Sunday, August 08, 2010
More Than 100 Voice Mails
I think I left more than 100 voice mails during my Sunday stint at the Reshma 2010 headquarters earlier today. This past week I have been trying to put extra hours into phone calls. I showed up on Tuesday, I showed up on Saturday.
People on the Upper East Side seem to be like me. They don't pick up the phone. They n-e-v-e-r pick up the phone. But I was trying to imagine it was a new voter each time, and so leaving the same voice mail over and over again is still a unique experience each time, but you can take that only so far before your brain goes numb. And I was trying to have fun with the wording of the voice mail. I think the final version went something like this.
"Hi. My name is Paramendra. I was one of Barack Obama's earliest and strongest supporters in New York City. Today I am calling on behalf of Reshma Saujani. Reshma is running for Congress and you can learn more about her at her website online at reshma2010.com, that would be r-e-s-h-m-a-2-0-1-0-dot-com. I strongly urge you to vote for her on September 14 in the Democratic primary. Like I said, Reshma is running for Congress. She is running against Carolyn Maloney. Carolyn Maloney is like Al Sharpton, Reshma Saujani is like Barack Obama. I think you should vote for someone who is like Barack Obama, and that is Reshma. Thank you."
But at some point I ran out of steam for the day. I guess there is a limit to how many voice mails you can leave in one day, in one sitting. After each hour I would get up and go into a corner and do some push ups. To those who looked at me curiously I said, "Making phone calls is a physical act."
Your mouth runs dry, you drink water. You take your restroom breaks. You take a break to go stare at the wall. That is when I found out there are so many community events scheduled for the month.
I am going to drastically cut down on the phone calls now. I am going to focus more on the digital activism part, and the meeting people in person part. Blogging is the big part of my digital activism, but not the only part. And I am really, really looking forward to meeting people in person. Like really.
I think as we move closer to September 14, there are going to be more and more news articles and blog posts about Reshma and my blogging activity is going to have to keep pace with that.
There is this Upper East Side newspaper called Our Town. They had an article a few days back. I replied to it at my blog, and then posted a link to my reply post in the comments section of that article. I see me doing more of that. I might reach more voters that way than by making phone calls.
So today for my phone calls my point person was Paul. Here's my Paul story. In Kentucky once someone asked me,"Can we call you Paul?"
"No, you can't call me Paul," I replied.
I have been showing up for the Reshma events wearing the red, white and blue Reshma 2010 shirt and the rest black. I think I will stick to that until September 14. But there is a dress nazi inside of me that is itching to wear a few different shirts.