The following is a guest post from Teresa Blundell of Michigan. She gathered signatures asking Governor Snyder to agree to participate in multiple debates with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. This is her account of getting the run-around from Gov. Snyder’s office in her attempt to deliver the petitions.
When you’re through reading it, ask yourself if this sounds like a satisfied “customer”, Gov. Snyder’s characterization of Michigan citizens.
Getting the directions to schedule a meeting with Governor Snyder from his staff is like a bureaucratic version of “Who’s on First?”
I had posted an online petition requesting Gov. Snyder agree to multiple debates with his gubernatorial opponent, Mark Schauer. Part of my commitment to the online petition was that I would attempt to hand-deliver the petition with signatures on June 30th.
On June 13th I called the main number for the Governor’s office, explained why I was calling and was told that I needed to speak to the scheduling office. I was transferred to that office and I left a detailed message about why I was calling and that I would like to see the Governor on June 30th.
After no word I called back on June 17th and left another detailed message at the scheduling office. On June 24th I called the main number again and stated that I had not received a call back. I got the “Who?” did I speak to and then was told that my request needed to be in writing. I didn’t say, “What?”, but explained that I was not told this previously. The individual apologized and proceeded to give me both the email address and fax number to the scheduling office. I used both that day to submit my detailed request for a meeting on June 30th.
Again, I did not receive a reply. But as I am known to be a person of “relentless positive action”, I went to the Governor’s office building on June 30th to deliver the petition, the signatures, my letter of explanation and reasons for multiple debates just as planned. I was not expecting to see the Governor but I was on a mission to deliver the petition.
A young woman came out to the lobby to meet me. I explained the above calls, fax and email. I was told that the scheduling office has a small staff and they get thousands of requests to meet with the Governor. At this point, I was asked if I filled out the online scheduling form to request to meet with the Governor because that is the best way to get through to the scheduling office. Now, I should have said, “I Don’t Know”. But I said I emailed and faxed as instructed. No one said that I needed to fill out an online form.
She asked if I had anything for the Governor and I handed her everything in a manila folder. She looked at my letter and said since it was election related it had to be kept separate from the Governor’s office. Well, that certainly came out of left field. Why didn’t anyone tell me before? I was very clear in my messages why I wanted an appointment to see the Governor. I told her that if someone had returned my calls, fax or email that could have been cleared up. I left my information with her anyway. “Why?” “Because.”
When I returned home, I had an email from GOVScheduling@michigan.gov. It read:
We appreciate you reaching out to our office and expressing your concerns. The governor, unfortunately, is not available to meet today.
The time of the email was 10:03 a.m. which just so happened to be the time that I was in the lobby of the Executive Building finding out that I should have filled out the online scheduling request form.
Do you think that the Governor will have time for me “Tomorrow” or is he just saying “I Don’t Care”? The young woman in the lobby told me she could tell that I was frustrated. I told her that I wasn’t. I said I if I don’t get a response, I just keep on trying.
Like I said, I’m known for my “relentless positive action”.
[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]