Thursday, January 07, 2010

Notes from Campaigning

Over the past few years I've gone out and done some of that "boots on the ground" campaigning that everyone always talks about. It didn't go well. Here are a few examples:

Campaign A -- I signed up for campaign training, got the family schedule set to allow me to be gone for hours, and on the appointed day dutifully set off. Only to find that the campaign office was closed that day. One campaign volunteer was there to let us know but no calls had been made, even though we'd had to sign up in advance. The volunteer seemed overwhelmed and didn't take down names of who showed up. She just told us to call the office and re-schedule. I never got around to it.

Campaign B -- It was strongly suggested that I go phone banking at a specific campaign office, even though a smaller one was closer. There were additional points to be had for an organization I am affiliated with at the more distant, larger office. Unfortunately more people were stuffing envelopes than phone banking and a tv was on to allow the stuffers to watch a game. The conversation and background noise made it very difficult to hear what the people I was calling said. So I followed along with the script and hoped their responses were what one might expect. Otherwise it would have sounded very funny on the other end of the phone.

Campaign C -- Another phone banking operation. The problem here was that no real location was given; I was just asked to report to someone's campaign office. It had moved and I went to the previous location. Nobody there. I went home.

Campaigns are fast and furious organizations, scooping up what can be reached easily, knowing that stuff and people are missed. But, from my viewpoint, it's like watching a jump rope game and not knowing how to jump in. Or trying to jump in and not getting it right. Very frustrating.


Anonymous said...

I will forward this link to the folks I know who are running volunteer operations. I am so sorry that you had these experiences!

AboveAvgJane said...

Hardly your fault, anon. Keep in mind these were three different campaigns, across a variety of levels of office. The only common factor was me. I just never do well with group activities, but, given the emphasis on retail campaigning and calls for volunteers that always go out, every now and then I try again.