Skip to main content

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.”

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Sat May 26, 2012 at 09:18:34 AM PDT

  •  I think that's what Joe Biden did when he was (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cazcee, Oh Mary Oh, splashy, cany

    speaking to the gold star families. Moving.  He knew just how to do it.  The young volunteer will learn.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Sat May 26, 2012 at 09:23:39 AM PDT

  •  Phone banking is really hard for some people (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, cazcee, 4mygirls, cany, Cassandra Waites

    Some people are kind of scared sh*tless calling strangers up and asking them for money.  Those are the ones who will cling to the script like a lifeline.  Consider that she was probably a volunteer doing something that was quite difficult for her because she wants to help.  Chalk it up and move along.  And, Have a nice day, Mr or Mrs cazcee.  :-)

    When the truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Sat May 26, 2012 at 09:25:25 AM PDT

    •  I hate phone banking (4+ / 0-)

      For exactly that reason. I know it's essential to GOTV but whenever I volunteer and get my phone banking call sheet, I just shake. That being said I don't think I've ever read off a script in the entire time I've phonebanked. I usually try to just be conversational and upbeat. Not always easy when you're calling voters in the reddest parts of Ohio but if they're not on your side they usually hang up by the time you've finished saying "Obama".

  •  preaching to the choir (4+ / 0-)

    this is hilarious...I had exactly the same experience...got a similar call, told the girl that "she was preachin' to the choir" I thanked her for working hard for the cause but that I had donated and was planning on donating again...it was very hard to get her off script...but finally got her to laugh a bit.  Suggested that she keep up the good work and concentrate hard on the ones that are on the fence...I ended the call with a "solidarity" and I think I heard her giggle just a bit.

  •  I hate scripted calls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    It's the next worse thing to robocalls.  I'm a total failure at phone banking, but I work at a campaign site and listen to the really good people.  Their voice is warm, they converse, they don't "read" scripts, although they stay on message.  I'm in awe when I hear them.  My specialty is canvassing.  I can do face-to-face what I just can't do on the phone.  If you can't do either canvassing or phone banking, there are other jobs to support the campaign and you're doing a very important one - donating.  Thanks.

  •  My least favorite scripted calls (0+ / 0-)

    are the ones where they start by asking you to give $2K, then walk back down.

  •  I got a call not too long ago from WI as well (0+ / 0-)

    (I'm in CA) and received two requests for funding this week, which I will, again, donate to.

    I just stopped him... thanked him profusely, told him I was in CA and that since I could not vote, I would send more money (which I did) and we had a nice chat.  I'm not sure if he was from WI or not, but I should have asked.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sat May 26, 2012 at 01:04:15 PM PDT

  •  BTW... while we're on this topic, how about adding (0+ / 0-)

    some donation links in the body of the post!!!!!

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sat May 26, 2012 at 01:06:27 PM PDT

  •  I hate scripted calls (0+ / 0-)

    It's the next worse thing to robocalls.  I'm a total failure at phone banking, but I work at a campaign site and listen to the really good people.  Their voice is warm, they converse, they don't "read" scripts, although they stay on message.  I'm in awe when I hear them.  My specialty is canvassing.  I can do face-to-face what I just can't do on the phone.  If you can't do either canvassing or phone banking, there are other jobs to support the campaign and you're doing a very important one - donating.  Thanks.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site