Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

When the political campaigners call March 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I photographed this American flag recently in downtown Owatonna.

I photographed this American flag recently in downtown Owatonna.

THE PHONE RANG at 8 a.m. Not a good time to call. Early morning calls like that launch my heart into my throat. Nothing much good ever comes of a call made that early in the day.

The call came from a woman claiming to be with a cancer research group. I didn’t listen long enough to hear more. Her opening line caused me to slam the receiver into its base. She had no business phoning me; I’m on the do not call list. Plus, the timing of the call unsettled me.

Many times this past weekend I found myself hanging up without listening to an entire lengthy spiel. Not from some supposed charity. But from individuals representing Presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump. Ted Cruz.

I tried to wedge my way into the scripted calls without sounding mean. It is not my nature to treat an unwelcome political caller with rudeness. Or at least I used to be that way. Now days I find bluntness almost a necessity to handle these unsolicited intrusions.

And so, when I could, I told the campaigner I’d watched the debates, at least some of them; am following the races; and am fairly well informed. And then I hung up.

Will today, Super Tuesday, bring a deluge of political calls? I hope not.

But I suppose I should consider the positive. At least I live in a country where I can get such calls, where opinions can be expressed, where I have a voice and where I have the option of hanging up.

Thoughts? I’m especially interested in hearing any creative ways you handle political phone calls.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling