In the end, I decided to order another basket of biscuits, suck it up, and report to work the next morning and I AM SO HAPPY I DID! Not only did I get the once in a lifetime experience of being part of the largest field organization in the country, but also got to work alongside of the most amazing group of people! Oh yeah, AND THE RACE WAS CALLED AND WE FLIPPED THE SEAT!
And, oh yeah again: We flipped the whole damn house, reinstated voting rights for Florida felons, and sent a whole crop of women and people of color to Washington! So much extra!!
Sure there were disappointments – Beto lost to a sentient scabies outbreak, Georgia doubled down on its bid to be the biggest banana republic of 2018, and Florida
was is always a shit show – but on the whole it was an amazing week!
And I am so happy to have had a front row seat to the what ended up being a monumental effort! For those curious about what exactly I did as a field organizer for a congressional campaign, I would say the job has 4 main aspects:
1. Being everybody’s mom
Of every job I’ve ever had, nothing prepared me more for this job than momming. “What should I do?” “How do it work?” “Where does this go?” “Do I have to?” “Why?????” The volunteers always had so many questions! And people actually thought I had the answers? Did they not know about the whole “Red Lobster” breakdown? I don’t know what I’m doing here people!! Please act accordingly!
2. Rolling with the capricious whims of fate
This wasn’t really highlighted in the job description, but holy hell, there’s nothing like making a plan on Tuesday to have 1,300 clipboards prepped for Saturday, only to find out the required materials won’t be here until Friday! At like 4pm! Happy fun times!
After a few weeks of plan, thwart, panic, repeat, we re-branded Fridays “Flexible Fridays” in an attempt to turn it from soul-killing dread into a joyful game of spontaneity! What would derail us this week? Would the Dem party not approve scripts until the last minute? Would there be a typo on literature? Would a printer break down, so we could only do 20 clipboards an hour, even though we need 2200 by tomorrow? Would we leave the office at 8pm? 10pm? 1am? Who knoooooooows? It’s Flexible Friday!
3. Talking, talking, talking, talking
Little secret: As an introvert who has successfully learned to mimic the persona of an extrovert, I get jobs that extroverts get even tho talking to people stresses me out. I especially loathe talking on the phone (I literally call my mom about every 3 weeks in order to minimize phone talking). So naturally, that is basically all I did. 3 hours of volunteer recruitment? Check. 5 hours of calling undecideds? Check. An entire damn day of talking field volunteers off the cliff of “people are sick of this election, am I wasting my time canvassing?” CHECK CHECK CHECK. The first thing I did when I got home was changed my ringtone so I would never hear that horrifying sound again!
4. Meeting the most amazing people
I met all of the people, and they were all awesome! Not only was everyone I worked with so generous, competent, and inspiring, but also everyone I met while out stumping for my candidate was great! It’s easy to feel like the shitty way we relate to each other on social media is the only reality, but out in the field I had such amazing convos with people who weren’t obvious supporters for our candidate. Only one guy out of the several hundred doors I knocked on was a complete asshole, the rest proved that the way we (and Beto, and Stacey Abrams, and Mike Levin, and so on) reached out in person with our message is the way forward in the future!
Here are some additional midterm fun facts:
Thank you to everyone who knocked, called, wrote, and nagged to get out the vote for this election! I know you did it (even though you wouldn’t tell me so I could add it to my infographic), and it made a HUGE DIFFERENCE! So pat yourselves on the back, drink some adult beverages, and briefly rest on your laurels, because 2020 is just around the corner!! Soon it will be time to do this all over again!!!!
I know! I can’t wait either!!! ‘Til next time . . .