Most of this post is about my experience with Field Works that I had sent them. However, I am certain that my response is going into a void. If you found this post because you were wanting to work with this company than perhaps my experience can lead you to better success than I had with this company.
For the most part, I am happy to have been a part in helping to bring the solar initiative to the ballot and getting people registered to vote. I could have been doing a variety of web-based work, but I choose to work with your company to make a difference. Both prop 127 and assisting people getting registered for voting.
My history with Field Works:
May 7, 2018 – Monday – I did the interview and never got called back. Despite two other interviews with your company getting me the job twice (canvassing and registering/updating voters). Given I was able to get around 60 signatures on my first day, I would have done better as time went on.
July 2, 2018 – Monday – 11.3 hours logged. I was told to arrive at 9 am to the supervisor of the Mesa office (some were told 8 am). I had to call in to find that it was supposed to be 10 am. You would probably have lost more recruits if I had not chased some of them down to inform them. I was also told that I would be paid for orientation and was not. I also was not told I would be working that day. Advance knowledge would have helped me to prepare (water and phone chargers).
At the start of my day, my location was pretty saturated with canvassers. Two people were waiting for their Uber at my area, and canvassing right next to the entrance to Fry’s. My field coordinator was also waking with his cardboard and sheets in plain view. So Fry’s had their security tell us to go away. Uber picked up the two people who were waiting yet canvasing my area. My field coordinator left and sent me to the nearby Target parking lot. I was told me I could go back to the Fry’s parking lot after an hour or two.
The Target location nearby was either going through a remodel or closing as there was very little traffic in that area. Eventually, I would move back to the Fry’s parking lot. But sign-ups became sparse after 12 PM.
Most of my signatures came after 5 PM (about 50). But my coordinator decided to check on me, he also decided to canvas my area and ended up getting us kicked out by Fry’s security again when signatures were starting to flow in. Because he started towards the front of the door and people that were going into the store. My field coordinator moved again to another area and sent me again off to the near-empty Target parking lot. The Target parking lot was nowhere as well lit as the Fry’s parking lot, so people were not eager to engage me. Eventually, I would head back to the Fry’s parking lot to fill the last few signatures.
July 3, 2018 – Tuesday – Since I was not prepared the previous day for a full day of work I stated that I had to get some things done and could come in later. I was told to call when I would be available. When I was I did not reach anyone, nor did anyone return my calls.
July 4, 2017 – Wednesday – I called but was not able to reach anyone so left a message. I gave up calling the next day because this was the last day for canvassing.
September 7, 2018 – Friday: My first day, did not realize that people only needed to live in the state for 30 days, lost two signatures from college students. Lost another filled-out form due to the pens I got were not working. I bought new pens that worked. I lost another three registrations because I did not know about the address to use for the homeless.
After 4/5 pm we spent nearly an hour waiting for the others to get together to move to an art festival. A decision that I consider a mistake because it was flooded with canvassers from at least five different companies. It would have been smarter to leave the bulk of your staff where they were and to have a booth set up with 4 or 5 people to do sign-ups.
September 9, 2018 – Sunday – 7.7 hours logged – I went off the area I was assigned. Because people were not responding, and in the case of Central it was dead. Yes, I know I broke the rules. But after 3 hours of not getting anyone to register/update their information I moved to an area I knew where traffic was and got eight people. I would have had three more if I had known that people only must live in the state for 30 days.
I was not busted for leaving my turf, as I told my supervisor I did it. I have my doubts that you are tracking our location. More into that in the part where I reveal why decided to resign. But I made it clear that I would follow the procedure in the future. I was told to contact my field rep, and I would be trained/coached on how to get signatures. After that did not work, I would be reassigned to another area. But ultimately, I would be told to continue operating an area and call later.
September 12, 2018 – 8 hours logged – Tuesday – After not getting signatures I contact my field rep whom I had trouble reaching (she was using one of your phones) to move somewhere else because there was not a lot of traffic. Meanwhile, the parking lots within view of my location had people flowing in and out, and I was stuck with the library. I was told to stay where I was and call again later if I did not get anyone. After the library was closed, I was allowed to move to and only to the Fry’s parking lot an hour before being picked up. The bulk of the people that I encountered there had stated they were registered, despite being asked if the State has their current:
- Political party
- Physical/mailing address
- Email address
- Phone number
I would also tell them that the state might call to confirm (as they did me once) and their vote would be invalidated if they are unable to reach them.
I also insisted if they were not 100% certain they should fill out the form provided.
Lastly that they had until October 5th to register and update their information.
For the most part in this area, people stated they were registered, some even showing me the slip they got from another canvasser in the same parking lot. Which was not the same compared to the other areas I had worked. I am also inclined to think that after the sun sets people are not that interested in having a stranger approach them in the dark (Even if it is a distance). Otherwise, this location was very limited in the number of people not interested in voting.
I am also inclined to think that this should not be a target area for getting people registered as they were more interested in voting than the place I was sent to on September 9th. So more likely to be registered.
September 13, 2018 – Thursday, I arrived at 12:49 pm, logged out after 9 pm and yet got 7.2 hours logged as pay. Field reps were logged in when they came in; I was not allowed to log in until after we had our practice session. Was reminded that drivers licenses/id were required as well as father’s full name or mother’s maiden name.
Despite getting two people right as I arrived at the library after a short time I told my field rep that there was little to no traffic. I was told to hold out till 5 pm, which was about the time that traffic to the library had picked up. Before 5 pm, only about 5 – 10 people showed up per hour. Most were Jehovah witnesses (which do not vote because of religion). Would have had two more registrations if I would have accepted without an ID (I did not realize a few were allowed).
I was notified that I needed to increase my production. I brought up location again. Which I was then cut off mid-sentence and ridiculed by saying that I say that every time. I was not given much room to explain the first time I used that reason was after three hours of not getting anyone. Never mind my volume increased after moving. Nor did I get to explain that I did contact as I was advised to and was not moved the next two days.
Why I resigned:
I decided to document my experiences with your company and have concluded that I might be able to get the bare minimum, but I will continuously be scraping by. Some things are holding me back from my real potential.
- Daily training sessions are cutting into actual field work time. Almost an hour spent per day. People are spending almost as much socializing as discussing strategy. Never had that while I was getting signatures for prop 127.
- I tell field coordinators that a spot is non-productive. I am told to stay in that spot and call back later if an area does not work out. While at the same time I am penalized for what you call ‘time on turf’ when numbers do not come in. – Hours of dead time is my main reason for quitting, it was a no-win situation.
- My input is pretty much meaningless in the canvassing I have brought my concerns up with my supervisor, and the response is the problem is me. She was offered this document but did not bother to send me an email address to get it.
I might be able to do I could do 20 per day, based on what I saw others do. But some of the methods conflict with my conscience. Thursday, I had six people offer to fill the form out to help my numbers (this happened every day). They claim to have done it for others, and they are willing to do it for me because they want to help. I am concerned about this. I feel it puts your company as well as these individuals at risk. I also think that these duplicate registrations are cumbersome and get in the way of those that need to register or update their information. Even if this is kosher with your company, it is highly inefficient.
I have also seen some beg people or flirt with people to get them to register to help their numbers; I am not inclined to do this despite the fact it would guarantee me the average that you want. I was hoping at some point someone would cover this, but it seems numbers, getting most of the form filled out, and staying in the same spot are the highest concerns.
The minimum amount of forms you wanted to be filled out is 14. Given that there were gaps in my training that were filled on the way (the address for homeless to register, minimum time in the state – 30 days, and that I can collect a form without the id number (but not too many)). I could squeak by with the bare minimum, but I cannot go through each day wondering if I will make quota that day. Especially if I do not have a more extensive range to roam or I am told to stay in an area and call back later to move.
On a side note, the idea to move out of my assigned turf, I got that idea from more than one person working with your company. I was told not to tell my supervisor if I did so.
Ultimately it seems there is a lot of throwing spaghetti at the wall to get results. Truth be told this document would be a lot longer if I had not set myself to a 2-hour limit. But here are suggestions to improve efficiency.
- Limit training sessions to once a week, especially with your veterans. These sessions take almost an hour every day. Maybe even cycle your veterans with your new employees to maximize the amount of time in the field. Better yet, have the supervisor do this with the newer staff as opposed to just pairing everyone off.
- Have field coordinators and their staff meet in a centralized area near targeted turf areas to minimize time spent on travel to engage more time on getting people signed up or registered.
- Proper pens, I had to replace my pens when canvassing for the clean energy initiative (lost three signatures) and voter registration (missing 1).
- The cardboard during the petition canvassing was a huge mistake; I was mistaken several times for being homeless because that was the first thing they looked at. Seriously have clipboards. Also, cardboard is hard to write on and unprofessional in appearance. How many signatures would I have had if I had a proper clipboard? The ones that hold forms inside a compartment would be best to make sure no sheets are lost for both registering and petitioning.
- Your company needs to strategize. Some areas are prime spots, but not all the time. One example is the Fry’s location I worked in Mesa. Morning up until 12 PM was sufficient but was desolate up until 5 pm. But that would soon become less productive as the sun went down but was extremely high until then. As people would be leerier the darker it got.
- Your competition is letting their staff work where they want to. People working with two other companies have told me they work where they want to. One company, I forget the name, but it was three characters long, claimed they wanted a total of 10 registrations per day. I know this because they tried to canvas my area, a few left because I was better at it than they were. Instead of calling for approval they moved along. I am not saying this is a good strategy. But in some cases, I was limited to a library or one store’s parking lot. Fewer restrictions on space would have allowed me to increase my volume.
- In the case of canvassing petitions, pamphlets to hand to people, so they don’t need to go home and research the issue.
- For registering voters, put vital information on the clipboards. Such as the address for the homeless, requirements for voting in Arizona, what allows a person who thinks they have a felony to vote…
- So let me get this straight a phone that costs $25 (probably cheaper if bought in bulk) I will be billed $100 for if I lose it. No, my problem is not the cost of the phone, nor the price gouging (sort of). My problem is the quality of these phones. They are the smallest phones available, hard to type if you have large hands. When they work, they are slow. GPS gets kicked off for no reason (part of why I doubt you can track us). My phone should have sufficed, as there are many companies such as Doordash, Postmates, Uber, and others use their employee’s phones to track them via GPS. Unless there is some legal mumbo-jumbo with the state, it is a bad company policy to rely on these inferior phones. One kept rebooting on me, while another could not connect to the internet.
- I am somewhat concerned about the tracking of hours. While I can bear the cost, a lot of the people working for your company can not. Given I showed up before the time I was supposed to arrive, I should at least be on the clock in at the designated hour I am scheduled for work. Thursday is a perfect example of that. I arrived at 1 PM and left well after 9 PM but ended up with 7.2 hours. So basically, you start at 1 pm and subtract the time I log out for a better picture of how long I worked for your company.
- Don’t take no for an answer, or maybe not. I kind of cringe at this. If I had followed this approach on September 9th, I would have been hurt. Some of the strategies were at high risk in this area. Following people who already agitated by merely asking if their voters’ registration was up to date. Secondary and third responses to an adverse outcome only made their attitude towards me worse. There is no discussion of when to back off.