A couple of weeks ago in the Pastor's Report, we mentioned that The Modern Romans booklet was scheduled to be highlighted in spot commercials across the United States, and that the WATS section of Mail Processing was gearing up to handle the literature requests in response to the ad. Now we'd like to give you more "behind the scenes" information about what's going on:
It's an exciting time of great anticipation for the WATS section — and for many brethren throughout Southern California. The number of phone lines are being increased from 33 to 62, and a new California WATS line will be in operation. (Before, California callers had to call collect to a Pasadena number. This new WATS number will make it easier for them to request literature).
The anticipated work load is making it necessary to hire 40 to 50 new people, and to ask for volunteer help on the Sabbath from local brethren. We project that we will receive some of our heaviest responses on the Sabbath — and six volunteer crews are being scheduled to answer the phones around the clock! (Of course, each crew will work only a few hours).
This volunteer Sabbath program for answering the phones is creating a sense of "esprit-de-corps" among local members not employed by the Church — a feeling of direct, personal contribution to the Work — of seeing fruit borne before one's eyes! It's much like what was experienced in the earlier years when special volunteer crews would be brought in to help insert Mr. Armstrong's co-worker letters. Only in this case, brethren are actually speaking, via the phones, to new people requesting literature from the Work for the first time. It's helping to build more of a feeling of service and camaraderie among many brethren around the Headquarters area. Some volunteers are coming from as far away as San Diego (125 miles) to help in this effort!
It's expected that we could receive as many as 15,000 to 20,000 calls per week from these spot commercials. (The first spot commercials will actually be a series of three-week tests in 60 different television markets across the country. So different areas will hear the commercials at different times).
We will keep you updated on the progress of this new program and our market tests.
— Richard Rice, Mail Processing Center