Can You Please Delay Democracy?

, , , , | Working | October 9, 2017

(I am hiring people to do a single day of work handing out literature at polling places on election day. I get this question from roughly 20% of people who applied.)

Applicant: “I’m not able to work on election day; could I possibly be scheduled for a later date?”

Putting The List Into Listening

, , , , , , | Working | June 9, 2017

(Everyone in our office has a daily quota of calls we need to make. Because we are often very busy with other tasks, if one of us is falling behind that day others who are less busy will help each other reach their quota.)

Supervisor: *recently promoted* “Hey, [Coworker] is behind on her calls and is helping some volunteers right now. I need you to help with her calls.”

Me: “I actually spoke with her 20 minutes ago and am helping with her list right now.”

Supervisor: “Whatever you are working on isn’t a priority right now. You already finished your calls today and she needs help.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m doing that. This is her list I’m calling through right now.”

Supervisor: “I didn’t ask for excuses. Go get a list from [Coworker] and help her out. End of discussion!”

(That supervisor oversaw three different offices and interestingly enough whichever one she was physically in at the time always ended up with the worst production that day.)

Pandering To The Gerrymandering

| Denver, CO, USA | Right | February 21, 2017

(I am a volunteer going door to door for the re-election campaign for a local city councilwoman. This is the first election since the district lines have been redrawn and the neighborhood I am in was moved from another district.)

Me: “Hi, I’m with [District One Councilwoman]’s re-election campaign and I was wondering if she could count on your support in the upcoming election.”

Voter: “Sorry, I’m supporting [District Two Councilman]. I think he has been doing a good job.’

Me: “Oh, well, just so you know the districts have moved and you are now in [District One Councilwoman]’s district. They have worked really well together over the years and [District Two Councilman] has endorsed her re-election campaign.”

Voter: “But why am I not in his district anymore? Can you move it back?”

Me: “Um… that really isn’t something I’m in charge of.”

Voter: “Well, you should really think about moving it back.”

Me: “All right… Can we count on your support still?”

Voter: “Hmm, you know, I think I’ll write in [District Two Councilman]’s name so he can be my council person again.”

Me: “That isn’t really how it works, sir. Even if he somehow got the most votes in this district he is running in a different one, and isn’t qualified to represent this district because he lives in district two now.”

Voter: “No, I think it’s a good idea. Even if he doesn’t win he will get the message and move the districts back. Thanks for letting me know I have to write it in!”

(The door shut before I could say anything else.)

A Vote Of No Confidence

| Tempe, AZ, USA | Right | June 21, 2016

(I’m volunteering on Election Day for a local campaign in May of 2012. With the presidential election happening in November most people are completely unaware that this election is happening earlier in the year.)

Me: “Hello, sir, I’m calling with [Candidate] for Mayor, to make sure that you—”

Voter: “D*** it! I’m so sick of these political calls!”

Me: “I apologize, sir, we just—”

Voter: “People already know how they are going to vote! What is the point of these?! If I get one more call then I’m not going to vote for [Candidate].”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry sir. We will make sure you don’t get called again. We just wanted to make sure you had a chance to vote today.”

Voter: “Good! Wait… the election is today?! Um… do you know where my polling place is?”

The Vote Is In: He’s An Idiot

| AZ, USA | Right | September 28, 2015

(I am volunteering for a local political campaign and calling a list of voters whose ballots have not yet been returned.)

Man: “Hello? Who is this number?”

Me: “Hello, I’m a volunteer for [Political Campaign], and-

Man: “Oh, no! Now just HOLD ON A SECOND. YOU PEOPLE DON’T TELL ME HOW TO VOTE!”

Me: “Sir—”

Man: “You think you can call people and tell them how to vote, but that’s none of your business—”

Me: *interrupting* “Sir, I don’t think you understand the purpose of these calls.”

Man: “Excuse me? I don’t understand? I’m 60 years old and I don’t need some little girl telling me how politics work or how to vote!”

Me: “We are not calling to tell people how they should vote. We are contacting people who are listed as not returning their ballots—”

Man: “So you can tell them how to fill them out!”

Me: “—so we can make sure that they actually received them, as that would be a problem if they had not. If they have received their ballot, we remind them that they must be mailed by Thursday, two days from now, in order to be counted in time, or let them know that they can be dropped off at their local polling station. If they do not know where their polling station is we can give them the address, and if they do not have means of transportation to get to their polling station we can arrange for a ride. Then we have a few optional questions for polling purposes.”

Man: “WHAT!? You Democrats admit to bringing people to polling stations! That’s election fraud! You just admitted it!”

Me: “Well, sir, I don’t see how it could be election fraud if they’re registered voters. Even people without a car or the means to afford one have voting rights.”

Man: “I- I KNOW THAT! I’ve been voting for 60 years!”

Me: “42.”

Man: “EXCUSE ME?”

Me: “The legal voting age is 18. If you’re 60 years old, you could have only been voting for the past 42 years.”

Man: “…”

Me: “So, have you received your ballot?”

Man: “That’s NONE of your business! You shouldn’t be asking people personal questions about politics!”

Me: “Very well, sir, participation in the voting and polling process is completely optional. Have a nice day.”

Man: “And I’m a Republican anyway, so you wouldn’t want my ballot!”

Me: *patience slipping a little* “Sir, we would still be happy to assist you in registering your vote or reaching the polling station if you required it. Preventing people from voting is not our party agenda.”

Man: “…Well, um, where the hell is it I’m supposed to go on Thursday, then?”

Me: “According to your listed district, your polling station is at [Address]. And the election is next Tuesday, not this Thursday. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Man: “NO! I KNEW THAT!” *hangs up*

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