Monday, October 27, 2008

Volunteering: Not worth what you are paid!

I posted a week or so ago that I was involved in a volunteer organization on our compound that exists primarily to offer a service to others - mainly women, but surprisingly, quite a few men - on our compound in that if you live here you can come to our shop and purchase items which you would otherwise have to leave the compound to obtain. That, of course, means throwing your black bag on and getting a driver [or husband] to take you downtown because it would be just too damn simple to get in your own vehicle and drive yourself... The service we offer gives families here the opportunity to beautify their surroundings, both inside and out. I enjoy the volunteer aspect of it. I am forced to leave my house two mornings a week and interact with other adults thus allowing me to give to the community, here, by volunteering, and to enjoy the company of friends.

If it wasn't for the volunteering that I do, I would be pretty much a home-body. Oh, sure, I leave the house first thing in the morning for two walks - yep, still doing two walks and taking each Kid separately - due to the "mother fall" which did do some damage to my right shoulder that was getting better until two days ago when I was, again, loosely holding The Boy's leash and a "K I T T Y" ran directly in front of us! I didn't get pulled through any bushes or dragged across any asphalt, but I did get jerked pretty severely and the pain that is radiating through my shoulder and down my arm is pretty significant. I digress... I leave the house for walks. I wear my "walking uniform," and then come home and shower and put my "house uniform" on. They are basically the same thing. If I leave the house, then I actually have to get dressed - I cannot do my errands on the compound in bike shorts and a tank top. Volunteering has forced me to leave the house - dressed!

Truly I do not mind the physical labor that one morning a week of my volunteering requires. Although I didn't participate yesterday due to an aching shoulder and limited range of motion with my right arm. I knew I'd be about useless with the work that is involved. The other morning of volunteering involves "retail" type work - the only "retail" work I have ever done in my life, I might add. Most of the time is it actually fun and I enjoy it.

Unfortunately I am on the Board of Directors for the group I am involved in. That aspect of it I absolutely dread. I was a Board Member on the Board of Directors for a Homeowner's Association years ago when DH and I lived in New Hampshire before moving to North Carolina, so I do have some experience with Robert's Rules... It is all I can do to not write my resignation, again, to take myself off this Board because of the energy I feel I expend to try to make things go right. Just when I think things are "settling down" and everyone is on the same page and willing to work together - WHAM - someone's feeling are hurt! Or someone feels like their "opinion" isn't being taken seriously. Or something. Gimme a break!!! We are all supposed to be adults. Adolescent girls don't act as ridiculous as our group. In fact, if a group of adolescent girls took our group over it would probably run more smoothly. I can hang in two more months and then, that will be it for me. As soon as the term is up - December 31st - I am finished. All done. I will happily continue to two mornings a week doing labor and "retail," but I don't get paid enough to deal with the Board Member part. I don't get paid anything for the time and effort I have to put into this and the perpetual cattiness and back-stabbing and full-time grumbling is just not worth the amount of money I am not receiving!

Instead of making friends I am making enemies. Women, in my humble opinion, have a very difficult time separating emotions from "business interaction." If I disagree with a suggestion - then I become the "bad guy." No matter that what might seem like a terrific suggestion to someone will require a great deal of paperwork and new accounting to implement. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who wants to operate using the "KISS" standard: Keep it simple, stupid! Last night I had a conversation with a woman I like very much on a personal level. Unfortunately, she cannot separate herself from "business" to "personal," and my disagreement with her over what should actually be some very simple "business" ended up with her getting all huffy and saying, "Okay. Fine. I'm dropping the box of paperwork off at your house and you take over." Slam! [As she hung up the phone.] Nope. The amount that I am being paid [absolutely nothing - not a single halala or riyal] to volunteer in this respect, as a Board Member, is just not worth it. There is no personal satisfaction in arguing over the phone on a weekly basis - or in person several days a week - over the most minute details of a service that is provided on a VOLUNTEER basis!

There. I am all done ranting for the time being. There is a Board Meeting this afternoon at my house. One, by the way, that I had nothing to do with scheduling. An e-mail got sent to the group of us - which was instigated by someone who is NOT even ON our Board of Directors! [Believe it or not, "Jane," not everyone feels the need to have a meeting over every single detail of a volunteer organization! This woman - the one that slammed the phone down on me last night - believes that our group should have Board of Director's meetings on a monthly basis - they are only required quarterly, and believes that the other Board "members" or heads of committees should meet regularly as well. She'd be happy if we had a meeting scheduled two or three times a week! Good grief! I just can't take it! We have to have a meeting to schedule a meeting!!!] To say that I am looking forward to it being over and done with would be an understatement. I just am sooo NOT looking forward to my afternoon... If anyone who reads this blog is having a root canal or a mammogram this afternoon, I would happily go for you if you attend our board meeting for me. Please?


  1. can't wait to hear how it all went...LOL Hope you had a stiff drink before you started the meeting.

    Gill in Canada

  2. The worst meeting evah! TWOT!!! [Total waste of time.] Hostile, accusatory, nothing accomplished but mud-slinging. So glad I am done with my term in December. Two more months. Only two more months!


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