I crossed the line this time. I stepped out of the light and into the dark and became one of them. You have to know I didn’t seek this out, it just sort of happened. It’s only temporary and it most certainly does not change my opinion of them. Besides, I’m not exactly doing what they do.
I suppose this makes me a sort of hypocrite. Well, so be it. It pays ten dollars an hour and Christmas will be here soon enough. Sometimes you just have to do things you never thought you would do to provide for your family. I realize I am justifying right now, but it is justified justification. Shit’s expensive and there are four of them expecting something under the tree.
I should tell you what it is I’m doing so your mind doesn’t completely wander away with thoughts of all things illicit and odd. I can’t believe I’m going to admit to this . . . Okay, here it goes.
Hello. My name is Crystal and I am a telemarketer, of sorts. I’m not like the others. I can stop anytime I want. I can.
I never intended for this to happen. I saw an innocent ad that shouted out to me, ‘Campaign phone staff needed immediately – Compensation $10.00 hourly.’ A strange feeling came over me and I was compelled to pick up the phone and dial the number.
Now anyone who knows me, knows picking up the phone to call someone is totally out of character for me. In the past two days I’ve made more phone calls than I have in the past thirty-six years, and that’s saying something seeing as how I’m only almost twenty-nine-ish-something.
For four hours a day I dial, talk and hang up. Dial, talk and hang up. “Hi, my name is Crystal and I’m volunteering today for blah, blah, blah and we’re calling voters . . . yada, yada, yadda. So can we count on your YES vote on Proposition OH I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M DOING THIS!”
My ‘target’ list, I must say I find it peculiar they call the innocent people on the other end of the line targets. Anyway, my target list is comprised of every registered voter over the age of sixty who live peacefully within the boundaries drawn by the county lines. I am given a gigantic stack of pages with their names, numbers and ages printed neatly in teeny little letters to ensure my eyes as well as my neck and my arms ache – Hey, you’d be surprised how tiring it can be making call after call after call after call after . . . Sorry.
I have mixed emotions throughout the day. I feel bad calling people whom I know I am disturbing and yet I actually do believe the issue we are seeking support for is important. I can’t say a day in the life of . . . of . . . a phone solici – no, a Communications Specialist, isn’t sheer tedium and boredom, but I can say there are brief interludes throughout the day that keep you from throwing the phone against the wall and running far, far away.
I’ve spoken to sweet old ladies, and not so sweet old ladies. I’ve conversed with adorably rambunctious old men and some not so adorable grumpy old men. I know the medical history of approximately twenty percent of the senior citizens in my community and I now know it is especially hard to get to the phone when you are eighty years old and have bunions.
Only three more days.
Crystal R. Cook