Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just another field canvasser.

Well, that's that.

Went out on review at CAC. What this means is that I had to make my weekly quota three weeks in a row, or else... y'know. that's that. For all that our job description covers motivating each other and the contacts at the door and generating letters and phone calls and all sorts of important things, because the fundraising is the only thing we can quantify... really, the fundraising is the only goal that can make or break you as a canvasser. It's hard to escape the impression that it's the only thing which matters, but we always try.

Hard to see it just now. But you know. That's now. For the past two days, all anybody has been looking at are the numbers, if only in the desperate hope that the numbers would be good enough to give them an excuse to retain me. Canvassers have many jobs, many responsibilities, and they all matter to the organization, to our campaigns, and to the people of Indiana. Really, though, the only one of those that affects us personally is our fundraising. So it's hard to see those other things, sometimes. Like now. But y'know. That's now.

Honestly, I think other people will mind more than I mind, at least right this second. I'm not used to thinking of myself as the popular girl, but I guess at CAC I was. I just tried to make people laugh. Old survival strategy: make them laugh and they won't hate you for being smart or pretty or... or whatever it is you are. So I tried to make them laugh. I guess it worked.

It'll hit the new people hardest. They haven't seen people come and go like I have, and like the people have who've been there even longer than any of the field canvassers. The newer people will miss me. I give everybody else a week, maybe.

The office is the same, no matter who's in it. I didn't change it when I came, and it won't become something else because I'm not there. That's how it is when you have a lot of people moving in and out. Nobody gets a foothold, makes a change, fills a space that will leave a gap when they're gone.

I feel bad for my canvass director who had to do it, though we both knew I'm just sick to death of doing what I've been doing. I needed a change, and whether that was finding a way to get promoted or shifted elsewhere or simply leaving... it was going to happen, or I was going to make it happen. So I'm not jarred or shocked or anything.

But then, maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. Up until yesterday, there was actually a damn good chance I'd still be going back on Monday. But that was up until yesterday. I went to staff night for the first time in months yesterday, and I think it was largely to say goodbye (even if they won't realize this until sometime next week). I came, I sang, I rocked out, I reminded them that we're awesome together, and now I'm out.

The people who notice I'm gone will feel it at first, but it's like every time a move happens, or people graduate, or switch jobs. It hurts at first, because you're pre-emptively missing that person or that group of friends. When the time comes for the actual "missing them" bit, it never quite lives up to expectations.

When you graduate, you promise your friends you'll stay in touch. I made those promises too, because to do otherwise was to hurt the feelings of the people who just didn't understand yet that the parting ritual is hollow. We don't really mean we'll stay in touch. We don't really mean we'll always be friends. What we mean is that we're friends now, and we're sorry that that is ending (if not forever, then at least for now).

It's like every time I moved as a kid. I'm the one who's leaving, I'm the one who's losing, and yet I'm the one who has to comfort everybody else. I'm the one who has to repeat over and over again how all right I'm going to be and yes of course let's stay in touch and definitely we'll hang out. I say it, because if I don't go through the parting ritual they'll think I never liked them and never valued them. They say it because if they're afraid if they don't go through the ritualistic assurances, I'll think that our friendship never mattered.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who sees it, or if we're both just going through the motions so that each of us knows that the other--at the end--at least cared enough to lie.

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