Workplace Adventures: Door-to-Door

Environmental SignOne summer, just before I started college, I got a job for an environmental lobbying firm. I’ve always had a bit of an activist streak, from grade school to college. So if I could make money and “save the planet” at the same time, I was all aboard. In any case, it seemed better than stacking shelves or waiting tables.

The job was door-to-door canvassing. It was bust-ass hard work, especially for someone still trying to overcome the forced introversion of high school. On the upside, it was summertime in Michigan, and each day was a walk in a pretty neighborhood. It got hot at times, especially at the start of my afternoon shift. But the evenings were amazing, as was the camaraderie of the group.

Every Thursday night we had a party. Sometimes big, sometimes small, these shindigs were usually at someone’s apartment or house. It was my first real experience with college-level partying, and I loved it. It was also my first time trying beer, and I actually liked it. (Though in recent years, I’ve become enough of a beer snob to turn my nose up at the cheap swill I drank that night.) The parties were fun but not too crazy, and they helped me come out of my shell at a time when I was overly introverted. We even got to go camping once, up by Traverse City. It was my first time camping out as an adult, and I found that the whole experience was a lot more fun with a little booze and no camp counselors telling us what to do.

I wouldn’t want to do any more door-to-door canvassing, but I’m glad I did it when I did. To this day, I continue to work at a nonprofit, trying my damnedest to improve the future of humankind.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer, photographer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://steve-lovelace.com.

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3 Responses

  1. G.E. Hoostal says:

    Hi. I like the site, especially the graphic design. There is just one small problem: you say there was a time when you were ‘overly introverted’. Actually, nobody can change being introverted or extraverted, since it is the result of things such as genes and how the brain uses certain pathways. Please see this: http://mindhacks.com/2013/07/22/what-makes-an-extravert/ for more details.* It’s much like being right- or left-handed, except that a person can be trained, or train himself to use the other hand as well, but I don’t think we can’t train ourselves to cause ourselves to be affected by interactions with people differently. For example, sometimes extraverts think introverts can be turned into extraverts, maybe by being taken into busy or crowded social situations more often and for longer, but notice how you never hear anyone say, maybe by being kept in solitude more often and for longer, an extravert can be turned into an introvert! Of course the extravert would go insane. But to try to transform an introvert this way would have the same effect! So I think what you were talking about is that you are extraverted, or only a little or moderately introverted, and you were spending an amount of time alone, or away from friends, or the like, that was too much FOR YOU, and subsequently you discovered what frequency and lengths of time are best FOR YOU, while still remaining the degree of extravert or introvert that you’ve always been. Hope this was helpful!

    *There are comments at the bottom that suggest getting depressed can make an extravert into an introvert, which is not true. Introverts need more time alone or with close friends and family than extraverts, and extraverts need more time with more people than that (all varying amounts by degree of introversion and extraversion) and when the needs are not met, there is disorder, such as too much stress, but when the needs are met, the person is happy and functions well. But depression itself is a disorder, and yes, a depressed extravert is not out partying as usual, but that doesn’t make him an introvert any more than mania makes a person into an extravert; either way is unnatural, disordered, and unhealthy. So a depressed extravert may act superficially similar to an introvert but that doesn’t make him actually one.

  1. February 13, 2014

    […] boxes, replacing them with paper wrappers and thin cardboard boxes. It was a minor victory for the environmentalist movement, and while I doubt that my petition alone convinced them to change, I’d like to think I […]

  2. May 16, 2015

    […] do any camping in high school, but when I got to college, I found another opportunity. While working at an environmental lobbying group, I had the chance to go camping on the shores of Elk Lake outside of Traverse City, Michigan for a […]

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