Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Rally for the Victor!

Go Edwards! While off to a nervous start, I thought he was soon sailing along nicely. Cheney came across as bored and BOR-ING. Now it is of course up to the spin meisters. How cool is it though that tomorrow Edwards is going to be right here! I’m heading the ticket/gate team this time around, but because there won’t be metal detectors, it shouldn’t be as stressful. And the venue is bigger, so getting in at the end should also not be an issue. Several of the volunteers I had last time are going to be in my team, so I know I’ll have good hands on deck. I definitely think the mood will be electric considering Edwards’ performance.

A very busy day in the office, so busy you only have time to try to do and not time to worry about what isn’t perfect—which is good for me. Organizationally, as I mentioned earlier, our phone bank problems that have dogged us are beginning to be rectified, which feels good. Better late than never is absolutely our motto. For a perfect example, I’ll tell you the story of this morning. I shirked my duty of checking our voicemail much of yesterday, and finally set to it mid-morning today. I found it full—80 messages. I soon discovered that what had happened is that one of local pols here, State Senator Wexler, had sent out an auto-dial to his constituents advertising the events, but not giving any details on how to get tickets, etc. beyond giving our phone number. And since we weren’t expecting this, and since no one thought about it, we didn’t have any information on our message about it. So everyone wanted to know how to get tickets, etc. So I set out to listen to and delete all these messages (I had a volunteer return the calls) and—before I got very far—changing the outgoing message to leave the relevant information. It was a little task that went a long way. Now I just have to be vigilant about my voicemail duties. Our phone system is in general is a big pain in the butt. Not only did they only give us one line at the front desk, the four lines that are in the office are on this crappy rollover system, so if the front line is busy, it just rolls over to the other phones in use by the staff and then to voicemail. What you need obviously is four-line availability everywhere, but even though Robert recognized this, apparently there was “no way” to fix it—some order from on high or something. And so we limp on in the communications department as best we can.

Today was an up day for me, but as I think I’ve made clear, this has been a challenging experience for me. It has put me face to face with my limits and discomforts surrounding working in chaos, dealing with all sorts of people, and my anxiety about taking responsibility in an unstructured environment, and my disappointment that I have not found so much satisfaction in my actions, despite my willingness to help the cause. The most rewarding element of this experience has by far been the people I have met, and the pleasure it has been to work with the vast majority of them. It is very invigorating to think that a bunch of strangers from all different (blue) states of the country can come to another state and work together for a common cause. That camaraderie combats the boredom or frustration that often threaten to overwhelm me. And having a beer after a long day while watching Golden Boy debate the butt off the Antichrist doesn’t hurt either!

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