Tag Archives: donating
I’ve worked in the the private sector for 40 years. I write that and can’t believe it – the time just flew by. I’d like to tell you how much fun and challenging it all was, but sorry, I can’t. The best part of my career was the travel and getting a decent paycheck with excellent benefits. The rest, being at the whim of abusive dysfunctional bosses, coping with never ending unexpected and unnecessary organizational changes plus managing unambitious subordinates, I could have done without. All water under the bridge so to speak because I’m on to a new and perhaps last chapter in my life as a freelance writer.
As I move forward developing that craft, I decided to concurrently pursue volunteer work. Yes, it was on my “bucket-list”. I did my research and chose three potential “avenues” to help people in need. All involved a day of more of “training” or “orientation”, then a coordinator would “be in touch.” to match the volunteer up with either another coordinator or suitable task. Right off the bat I will say that in these sessions I learned a great deal about a variety of shortcomings about our government, educational and healthcare system. I also discovered the value of being able to write and get grants approved for ongoing funding.
But this is what I also uncovered. The organizations that I spent time with appeared racked with political bickering, bureaucracy and infighting in trying to help needy people. Time was constantly being taken away from the training and how volunteers actually would help with “side bars” of “Well if you do anything with coordinator Jane in that office, you” should better be prepared for “something” entirely different. I sat there scratching my head wondering what any of that “something” has to do with teaching someone how to read or the rather simple task of delivering food.
What I also found troublesome were the volunteer recruits, mostly well dressed recently retired folks swarming over the training coordinator for attention as if she (or he) were Lady Gaga. One man made the mistake of “hinting” that he had some grant writing experience. Well, as the line from Chorus Line states, he became one “beautiful sensation” in the eyes of the coordinator. The rest of us might as well just gone home. Similar with the man who had a HTML/systems background and the woman who was bilingual. None of that was a qualification for volunteering.
The loss of focus on our being there was shocking to me. In speaking during the breaks and at lunch with the “other” attendees, there was not only amazing desire on these folks part but they were all willing to sacrifice their time, talent and extensive experience to lend a hand immediately. I have followed up with some of these people and none of them have been contacted to actually VOLUNTEER.
This entire experience reminded me of those 40 years dealing with the corporate rat race – the politics, the school boy fighting over who has a bigger title or office and who can spend more tine getting the ear of the boss. Stupid me, I never ever thought that trying to volunteer would be that way. My obvious goal was to teach someone how to drive, or bring food to someone hungry or assist someone become a citizen or pass their GED – not become embroiled in unnecessary minutia regarding the bureaucracy of a particular organization. I don’t want to be part of any political infighting – been there done that.
So, for now, I’ve decided to “cool” it for a while. I’ll keep searching for other volunteer opportunities of course, donate what I can and where I deem appropriate, but concentrate on my freelance business. If anything changes on this front I keep you posted.