For today’s fun, let’s talk about volunteering.
Partly because I, like a lot of other well-meaning, yet slightly foolish humans, do quite a bit of it. And partly because with the upcoming school year getting ever so near, the inevitable avalanche of requests, needs, demands, and online sign-ups has me filled with a strong sense of impending doom.
But mostly let’s talk about it because I, like a lot of other well-meaning, yet slightly foolish humans, am just really freaking annoyed.
I volunteer. Year-round. Usually for things that are school or kid related. Occasionally for things I dislike, because it helps out a friend or because there is a need. Mostly for things that I do not mind, or actually love, doing.
Things that I actually love doing until some well (or not-so-well) meaning, yet slightly rude/inconsiderate/unthinking/kinda selfish human ruins it for me.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones with the opinions about how it could be better. The ones with the demands. The ones with the repetitive questions. The ones that think that you are an employee. And my personal favorite, the ones that are just so busy with their busy children and busy lives and general busy-ness that well, they are just too busy and they need you to communicate/arrange/set-up all the things RIGHT NOW because their very valuable time is being infringed upon.
In other words, the ones not doing the volunteering. If you should happen to be one of the ones I’m talking about, you may not want to read this next part.
Or maybe you should. There’s hope for everyone.
Often, like the rest of you well-meaning yet slightly foolish humans, the things that I volunteer for require quite a bit of planning, communication, effort and energy. And time. Lots and lots and lots of time. Time, that I believe, is MY time. Time, that I believe, is time that belongs to all the other millions of volunteers doing the things that need to get done.
Volunteering isn’t always easy and it isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, for us well-meaning yet slightly foolish humans, it takes a while to get things set up. Sometimes we end up playing phone tag with the field trip coordinator at that REALLY FUN PLACE. Sometimes we have to make lists and inventories and…I don’t know, plan stuff. Sometimes people don’t return emails, or things get lost, or that REALLY FUN PLACE isn’t available or whatever. Sometimes life (with the puking kid or traveling husband,) or our actual jobs (the ones we get PAID for) get in the way. Sometimes, we are just sitting at home eating bonbons and shirking our volunteer duties.
Except we’re not. Like, ever.
That being said, the only person being inconvenienced by this is the PERSON WHO IS VOLUNTEERING TO TAKE THE TIME AND ENERGY TO DO THE THING!
Again, volunteering isn’t always easy and it isn’t always perfect. Yes, everything could be more organized/more timely/more professional/more convenient/more perfect and JUST PLAIN BETTER.
And you could be one of those ones who points out that everything could be more organized/more timely/more professional/more convenient/more perfect and JUST PLAIN BETTER to all of us well-meaning, yet slightly foolish humans.
Yes. You could be a total a-hole.
Or you could be nice. Be patient. Be a little understanding. You could even say thank you. Or you could offer to help. Or do it your damn self. Or I don’t know, maybe NOT SPEAK. Any of these would be really good choices.
But seriously, thank the well-meaning yet slightly foolish humans volunteering to do the thing. It isn’t easy and it isn’t always perfect and sometimes it is NOT EVEN fun, but they do it.
And you should be grateful.