Five Things That Phone Banking Has Taught Me

Like many college students looking for a way to get involved this election season, I decided to phone bank. It was an interesting experience, to say the least, but I definitely learned some valuable lessons. Here are five of my biggest takeaways:

1.) Not everyone is going to like you. 

I have always been a people pleaser. Thus, it’s extremely difficult for me to accept that I can’t be liked by everyone, but phone banking has taught me that it’s virtually an impossible task. There are bound to be people that disagree with you or simply do not feel like talking on the phone that day. Although I was yelled at a good number of times, with each time I felt less and less upset. Eventually, I accepted that I can’t please everyone all the time. 

2.) Small acts of kindness really can make someone’s day.

For every time I was yelled at on the phone, I had a positive experience as well. Sometimes it was as simple as someone recognizing that my job was hard and thanking me. These conversations always left me with a smile on my face. It’s easy to forget that the people we interact with have their own struggles, and sometimes simply thanking them for doing their job can go a long way. 

3.) Sometimes it’s impossible to change someone’s beliefs.

 Occasionally I would get someone on the phone who wanted to argue about policy decisions. It was important to recognize which people really could be swayed and which were never going to change their minds, because arguing in circles is not a productive use of anyone’s time. 

4.) There are so many people out there who want to make a positive impact.

Part of my job was learning to recruit new volunteers. To my surprise, many people were eager to volunteer their time and energy to the campaign because it was something about which they felt passionate. It’s easy to look at polling numbers and the number of people that don’t vote and get discouraged, but there are so many people out there who really do care. 

5.) Some things are out of your control. 

No one can control the outcome of the election, as much as we all want to. However, I will feel peace of mind knowing that I did all I can for a cause that I care about.