Wednesday, October 31, 2007

volunteer -- humane society

vol·un·teer [vòllən teer] - n
somebody who works for nothing: somebody who works without being paid

I can’t even count the number of times that i've been introduced me to someone new that I’d never see again. She’d tell me to help the newcomer, show them how the place works, what we do ever Saturday morning. Quite often this happens at the Humane Society. When I started in October 2006, I was under the impression that there was some commitment involved in volunteering. Perhaps I was under that impression because the application form said that you can’t have more than three unexcused absences or you’re gone, well that’s not the words they used but that’s the drift that I got from it.

Regardless of what an application form says, if you’re going to join a team shouldn’t you put effort into it, shouldn’t you come every week and do what is asked? True, there is no money involved but when you fill out the “volunteer application form” isn’t that pretty obvious that there’s no money. Volunteering=no money. Well that is unless you volunteer for the Hawaii Office of Elections who will pay you (though it is under minimum wage so it’s supposedly not considered working). But does it really matter if there isn’t any real sort of incentive other than the fact that you feel good about yourself and that you’re helping someone out? Apparently.

On top of that, I feel you should put effort into what you do if you’re volunteering. You shouldn’t just have the attitude that you’re showing up and that’s good enough. How many times has it been that are seven volunteers and four rooms. Three of each clean one room and three people clean the fourth. Everyone working on their own room finishes before the three cleaning one room and when they find out that we finished they stop and expect us to finish. Uh, no. You have a third of the work that we have and you expect us to do it for you? I don’t think so. The way I see it, you should keep doing your work. If you’re just slow that’s fine but keep working and if we notice you need help or if you ask for help then we’ll help. We volunteers aren’t total jerks, well unless you get on our bad side like when you expect us to do your work. If you need help we can help you get it done faster. But take advantage of us and you’d better keep working because no one else is going to do it.

Am I just blowing this out of proportion? I guess that’s for you to decide. But please the world doesn’t revolve about you, and it doesn’t revolve around money either, accept that. I know that there are people that won’t do anything without compensation and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it but themselves. Sometimes I wish that I could just tell them, let them know that there is something good about doing something and not getting paid. It leaves you feeling like you did something good, that you made a difference in someone’s life. The person you are affecting may never know, but that’s fine. Helping out shouldn’t be about the credit that you receive back from it. It shouldn’t be about getting your name out. It should be about that warm fuzzy feeling that it leaves inside of you.

Oh yeah and volunteers, don’t spend your whole time talking on the phone rather than doing your work.

No comments: