04 June 2008

New summer job

It's been a busy two weeks. I finally got a job, and it's a good thing too. The temp agencies that I had left my resume with probably never would've gotten back to me, and some of the other places I sent it to probably wouldn't either (how many students are there in Chicago looking for summer work?).

So what job is it?

I'm working as a canvasser for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. representing the Democratic National Committee.

I hate political parties, normally. Well, lemme rephrase, I hate the polarization that our two-party system has created in this country, especially in recent times thanks to quintessential douchebag Karl Rove.

But still, this election is too important to leave to chance...and I need the money. They gave me an interview and sent me out with a canvassing team to evaluate me and today I'm supposed to go out by myself canvassing and if I raise something like $100 then I'm automatically on staff.

So no waiting, that's good. I only have 8 weeks to work anyway, and I need to make the most of it. I move back to Carbondale in August.

Plus, this beats working some lame office job (I've done enough of those anyway), because I'm actually getting PAID to talk to people about politics!!! w00t!

I do have a script that I'm supposed to follow, though they explained to me that it's fine to personalize what I say to people, just so long as I stay "on the outskirts of the script."

Anyway, I'm a little apprehensive because on Monday, my "observation day," one of the team members I went with got a gun pulled on her when she knocked on someone's door. I wasn't with her, but she was freaked out, understandably. I realize that this doesn't happen often, and that it probably shouldn't have happened (we were in Evanston for pity's sake!). But still, it's a little scary to think about.

Anyway, I'll be campaigning for the Democrats this year. I usually support the dems anyway, but I've never worked for them. It's kind of weird, to be honest. The people are awesome, they're very energetic and enthusiastic, full of idealism. And it shows, sometimes in awkward ways. I've heard more than a few crazy ideas around that office, lemme tell ya. But the staff is young, on average I'd say about 5-8 years younger than me. The gap might not seem very large, but that 5-8 years means I remember more of what the Dems did when they were in power. I remember a lot of the things Clinton did pissed me off, and when I met Dick Durbin two years ago in Carbondale he pissed me off too with his lame answer to my question about why Dems weren't confronting the Bush Administration's denialism on global climate change (he claimed that nothing would get done by people in Washington, that change had to come from the people, starting at the local level, the grassroots. To which I reminded him that he was in Washington, and the way we little people change things is by changing the people in Washington. He seemed non-plussed by my response, but it's his own damn fault.)

Anyway, this should be an interesting job to say the least. I may even grow to like it. I just don't want to be one the sidelines this year. As much as I respect John McCain, a lot has happened since the 2000 election. I can't stand with him on foreign policy, much less domestic. I'm not totally happy with Barack's stated positions either, but he seems to have a much better grasp of the nuance of different situations. Plus, he talks to people like adults, unlike the Republican spin machine which only tells people who to hate and why, the truth be damned. So that's why I took this job.

Oh, and I need the money too. :P

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