After work on Monday, I went to a local Obama campaign office to phone bank voters in Ohio. I was in no mood to do more work after work, and had Should I go? Should I go? Should I go? on replay in the back of my mind all day.
Reader, I went. Could you imagine if I didn’t go and Romney ended up winning Ohio? My conscience (which is all I have) would be in shambles.
Midway through the Welcome-to-the-Computerized-Phone-Calling-System presentation, the guy sitting in front of me, who had already been acting up for awhile, answered his ringing phone and loudly caught up with his caller. He looked pissed and surprised when another trainee looked, pissed and surprised, his way. The rattled trainer sighed and continued presenting. When the guy got off the phone, he barely paid attention to the rest of the demo because why would he want to do that in lieu of making menacing faces at the woman who’d made a face at him?
The Republicans wouldn’t let an unmistakable liability like this lay a hand on a phone connected to their campaign’s computerized system (to call registered voters in a crucial battleground state on the eve of a neck-and-neck presidential election?) and wouldn’t care whose feelings got hurt. Here, no one kindly but firmly sent this guy off, assuring him that the polls would open at 6 a.m. and the machinery looks forward to tabulating his vote.
Training concluded, the computerized system temporarily shut down, and we were told to sit tight. The only snacks I saw were a box of Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins, a bag of stale bagels, and an open container of a spread that may or may not have been hummus. At least one phone-banker, and you know who I’m talking about, may or may not have swept at least one finger through it.
The joint was packed. After an hourlong wait, when it was clear they wouldn’t be ready for me to start making calls anytime soon, if at all, I’d had enough. My time is dear to me – it’s all I have. (Or was that the conscience? I have 2 things – my conscience and my time.) I excused myself (pretending to take an urgent personal call, although the phone I held hadn’t rang, beeped, or vibrated), disappeared through the first set of open elevator doors, and made it home in time for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season premiere. But the most beautiful thing I've seen on TV all week came last night at 1 a.m. and took the form of four words: Mitt Romney Concession Speech.
Mitt could use a munchkin. Who couldn’t?