Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Working Man Blues


I watched Bob sell memberships tonight. He's really good at it, but I can't tell if it's his commitment to The Cause, or if it's just the sort of thing that people like him do well. He told me about what things to say and how to word them, not based on how true they were but on how the people on the other side of the door would react to them. It's a good cause in theory--peace, no new nukes, all that--but when you start telling an old woman in a nightgown in Logan Square who doesn't speak that English that we're basically like the Church, I have to question the ethics behind this thing. And yeah, that really happened.

I'm not sure what part of me thought I would be okay doing this sort of thing. I'm cold the way I was when I worked in the freezer at Meijer, only now there's no break from it. I'm begging people, scamming people, and begging people again for money, and meeting quotas like I did when I sold Preferred Reader cards at Waldenbooks (I was one of Those Manager Types by the time we sold the same things at BN), and I was very, very relieved when I didn't have to worry about any of those things anymore. Only now I have to worry about all of those things at once, and they're magnified.

And I wonder about how much it does, as a cause. We're raising money for lobbyists in Washington, but part of what we're raising (and it's a pretty hefty part) goes to paying us to be out there raising the money. So I wonder if I'm really doing anything worth while by working for these folks, or if I'm just inserting myself into the money game that is American politics. Plus, they're a bunch of hippies who actually think Kucinich would make a good President. I mean, I mostly like Kucinich. I'm really glad he's a Congressman, and I'm really glad he's running for President and sticking with it. But, um, the dude would not be a very good President. And he's kind of crazy, too. The Grandfather Time business? Yeah.

Anyway. Let's wrap this up, right? Maybe I'm just too quesy, maybe I'm too naive, but I really don't like asking people for money. Especially when I honestly don't think they can spare it, in spite of the fact that I think it's a good cause, but oh-wait-a-minute, maybe not, because I'm not sure if it makes a difference anyway.


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