When I get a call from a telephone solicitor, I can’t help feeling sympathetic. What a difficult job it must be to get hung up on hundreds of times in a shift. I picture the caller in a cramped space, surrounded by a cacophony of voices, never shedding her worries about making the rent.
About 8:30 p.m. Monday, a pleasant-voiced woman called. I suspect she wasn’t a loyal volunteer from Idaho by the way she stumbled over the name of Gov. Butch Otter’s campaign treasurer, Cordell Chigbrow. My guess: Florida.
She told me how Otter’s conservative fiscal policies had put Idaho in better economic shape than the rest of the country and asked for $75 to support his re-election.
“A little bit from everyone goes a long way,” she said.
Misunderstanding her, I thought she said I’d already contributed and was soliciting an additional gift. When I asked if she had me down as a patron of the campaign, she said, “No, not yet.”
Then I told her I couldn’t contribute because of my job.
“Oh really?” she replied, sounding genuinely interested. “What is it that you do?”
“I work for the Statesman and actually am covering the campaign,” I answered.
“OK,” she said. “That’s no problem. OK, I will let you go. Have a great day.”
Before she rang off — and I gotta love her for this — she completed the call with a rapid-fire recitation of the script’s disclosure statement: “This call has been paid for by Otter for Idaho, Cordell Chigbrow, treasurer. Please visit us on the web at otter4idaho.com. Have a great day. Bye.”
In 90 seconds, it was over and I was left feeling melancholy. So, to all the people in boiler rooms across the country just trying to make a living, I salute you. May you exceed your quota.