Saturday, September 02, 2006

Phone Banking is not as fun as Online Banking

In fact, phone banking is not as fun as having major dental work. I phone banked today for the first time and I didn't like it very much, as you may gather. I don't like it when strangers call me on the phone, so why did I volunteer to spend two and a half hours calling strangers on a list? Perhaps I had some sort of grandious idea that I should do this because I can't afford to contribute lots of $$$. Or perhaps I thought this was an ordeal I must go through in order to prove my dedication to the cause. I must have created some kind of fantasy in order to get myself into this situation!

For the most part, I got the answering machine. Or nobody answered. I liked those calls the best. When I got through to people, I had to use a script. The majority of people who actually answered were not happy to hear from me, even though I was trying to use my most pleasant voice. So I got very few actual times to go through the script I was given.

The script made me nervous. I am more of an improvisational actor to begin with. I mostly improvised. There was a canned paragraph that I was supposed to say about the Democratic candidates. I got to it two or three times during the entire morning, and each time I choked on it. Just could not get all those words out as they sounded so fake. So I improvised and condensed it to something along the lines of "hope you'll consider the Democratic candidates this fall."

One woman was 100% sure she was going to vote for Blackwell for gov and absolutely vote for Sherrod Brown for senate -- I was afraid to ask why, so I didn't. I was working from a list of Independents, and most of them were VERY independent, or else right square in the middle of haven't-made-up-my-mind-yet.

I hear the Blackwell campaign is using robo-calling. I wonder if there are any studies as to the effectivness of robo-calling vs live calling? I can tell you the physical effect it has upon me -- my heart thumped wildly every time somebody answered the phone. After every call, no matter the outcome, I let out an audible exhale, a release of the internal stress building up. I will have to do some research and reflection on this matter of phone banking before I decide whether to continue.

No comments: