What with the maelstrom that our family has found itself in for the past month, I’ve been hard-pressed to find any time to help out on Darcie Lanthier’s Green campaign here in Charlottetown. But things have calmed down now enough so that when campaign HQ phoned last week looking for volunteers, I was able to sign myself and Oliver up for a stint of data entry this afternoon.
But then Oliver caught a cold, and is in no shape for getting off the couch, let alone doing data entry, so I bus-cycled by myself up to Darcie’s campaign office, on Brackley Point Road near Ellis Bros., just after lunch and offered up my services.
I’ve done a lot of election-related data entry over the years, but of the non-partisan sort. And even then, I was, more often than not, the supervisor of the systems upon which armies of people more talented than I were doing the data entry. So this was my time to experience full-on partisan data entry, and to use someone else’s system to do it with.
The Greens, it turns out, are a technologically-advanced lot, and the system was a lovely vehicle for doing what needed to be done. So much so that my fellow data-enterer and I finished our task quickly, and were looking for something else to do.
“How would you feel about helping out with the telephone canvas?”, I was asked by the friendly campaign team member guiding my way.
Panic set in. Call people!? Strangers?! Me? There’s no way in hell I can do that.
“Sure, I’d be happy to do that,” I squeaked out.
People further down the campaign volunteering rabbit hole than I have told me that the first call you make, or the first door you knock on, is the hardest one. And that was certainly true in my case. I dialed the first number with some trepidation, not knowing what would be on the other end.
To my surprise, I wasn’t yelled at. Indeed it was a rather pleasant call.
So I made another one. And another one.
And after about 15 minutes I was cooking with gas, and actually enjoying myself.
I kept on going until the call-queue ran dry, and packed up and cycled home around 5:00 p.m., feeling energized; on my way out the door I offered to do more over the course of this week, something 1:00 p.m. me would never have imagined 5:00 p.m. me doing.