Those political phone calls

The only thing I’ve found more irritating than getting telephone calls asking for support for a politician is making them.

I’ve volunteered to make telephone calls for candidates I support during some election cycles. I’m normally something of an introvert. Calling people I don’t know and doing it when the call will probably be inconvenient for them makes me cringe. I’m simply not up to the kind of rejection you get doing that. On  a day I made 110 calls before noon, 97 of the people weren’t home or didn’t answer, three that answered were wrong numbers, two hung up as soon as I spoke, four listened politely and asked that they never be called again, five listened to my spiel, and one elderly woman talked about her bad back and her daughter’s foot problems for ten minutes. That call was oddly pleasant, because the longer she kept me on the line, the fewer other people I’d have to call.

In making these calls, I was given a paper with names and phone numbers. It was my impression that the probability of a person answering my call, if I could pronounce their name, was about 3%. That rose to 75% if I had no idea how to pronounce their name. How do you ask if someone is available to talk

How to choose?
How do you pronounce …?

if you can’t even come close to pronouncing their name?

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