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Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:26 PM

My SwingLeft VotePA Phone Banking Experience Tonight

Let me begin w/ a confession that this was just my second night of phone banking in this cycle. I'm not really much for this sort of thing. As a yankee, it strikes me a somewhat pushy, and I've always hated being on the receiving end of cold-calls. Previous experience had also not proven to be much fun. But times being what they are, and after reading an account someone posted of their experience doing it, I figured I had to get off my ass and help out w/ the all important task GOTV. Better late than never, right?

So, I swung over to Swingleft and chose PA, cuz being from Vermont it seemed like the most important state for Joe that was relatively close to home. Besides, I was born there, and later lived there for year or so after college, so I have some connections.

The evening started w/ a kick-off Zoom meeting that included the Northeast volunteer coordinator for Joe, accompanied by Crooked Media co-founded and former Barack & Hillary staffer & speech writer, Jon Lovett. They were both actually pretty inspiring and funny. So, off I went to Truetalk-land and the call queue...

An hour or so later, needed a break. What an intense and draining, but ultimately rewarding experience it was. More answering machines and hang-ups than people who wanted to talk, and those who did were not always happy to do so. One man was pretty hostile. He didn't cuss me out, but he was pissed. How dare I call on a night like this when our President was in the hospital? He was quite clear he would never vote for a Democrat. I managed to remain curt but calm and polite. Another when given the scripted prompt that "I understand you support Joe & Kamala" replied "how do you know that!?" To which I could only think to reply, "well, it's what my screen is telling me".

As I kept going, I learned the hard way by trial and error to internalize the script, work hard to get the person's first name right on the first try, and stay calm while navigating the script buttons, prompts & response codes. This effort was made worthwhile by even a few touching calls.

There was the old man who answered, and when I asked if -insert woman's name- was available, he asked who I was. When I identified myself and my purpose, he quickly said, oh my wife I already voted. I then asked him, as instructed, to give me 3 names of others he could get vote, too. To which he explained that they live on a farm on top of hill, in a remote place and are eighty, so I'd just have to be content w/ their 2 votes, adding, "don't worry, it's already 2 to nothing for our side". To which the was nothing to do but chuckle, thank and wish him well.

Another woman was very patient w/ me as I fumbled w/ the iwillvote.com website trying to get her the location of her local polling station, after explaining that these places have a tendency to change these days. (Note to self, practice these thing a little ahead of time, next time.) In the end, sure enough, it turned out that her polling place had indeed been moved from where she was used to it being so lo these many years. So, it seems I may have actually help one person to get to the polls. Well, maybe 2 because she did say her daughter would join her.

I realized, in way that for some reason I hadn't before, that calling people is very personal thing to do. It's intimate, immediate and in the moment, exhilarating and exhausting all at once. I think I'm hooked! Tomorrow I'll copy down the Truecall login creds so that when I get logged out by the system after a short break I can get back (oops). Thanks for listening, I guess I really had to vent.

Cheers,
Al

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply My SwingLeft VotePA Phone Banking Experience Tonight (Original post)
al bupp Oct 2020 OP
MLAA Oct 2020 #1
soothsayer Oct 2020 #2
mahina Oct 2020 #3
Dark n Stormy Knight Oct 2020 #4
al bupp Oct 2020 #8
Dark n Stormy Knight Oct 2020 #11
MizLibby Oct 2020 #5
MaryMagdaline Oct 2020 #6
al bupp Oct 2020 #7
StarryNite Oct 2020 #9
Karadeniz Oct 2020 #10
PoindexterOglethorpe Oct 2020 #12
al bupp Oct 2020 #17
PoindexterOglethorpe Oct 2020 #19
dchill Oct 2020 #13
BigmanPigman Oct 2020 #14
steve2470 Oct 2020 #15
GoneOffShore Oct 2020 #16
smirkymonkey Oct 2020 #18
AwakeAtLast Oct 2020 #20

Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:29 PM

1. Thank you! You did really well. 💕

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:29 PM

2. Neat! Thanks for doing it and for sharing!

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:31 PM

3. You helped someone vote today! Major high fives!

🙌🙌🙌🙌

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:37 PM

4. Thanks for your work and for the report.

I did calls for Obama in 08, but I get too emotional these days. I signed up last week for texting to GOTV here in PA, but I haven't received any further info or instructions.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #4)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:45 PM

8. The word on the PA volunteer slack channel is that the texting slots are filling up quickly

Good luck!

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Response to al bupp (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 01:00 AM

11. Ah, OK.

Thanks for the info.


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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:37 PM

5. Thank you Al!

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:39 PM

6. Thank you Al bupp! It's nerve wracking to make calls

Iím always nervous and can only do one hour on Saturdays and Sundays. This weekend just Sunday. Iím glad you are getting a boost of energy in reaching out to voters!

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:43 PM

7. I want to say that I really appreciate all the positive responses...

But won't really feel I deserve them until I've done a hell of a lot more. I get back to you all w/ my progress on that, I promise, ok?

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:48 PM

9. Thank you!

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Fri Oct 2, 2020, 11:55 PM

10. You've got the right attitude.... Forget the jerks, remember those you helped.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 01:57 AM

12. So were you on the line when people actually answered their phones?

I always answer my phone by saying, "Hello, this is Poindexter." If there's a pause, and the person on the line asks to speak to Poindexter, I get mightily pissed. It is totally rude not to be on the line when I answer. That is when I usually hang up. I do not care if you're representing something I support or believe in, it's the rudeness of not hearing how I answer the phone.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:30 AM

17. Sometimes I'd hear them answer, and sometimes not

They train us to just say, "Hi, is X available", when we hear the beep b/c due to internet delays you sometimes just hear that. I've learned to give an extra 1/2 beat in case I do hear them say hello.

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Response to al bupp (Reply #17)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 04:13 AM

19. As I said above, I always answer my phone by saying

"Hello, this is Poindexter Oglethorpe". And when after a several second pause, someone comes on line and says, "May I speak to Poindexter Oglethorpe," I get a bit angry, because clearly they were not listening when I answered the phone. Which is beyond rude. And which is why I almost always hang up thereafter.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:04 AM

13. Thank you for doing that!

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:18 AM

14. You're fantastic!!!

Thank you...

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:18 AM

15. thank you so much for your hard work ! :) nt

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:20 AM

16. Good for you. I'd like to be able to do phone banking, but having done it twice, I've found

I'm just not cut out for it.

I find it almost impossible to remain calm.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:42 AM

18. Thank you, al!

Thanks for all you do on the behalf of the Democratic party! The world needs more people like you. I know it was difficult for you, which makes it even a bigger sacrifice.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 12:58 PM

20. I phone banked for Obama in 2008

When I lived in Indiana. I agree on all counts.

Phone banking is a sort of art, is very important, and not something easily done at the beginning. Congratulations on your hard work!

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