Thursday, November 13, 2008

data matrix

so what happens when you triple your goal and collect 33,000 plus postcards in a day?

you find yourself in a data matrix. oh. my. god. by the time i get home at night, my eyes are bloodshot and i swear to god i see little white dots everywhere. i can't even think about getting on-line and doing something productive like writing on the slant. right.

it's been quite an amazing week. volunteers start showing up at 9 am and we have a steady stream of them coming through the doors until 9 pm, all of them offering up their data entry skills to help us get the work done. love it. my sweet mom showed up on tuesday, a dozen donuts in hand, and spent the next few hours at the computer for us. and then took a pile of postcards home to shapleigh. she is just the. best. mom. ever.

we've also spent a good part of the week on the telephone, debriefing with volunteers about their collective experiences on Election Day, and most importantly, thanking them for their efforts. the stories have been so moving. here's a few that standout:

in bangor, a big, burly tough-looking military guy dressed in fatigues stopped at the table and wanted to sign a postcard. after he finished, he told our volunteer "I was in Iraq last year, and a gay soldier saved my life. I'm signing this postcard for him."

in fairfield, we ran out of postcards early, and so voters were writing their information on little scraps of paper. when we unloaded the postcards back at the office, there were 25 little pieces of paper tucked inside. love. that.

in south berwick, a young mom just couldn't commit to signing but took a postcard. and stood for a long time staring at the postcard but walked away. 20 minutes later, she came running back, signed card in hand. postcards ran out early in south berwick too, and people literally waited in their cars for 30 minutes until a back-up supply came.

in farmington, i talked with a queer student who was so excited, engaged and empowered by this experience, she's getting a tattoo (seriously) that says:

November 4, 2008
33,000

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alright--gotta get to work.

and M., if you're reading this from the "other" Portland--congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of Aunt-hood. You're gonna love it. And you're gonna be a fabulous auntie M.

4 comments:

MRMacrum said...

"I was in Iraq last year, and a gay soldier saved my life. I'm signing this postcard for him."

Hope is often rewarded in the oddest of ways.

Jenna said...

I have LOTS of stories, one of my favorite is probably the wife who stood, scowling at her husband, arms crossed as he signed after she refused. He didn't care what she though and couldn't understand what the big deal was.

Yeah, postcards were an issue. I, um, had a few more signed than I was given...its good, very, very good.

Dawn on MDI said...

You have no idea what that story about the UMF student does for me. Kudos to you, the crew, and the volunteers.

Jill said...

a hard working man, dressed in carharts approached my table. looked at the card for a long time and said "yeah, i can get behind that". a man he knew (this was sanford) approached and say "dude, you're gonna sign that?" to which the first man replied, "dude, if you DON'T sign this it means you're ignorant".

couldn't agree more.