So I jumped in and volunteered to make phone calls for the Obama Campaign. For three hours last night, I called people in order to get volunteers. I didn't do too badly. I put my former telemarketing skills to work and signed up 8 volunteers. Considering I only actually talked to 22 people, that's not too bad. I'm also doing some voter registration drives this weekend and at a big town event in a few weeks. I'll probably make more phone calls next week.
What's funny is that the key to doing this kind of stuff is to not take it too personally. I had a couple of people hang up on me and quite a few more pretend to be someone else and tell me they weren't home. To those who are mean to volunteers when they call, they don't care. You're only making your own blood pressure rise. Even when my income depended on connecting with people and making the sale (I did business to business sales), I didn't really care too much if someone gave me an earful and hung up. It just meant I could move on to the next possibility that much faster.
I've done some canvassing for our local Congressman when he was running in 2006, but this is my first real involvement in a political campaign. The other volunteers have been with Obama since the beginning. I'm a latecomer, having supported Edwards and then Clinton. But since last night's calls were to Obama supporters, I easily got more fired up. I had a hilarious conversation with one woman about how awful Sarah Palin is. And she wanted me to make sure Obama put Hilary on the cabinet, preferably as Secretary of State. She said she could never volunteer making phone calls because she'd just get mad at McCain supporters and take em down a notch. I may be at that point when we start calling the undecideds. I did get one of those last night and she was actually quite nice about it, asked for more information, and said she really wanted to take the time to look over everything and think about it. I believed her.
I'm glad I didn't talk myself out of doing this and yes, it's exhausting and yes, it takes time out of an already busy life, but I think it really does take more people getting involved to make change happen. I just couldn't stand on the sidelines doing commentary anymore.