I Volunteered for the GOP, and You Can Too

  • When I decided to volunteer at my local MAGA phone bank, I knew I—and whoever had to help me—would have our work cut out for us.

    Some background information when it comes to me and technology:

    • I have never operated a switchboard.
    • I can’t even use a phone with more than one line without hanging up on someone.
    • I played Pong when it was new, and my gaming experience ended at PAC-MAN.
    • I used to use a Commodore Vic-20 computer.
    • Someone once gave me a beeper, and I had no idea what it was.
    • Aside from using it as a calculator or a notepad, I rarely use my cellphone.

    My point is that I am not tech wizard, and if I can be taught how to become a part of a phone bank, so can anyone.

    When I arrived at my local GOP headquarters I had no idea what to expect. I was greeted by friendly and enthusiastic young volunteer staff who were eager to get us started. While I had a mental image of something more like the old Jerry Lewis telethon setup, their vision, thankfully, was more modern. They set those of us who needed help up with a cell phone dialer app on our phones that did the work for us.

    This app is a marvel of technology, as it handled nearly the entire process for us, from pulling up names and numbers to delivering the script to automatically leaving a message from Dean Heller on voicemail when a caller didn’t answer.

    There are different badges you can earn based upon your achievement level. The first level is Connector, and that is for 25+ calls. I made it to the second level, which is Patriot, or 100+ calls. The highest level, Eagle, is for those truly dedicated MAGA supporters who have made 5,000+ calls. One of the volunteers I met had the TouchDown badge, or 1,500+ calls. A truly impressive achievement.

    One of the best things about this cell phone dialer app is you can continue using it even after you’ve left GOP headquarters. It’s designed so anytime you have a minute you can make calls. It updates every day so you’ll have the script, list, and information you need.

    Even for someone who is seriously technologically challenged, like I am, it only took me a few tries to get the hang of the app, and I feel confident now that I have mastered it sufficiently to continue making calls on my own.

    The one major flaw in this system is when it was developed the technological aspect was obviously thoroughly considered, but the actual human usage aspect was not. Out of the 100 calls I made, only one person who was not a wrong number picked up. They definitely need to strategize about how to improve user engagement.

    Aside from not making much progress with the callers, my volunteer experience was an overwhelmingly positive one. I met some really nice people and we were all treated to pizza, plus I was invited back for tonight's debate watching party. Please consider volunteering some of your time to your local MAGA candidates between now and the midterm elections. It’s a great way to do your part for your country, and it’s also a lot of fun!

    I can see how kids get addicted to this. Unlocking achievements is addicting! In fact, I was the last volunteer to leave because I wouldn't stop until I achieved my desired level. 

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