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wshaffer
Always Bring a Dalek to a Pledge Drive, and Other Observations 
18th-Nov-2007 11:35 am
evil_laugh, minimaster
So, last night I was down at KTEH, answering pledge drive phones with some other folks from the Legion of Rassilon, as well as folks from the San Jose State Black Masque Honor Society. Several of the Black Masque folks were avid Doctor Who watchers, so we generally got along swimmingly.


We were there for a good five hours, and handled pledge breaks for All Creatures Great and Small, The Lawrence Welk Show, Lovejoy, and, of course, Doctor Who.

I am slighly dismayed to report that Lawrence Welk was the biggest attractor of pledges by a notable margin. It makes sense in a way: if you want to watch British drama, there are lots of other outlets for that. Whereas I don't imagine there are too many other opportunities to watch Lawrence Welk. I can't begrudge people the shows they like to watch, but the Doctor Who fan in me would have liked to have seen Doctor Who lighting up the phone banks, which it mostly didn't. (On the other hand, I think that half the members of Legion of Rassilon wrote out pledge sheets for themselves during the Doctor Who break, so despite the lesser volume of calls, we probably did okay on raising money.)

Someone brought a remote-controlled Dalek, and that thing was a camera hog during the Doctor Who pledge breaks. We pretended to have it answer the phones. Next time we do a pledge night, we definitely need to bring more props. (I had meant to bring my sonic screwdriver, but completely forgot. But I don't think it really has the camera presence of a Dalek.)

It was my night for getting chatty callers, though. The first was a delightful woman, who was really a pleasure to chat with, but who kept me on the phone for several minutes past the end of one of the pledge breaks to talk about programming on KTEH, suggestions for fundraising, and to point out all the ways in which KTEH is not as awesome as WGBH, the Boston public television station, which we both had fond memories of watching from when we lived in the Boston area. It took more phone skills than I knew I possessed to engage with her comments in a constructive way without getting drawn into a debate, note down her actionable concerns on a comment sheet, and eventually steer the conversation towards some kind of resolution.

Still, I have to say I enjoyed conversing with her, which I can't really say for the gentleman who kept me on the phone for a few minutes past the end of the next pledge break, waxing passionate about his anguish that Mister Rogers was no longer on the air. I had a strong suspicion that this was a crank caller, but he played it so straight I couldn't be sure. I mean, I'm a Doctor Who fan. I can't claim that only a crank would phone a TV station to complain at great length and with considerable passion that a children's show that stopped being made several years ago is not being aired. When he went into his third go-round on how he had pictures of Mister Rogers all over his walls, I did cut him off with, "I'm sorry, sir, but I need to get off the phone now. I've noted down your concerns, and I promise someone will look into them."

I should really think of this as training in phone skills.

At least I didn't get any screamers or heavy breathers. We do get those once in a while.

On the whole, an enjoyable evening.

Comments 
20th-Nov-2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
How fun! I'm a little jealous, 'cause that's a cool thing to say you got to :D. A friend of mine taped all the Red Dwarf off KTEH back in the day and i watched them all...and they actually had Rimmer come through! :D
21st-Nov-2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, once in a while, they get real celebrities to drop by. No one famous for the two pledge drives I've done, but maybe next time...
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