No Soliciting

Also known as Canvassing: Part 2.

私の仕事は大変だよ…;私の仕事は何?日本語で、言葉はないと思う…「canvass」という事だけど、そんな事は本当にアメリカ的だと思う。仕事は知らない人の家に行って、「boundary watersを守ってみていますよ!boundary watersの近くに、危ない鉱山はあるから…鉱毒のリスクはあるから…お金をあげてくれない?」みたいな事を言って、知らない人のお金で鉱毒をやめてみている仕事だ。毎日5時間色々な近所で歩かなくちゃ、水を飲まないで、トイレもないから、家へ帰る時にマジで疲れているよ。この仕事あまり好きじゃないけど、人は面白くて、給料はよくて、私はそのboundary watersの場所が本当に好きだから、出来るかもしれないね。


Let me tell you about canvassing. It’s one of those jobs you warn other people about. Yet at the same time, you gain a lot from it. You learn to be pushy, nosy, and you just learn a lot about people in general. You learn things in the office about the world at large, things that make you feel smart for knowing. Your coworkers are great too. You all agree on big issues; otherwise I’m sure you’d quit within the first ten minutes. Why else would you spend several hours training, then five hours out in suburbia without bathrooms or water?

Let’s talk about a few experiences out there. I go door to door for five hours a day telling people that sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters is bad. Which is definitely true. So, a lot of people agree. Those who don’t either have no interest in solicitors, or they think Northern Minnesota could really use some jobs. Also true, but not to the point where it’s worth sacrificing such a beautiful ecosystem.

Politics aside, here’s a couple things that made me glad I chose this job:

On the first day we went to one woman’s house. She loved our t-shirts, screen printed with our organization’s logo. She loved our cause and wished she could donate, but she was retired and running low on money. So what can she do? She can give us cookies! They were delicious. My field manager that day was in heaven as he ate them.

It was the second day, I believe, when I went to a house where the screen door was open. I wasn’t trying to peek in. The people inside were right in the hallway. It was a father playing in a box fort with his two sons. I really wanted to make a box fort! Don’t you remember when you used to crack open that huge appliance’s packaging and turn it into an extravagant house? What’s more, the guy donated and listened politely. A very cool dad!

I was giving the little speech to this one guy who was interested in our cause. The radio is on in the background as I’m doing that. Right as I get to the main point, that classic environmentalist song comes on: “They Paved Paradise”. Of course I tell the guy, “This is a sign! You have to help us out!” It didn’t work. He was one of those people who don’t give at the door. Ah well, he was a nice guy too.

I met a guy who used to race sled dogs up near the Gunflint Trail. That’s just pretty damn badass.

And of course there are risks. Risks like this: my coworker got bitten by a cat. The way he told it was great and included sound effects, including a rabid meow. You’ll just have to take my rendition. He was going up to this door, and a cat blocked his path. He wanted to avoid being attacked by the thing, so he let it sniff his fingers. It seemed friendly and was rubbing on his legs. Satisfied, he went up to the door to ring the bell. That was when the cat takes a leap at him and chomps down on his pinky. A really nasty bite. The cat owners weren’t home, so he goes to the next house. By the time those people open the door, his finger is bleeding. Of course the homeowner is staring at him with wide eyes. His speech went like this: “Hi! I’m with the Sierra Club, the country’s oldest grassroots organization. But uh, do you have a bandage?”

He wasn’t at work Friday. I hope he didn’t get rabies.


~ by megumiwasframed on May 22, 2010.

2 Responses to “No Soliciting”

  1. All jobs teach people something regardless if it’s bad or good I believe. But everyone has that job they warn others about.

  2. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell. I’d rather be told I sound like her than Lumidee. :P

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