In my last two posts ( involvement-with-politics and involvement-with-politics-ii ), I spoke of my plan to deliver text messages to voters in an attempt to influence the result of a close Democratic primary election and the frustration of miscommunication with No Labels, the organization that was organizing the effort.
As I suggested I would, I did send an email with feedback about how frustrating this was for me. The response was darn near perfect!
I didn't have to wait very long as the response was very timely, and included things like an apology, a thank you for the feedback, a narrative of how it was all supposed to work, an admission that generally, not just for me, things didn't go as well as they had hoped, they had such a response that they ran out of targeted voters to send everyone and they learned valuable lessons from working with this new tool. The responder also offered to call and talk to me if that would be more helpful than another email.
I asked for some detail and they, again, responded very quickly. The quality of their reply changed my unwillingness to volunteer for them again to being approximately where I was when I initially decided to volunteer for this effort.
I did wonder if I was too easily willing to give away my time to an inefficient and uncaring organization ... they had, after all, dragged me out of my comfort zone and left me hanging with nothing to do while I valiantly and fruitlessly tried to get help. "No," I answered, "I don't think I'd be too easily giving of my time."
There are a number of considerations that go into this decision for me. They include: the project is worth doing; knowing that nobody and no organization is perfect; how well the organization responds to mistakes.
You might argue, "Talk is cheap; all they offer is talk." That sounds cynical to me. I was the injured party, I spoke up, they satisfied my injury. Helen Prejean is quoted as saying, "people are more than the worst thing they have ever done in their lives." I believe a corollary to that is, "don't judge a person based solely on the worst thing s/he's ever done."
I would further suggest that judging either people or organizations based solely on the worst thing they've ever done will leave the person so doing with very few people or organizations about which to feel good. That is, of course, a choice anyone is free to make, and a topic, perhaps, for a different post.
I believe that about people and about organizations as well. No Labels behaved badly, but I won't decide future involvement with it based solely on that single instance.
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