Some friends of No Award have been using our scripts from last week, so today we’re having a look at some more scripts, and also some of the reactions we’re receiving. This is to allow you to prepare for the possibility that, as much as we advise you to be polite to staffers, a staffer might be rude to you. This way, you can engage in self-care before and after making stressful phone calls and receiving rude emails.
Someone on Twitter used our scripts to call their QLD senators, and had an interesting response — of all the people they spoke to, it was only the One Nation staffers who asked him to follow up by email. Is that good? Bad? We just don’t know yet!
Dear Mr Turnbull,
At around TIME today (DATE) I called your office regarding the pregnant woman on Nauru. My script for this call is copied below. I am also writing to point out the completely unacceptable way I was treated by the woman who took my call. She interrupted me three times, and it was only when I pointed out that I live in Wentworth that she allowed me to finish speaking. As a constituent of Wentworth, I expect to have my voice heard and taken into account, even if matters are “already at hand”, not dismissed, interrupted and finally told “off you go” as ‘permission’ to speak. I was further informed that my message would not be passed on or responded to, even though I specifically requested this, and told to request it in writing. Please consider this repetition of my message, below, as in writing. I would appreciate a response by email.
“My name is  and I am a constituent of Wentworth, living in . I am calling to request immediate action to help the pregnant woman in Nauru who is suffering from pre-clampsia, to remove her from Nauru to Australia and to make sure she has excellent emergency medical care to improve her chances of living, and to improve the chances of her unborn child surviving also. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had mild pre-eclampsia and was hospitalised, monitored and ultimately given medical interventions that this woman, whose condition is far more perilous, should also receive. I would appreciate a response. My number is . Thank you.”
What a surprise that someone working for the Prime Minister might be awfully unpleasant on the phone!
In these situations, remember to stay firm and polite. Make sure your view/opinion is recorded. Remember to follow up with an email just so it’s in writing. If you vent about it on twitter (and you should if you can deal with it), remember it might blow up a little, so prepare for the self-care you require around that.
Here’s a good outcome:
This week’s action items
Keep up to date on #Blockthebill.
There’s protests and rallies this weekend around Australia.
In addition to calling crossbench senators, consider calling your MPs about our refugee policy as a whole.
“Good morning, my name is Pangolin A. Porcupine, and I live in the electorate of Cephalopodia. In light of the prime minister’s exchange with President Trump last week, I’d like to offer my support for an end to offshore processing of asylum seekers. This would be both more humane and more economically viable, and would be beneficial to the Australian community and to our international reputation.”
And if you’re in Victoria, maybe think about calling your state MP and telling them that you would like to see ownership of Melbourne’s public transport return to the state. This one’s relatively low stakes — no human rights are being violated, except maybe [just pretend we made a tasteless joke about the City Loop here!].
Here’s a sample script:
“Hi, my name is Jane Trainspotter, and I live in [Electorate]. I’ve read that the contracts for Melbourne’s trains and trams are up for consideration, and I’d like to recommend that the state government retake control of public transport. I think that privatisation has been bad for the services and infrastructure, and that we as Victorians should be managing public transport ourselves, not outsourcing it to foreign contractors.”
Finally, No Award is thinking about hosting a letter-writing session. It’d have physical and online components (ie, we’d both be in the physical session but one of us would be tweeting tips and things at the same time), and would be held in Melbourne. If you’d be interested in attending, either online or in person, please register your interest with us via comment or twitter or facebook!