Ninety percent of volunteering is just showing up. Even when that means rolling out of bed at 5:30am on a weekend and freezing your butt off while planting yard signs in a dress.
The past few days in the office have been basic behind-the-scenes stuff that has to be done: phone calls, data entry, etc. Important, yes, but it doesn't exactly make for a thrilling blog post. ;)
Though I did help out at the College Democrats event at UNC on Thursday night, and that was fantastic. I just want to comment for a moment not only on the 100+ students who took time to come hear a political candidate speak, but on all the kids who are volunteering or working with the campaign. I really honor their spirit, their energy, and their passion. When I was in college, I couldn't have cared less about politics. So I have admire them for stepping up and getting involved here.
UNC's event was only scheduled to go for an hour; the students had so many questions that it went for almost twice that. Here's its write-up in the Daily Tar Heel.
Afterward, a group of volunteers gathered at the WB Yeats, but by the time I got back to my car I was really cold -- the event was in Gardner Hall and I was parked over by the News Services building, near the Newman Center (Pittsboro St., across from the Carolina Inn). It was as close as I could get, thanks to an event going on in Memorial Hall. Ahhh, the "joys" of trying to find on-campus parking. *eyeroll*
So feeling rather like an icicle, I opted for going home. So much for me being a party animal. ;)
Friday was a quiet morning of data entry in the office, but 5:30am Saturday rolled around all too quickly. I can't recall the last time I willingly got out of bed before sunrise. I note that when the alarm went off, I saw that I must've already hit "snooze" once and not even remembered it. I groaned, crawled out of bed and into the shower, got dressed, put my face on, and got my caffeine delivery method of choice (iced tea) brewing.
My ride showed up around 6:10am; I brushed my teeth and my hair -- miraculously applied the correct brush to each given the hour of the day and my state of wakefulnes, grabbed my camera, iPod, drink, purse, and coat, and we were off. We met up with the rest of Team Neal at the Bruegger's in Chapel Hill for a quick bite to eat, a review of the game plan, then we got on the road for Hamlet.
Mind you, I'm biased, but I think ours was one of the the most organized groups, if not THE most organized group, down there. Only lieutenant governor candidate Hampton Dellinger's people were in Hamlet before we were, planting signs.
By 8:45am Saturday morning this was what our table at the Richmond Community College looked like:
We were open for business and ready to go! We had several people stop by our table and tell us that they would have gotten lost on the way to the event, if not for our signs, and that for that reason alone we had their vote. ;)
We had prime placement, too. Our table was right by the door, so we were the first thing people saw as they came in. Of course, we also got a blast of cold air every time the door opened, too...
We were beside the Roy Carter folks, and they were as nice as they could be. I live in David Price's district, but I did say I'd tell folks about the Democracy for America website where you can vote for Carter. Until the Carter people arrived, we were table-neighbors with the Dan Besse team, who were also a friendly bunch.
Across from us was Bev Perdue's table; they had great placement as far as signs -- they were able to lean a couple against the glass so people could see 'em as they walked up -- but they were just as cold as us whenever the door opened.
And I got to meet fellow BlueNCer lcloud! *waves* It was great to put a real, live person with the online name.
As I said before, I'm more of an introvert by nature, so I primarily stayed behind the table; we had other folks (younger, more outgoing, more photogenic) who are good at mixing and mingling who were wandering around handing out stickers and pointing people to the table where they could sign up for the mailing list, get a bumper sticker or yard sign, etc.
Lunch was fantastic: eastern NC bbq, fried chicken, hush puppies.
While we were variously staffing the table, planting yard signs, handing out stickers, or attending breakout sessions, our candidate was likewise mixing and mingling. Something -- or someone, rather -- was missing. We looked and looked, but there was no Kay Hagan.
Finally, after lunch, just before the 1pm session, she arrived, with a small amount of promotional material. All the Senatorial candidates spoke briefly to the assembled group, though I thought our guy sounded the best, by far.
After all the candidates spoke, we cleaned up our table, made sure there were signs by the Hamlet Depot for the reception later, and took our tired selves back to the Triangle.