willing to “put themselves out there.”
I have already made donations to the Wisconsin effort. I have, through ActBlue, donated to the petition drives, the Senatorial campaigns and the Barrett Campaign. So when my young caller started through her script asking for support for Barrett; I let her go without interruption for the first minute or so. The gist of her program was (1) the importance of the Wisconsin recall effort against Walker and (2) the hopes that I could donate at least $50.
I waited patiently for her to take a breath. At which time I told her I was a progressive Democrat, I agreed that Walker must be defeated, that I had donated to the recall effort in the past and that I was going to make another donation, through ActBlue, before the election and probably this weekend.
When I completed my statement she went back on script apparently where she had left off. She did not acknowledge anything I had said. I let her continue for a minute longer and then she asked if I could donate $50 right now.
I explained that was a retiree with a fixed income and that I had a lot of medical bills to pay. I explained that I was a Kentucky resident with no ties to Wisconsin I repeated that I would donate what I felt I comfortably could, when I could (before the election) by my chosen means, ActBlue.
Again, I got no acknowledgment from her of what I had said and she apparently started on the “does not want to donate” option in her script. It was at this point I began to lose my patience and temper. I finally had to interrupt her reading to tell her that the call was approaching an end. I again assured her that I was going to donate to the effort in the amount I was comfortable with and in my own way.
I told her that she needs to realize that it is OK not to follow the script when you are talking to a sympathizer, thanked her for her call, wished her good luck with her efforts and hung up.
I did go on and immediately donate to the Wisconsin recalls. Not $50 but I gave what I felt I could afford. I would have felt much, much better about the call if my young friend; once hearing I was on her side, had listened to what I had to say.
Hint to the Wisconsin Democratic Party; you need to pass this suggestion along to your volunteers.
“When you are preaching to the Choir it is OK to go off-script.”