Thursday, February 14, 2013

People fatigue

Instead of writing a post about today's Hallmark holiday, here are my thoughts in a nutshell:

So we'll move onto work. Now, I love working for an advocacy organization. Mental health is not a sexy cause, even though 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 kids has a mental illness, and I'm happy to advocate on behalf of the underdog. (And here is a special shout-out for all of my friends who have donated to our upcoming walk - thank you! And a link if you want to learn more and do so. Ta-da.)

I'm also pretty organized. You combine the willingness to ask for funds, a big mouth, and being a Virgo, and presto! You become the events person.

Somehow, I am working in some capacity on each of this year's five events. My brain is fried. I have made more than 160 legislative appointments in the past four days. I don't even know how I am writing this post, except that I want to bitch about politicians.

I can now safely say, even on the local level, once a politician, always a politician. Even if they haven't been elected yet. I'd like to know, are these guys (and gals) just born bullshitters? Are they all totally full of themselves?

Today, I get a call and the first thing the guy says, after he says, "This is so-and-so," is, "Google me."

What I wanted to say: "WAT? Excuse me. I am not at the beck and fucking call of some random guy, and by the way, are you a porn star? What exactly am I going to find if I Google you, and why the hell should I?"

What I said instead: "So-and-so, what exactly can I do for you?"

It turns out this guy wanted to sign up for our upcoming lobby day and guess what? He lost a legislative race in the last election. He wanted me to Google him so I knew who he was. Then he proceeded to go on and on about tax reform, guns, etc. AND he wanted an appointment with the opponent he lost to last fall.

I had to let him know politely but firmly that our lobby day was actually going to be about advocating for a bill we're introducing that would help fund housing around the state.

"Oh, of course," he said, and proceeded to tell me all about how he was "colleagues" with his opponent before he lost, and how he got the guy a card when his wife had cancer, and...

I am not making this up.

I finally cut him off. He called back later, got one of my volunteers on the phone - ostensibly to join our organization - and went on about... tax reform. And oh, yes, he might not make it to the appointments on our lobby day.

Twenty minutes of my life that I will NEVER get back.

Then I am exchanging emails with someone from a state representative's office. I give her the names and hometowns of the constituents.

She writes, "Just so you know, that city is not in our district."

Now, I run everyone's address and ZIP through the legislative website. I have a moment of abject panic, double-check again, and guess what? The site says that person is indeed their legislator.

I call the rep's office.

She says, "Oh, we do have a few people from that city in our district."

Thank you for making me sweat through my clothes with anxiety for no reason.

On a more humorous note, I made an appointment with the senate leader for one of our members. Then my boss decided to go. This senator, who has an amazing amount of local power but no people skills, has actually yelled at many people, my boss included, in the past. Astoundingly, after my boss decided to go to the appointment, the senator decided to send a staff person in his place because he could no longer make it.

I get another call from someone who is trying to register a week late and tells me I need to go out of my way to get him in.

Then he says, "I'm not really excited about this."

I might as well go out of my way for you then, shouldn't I?

Some people have winter fatigue. I have people fatigue. Particularly political people fatigue. Say that five times fast.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Your job would make me pull out my hair in huge clumps from frustration!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

This kind of work with these kinds of people would turn me into an alcoholic!!! OY VEY! How do you do it, my dear?

I love the whole idea of the run and why you are doing it---Count me in!

Birdie said...

I generally don't like people. And for some asshat (I don't use that word often) that wants you too "Google him" needs his ass kicked down a long flight of stairs.


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Happy Valentines Day!

Lynn said...

I'd want to smack those people in the head! Sounds as if you handled them beautifully.

Betty Manousos said...

i second lynn's comment.
i do admire's hard to deal with/handle people like this.

Charles Gramlich said...

It's good that there are folks such as yourself who can handle tasks like this. I would be a total frazzle and probably would have gone off on a drunk somewhere.

Shionge said...

I think you have more patience than me heheheh......

Rock Chef said...

Ah, politicians - gotta love them, eh? :-)

Cheryl said...

I agree with Debra She Who Seeks, if I had to do your job, I'd lose what is left of my mind. Most of my extended family works for the government. While they aren't politicians, they have to work with politicians. Full of themselves is such an apt description.

The Elephant's Child said...

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you will get a politician. Which on bad days fries both of my remaining brain cells.
I love what you are doing, and admire your tenacity. I am pretty certain I would fall to the floor, foaming at the mouth and bite the carpet after a morning in your shoes. You rock.

Riot Kitty said...

You all crack me up! Thanks for the nice words, and thanks for the donation, Naomi!

Riot Kitty said...

PS Birdie, how do you make those awesome pics?

LL Cool Joe said...

Wow I admire you, in more ways than one.;)

LL Cool Joe said...

Btw I donated but I screwed up I thought it was going to be pounds and it ended up in dollars. Sorry I was being a bit dense. It is early here!

Granny Annie said...

Liked this:)

Riot Kitty said...

Thank you Joey! On both!
And GA, I appreciate the typing, please don't hurt yourself while this flares up :(

DWei said...

Glad to see more people advocating for mental health.

And thank you for reminding me one more reason to avoid politics.

Ileana said...

So crazy and I don't know how you do it time and time again, and I do admire you for working in the field and dealing effectively with these idiots for the sake of a great cause.

Btw, the more people I get to know on a personal level, the more I love my dogs.

Riot Kitty said...

DW: Cheers!
Ily: Most of the time I love it, and when I don't, I can usually see the humor in it. But I do prefer my cats to most people, too.

Darth Weasel said...

not much funny to say, but I do have a question perhaps you could educate us further...yes, a serious informationrequest..

1 in 4 seems like a staggeringly high number. I am curious what all is included in that and how it is figured.

And knowing writing can be hard to interpret...that is not meant to be snide, doubting, or any other negative is plain old good fashioned curiosity.

Riot Kitty said...

Darth: A good question. That number comes from the National Institute of Mental Health, and includes everything from mild depression to severe and persistent mental illness. It is very high, but the stigma is such that it doesn't get the time of day that other illnesses do.

Here's a link to some info:

A Beer For The Shower said...

I do not envy your job.

Also, I wonder if that works on women. "Hey beautiful, I'm Steve. GOOGLE ME."

Anonymous said...

Forget people! Go hug a kitten or even better feed a squirrel. We will help you re-charge.

G. B. Miller said...

Annnnnnnd....welcome to my personal hell. Please don't stay to visit and keep your hands, feet, and any other body part that you value inside the car at all times.

Oh yeah, please fasten your safety belt, 'cause you know, the amount of mental midgets you encounter will make you want jump out and bitch slap the person into the next time continuum. And the last thing we want is you to get sick by touching one of "them".

On a more serious note, if those numbnuts that we wasted our votes on to put their seriously fat asses in the office of the choice would channel their hypocritical outrage towards the mental health system instead of towards creating more gun control laws that will absolutely not solve the problem at hand, I think our country would be in a slightly better place.

Riot Kitty said...

ABFTS: Funny thing is...his first name really was Steve! I love the job most of the time, it just has its interesting moments.
LG: Good idea ;)
GB: I must use "mental midgets" in a sentence sometime soon! I think that more investment in the mh system would be a very good thing.