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I know, you or a friend tried phone-banking in the past and got your heart and soul ripped out. You listened to the rants of rude and crazy people who should probably be locked-up in a basement somewhere and said never again. Been there, done that.

But, guess what?  It doesn't bother me at all!  In fact, I actually rather enjoy it.  What no one probably ever told you is that your time was NOT wasted! Far from it.

Why? I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I understand that I have just collected important information for the campaign. I have identified independent and/or undecided voters with whom we no longer need be bothered. Databases can be updated, records corrected, and the information can be used to direct resources to other more friendly voters. Nobody will need to canvass, call, or mail literature to these people again which will save your candidate time and money for other things now and in the future.  

So I encourage, implore, and beg you to try again. Just smile, punch in the data, and realize that the nut-job on the other end of the phone just gave you exactly the information you were looking for. Job well done! Whether you realize it or not, you are in fact performing an extremely important service. So, go forth with good cheer, knowing it is this kind of effort that makes the difference between winning and losing elections.

The good news is that as the election gets closer, most GOTV involves contacting likely Democratic voters which, thanks entirely to your hard work, becomes a lot more efficient and much more fun. Bank on it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My advice would rather be to do (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, zekeaz, night cat, Ckntfld

    door-to-door canvassing instead if you don't like phone banking. Talking over the phone is harder than in person period and the probability of annoying potential voters is higher.

    •  yep, that's what I do. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zekeaz, night cat, Xapulin, Ckntfld

      If you don't mind phones, do that.  If you do, do something that works for you.  I have a tendency to get a huge spike in anxiety when I do phone banking.  Canvassing isn't so bad.  I like talking to people in person.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:11:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to do that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ckntfld, zekeaz, JamieG from Md

      but can't find an Obama headquarters in Atlanta. One is listed but the phone's not hooked up, and I've received no emails back from them or the GA Democrats.

      I can't believe they're making it so hard to volunteer! And I've been persistent -- think of all the people who just gave up.

      It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

      by sboucher on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 10:19:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sboucher, zekeaz

        Is this the one? Maybe you could stop by.

        Location:
        Georgia HQ (Atlanta, GA)
        171 Auburn Avenue, Suite-L
        Atlanta, GA 30303

        Weathering Michigan's recessions since the '70s.

        by jennifree2bme on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 10:31:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Drop by! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zekeaz, Wolf Of Aquarius, sboucher

        They're swamped!

        Stop by and ask to speak  to the volunteer coordinator or the manager.

        They need you. But it's hard to keep up with everything gushing in.

        In fact, you can offer to help return calls, emails and schedule volunteers.

        There is obviously a need there. While OFA is more organized than most campaigns, its still a political campaign. By that, I mean, don't expect corporate efficiency.

        Don't wait for a phone call.Step up!

        (And yes, my local OFA office is about 40 min away, not allowing for traffic delays. It's not convenient. I figure its my duty, and if I'm inconvenience, so be it.)

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 11:20:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It has its ups and downs but do you really want (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zekeaz, G2geek

    The KOCH BROTHERS and those other 1% B&%&%& in charge of your government.

    "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little" – FDR

    by smokey545 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:10:58 PM PDT

  •  I had a positive experience phone banking tonight (8+ / 0-)

    When I explained to one Obama supporter how  I was calling her from my home through the website she indicated this was something she was interested in doing also so I am sure she will sign up to do this also.  Another sounded interested too.

    And one voter I spoke to had no transportation going to the polls.  I gave her the website info so she could look into absentee voting but I also wrote down her name and phone number and city and looked up the local OFA office there.  I then called the voter's local OFA office and told the person answering the phones the voter's name and phone number and that she had no transportation to the polls.  They indicated that they would contact her.  

  •  When I make calls, (4+ / 0-)

    I keep in mind two things: 1) people aren't rejecting ME. They don't know me.  2) Usually, they aren't even rejecting my candidate when they're rude. They're rejecting the intrusion of the phone call AND the cesspool  they believe politics has become.

    I had a lady go on and on today about calls, tv ads and junk mail in her mailbox. When she stopped for a breath, I made clear to her that I am volunteering my time and if she had any questions about policy positions or issues, I'd be glad to answer them for her.

    She paused and much more calmly said, "I know you're just trying to help. I'm just tired of it all."  So we ended the conversation nicely with each of us wishing the other a nice day.

    Most people are stressed and pulled in 30 directions as it is. The election is just one more stressor.  It's nothing personal toward.us.

    I figure the biggest jerks may be the ones who most need a kind  voice on  the other end of the phone.

    We never know once we drop that pebble the lake how far the ripples may go. If a Republican calling is snippy in response toward the same abrupt  person, who knows how they'll end up voting?

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 11:38:41 PM PDT

  •  I completely agree with Zekeaz (4+ / 0-)

    When I called folks yesterday I had some wrong numbers, some disconnecteds, and only two live people (out of 13 calls).  But it felt like I was doing important work, for as Zekeaz says:

    I identified independent and/or undecided voters with whom we no longer need be bothered. Databases can be updated, records corrected, and the information can be used to conserve resources for other more friendly voters. Nobody will need to canvass, call, or mail literature to this person again which will save time and money for other things now and in future elections.  
  •  Ground game??? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md, peregrine kate

    Non-existent where I live.  In 2008 we rocked and turned a traditionally conservative rural Michigan county out for Obama - and we won!

    This time, zilch........

    My deepest fear is the reluctant to fight style of the White House has become the norm for the campaign.  I see that Mich. is in the bag as far as the Dems are concerned; I worry that a surge in Republican turn-out could hand the election to Romney.

    Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

    by boatwright on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 04:12:20 AM PDT

    •  By the way.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamieG from Md, peregrine kate

      I will be phone banking for Obama this week, two counties distant from home (the nearest group I could find - and not even a real campaign office).........

      Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

      by boatwright on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 04:16:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NO FEAR (6+ / 0-)

      I personally have knocked on over 2800 doors this summer and with my friends, we have covered over 10000 doors in Novi and Northville.  If there's no ground game in your area, get a friend and be the ground game yourself.  60 doors per day (about 2 hours of targeted voters) between now and the election means two of you could contact over 900 doors.  

      •  This is awesome effort! My hat's off to you. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        barkworsethanbite

        Are you canvassing in Dr. Taj's district (new 11?) If so, I hope that you have been able to coordinate with his office, too. This election season there is a bit better down-ticket cooperation in MI than I saw last time.

        I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

        by peregrine kate on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 12:29:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hi, boatwright. Where in MI are you? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zekeaz, barkworsethanbite

      There's a list of the Workers' Voice field offices in Michigan here. Is any one of those close to you?
      You probably have already checked for a Dem. Party county office (don't get me started) so if there's not one of either group near by I'm not sure what else to suggest besides what you're doing. Well, who's running for the MI or fed legislature in your district? Presumably they have offices too.
      The "Votebuilder" database software that OFA in MI is using this election is evidently designed to coordinate with the MI Dems on some level.

      I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

      by peregrine kate on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 12:27:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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