Being a part time working mom with spare time on her hands I have spent a lot of time volunteering at my kid’s school and in the community. I enjoy volunteering and I get the special feeling that you are supposed to get when you help others. Most recently I volunteered for a much larger role at my kid’s school to put on an annual festival. This festival is unlike so many others in that it is labor intensive and it’s one of those events that when you ask everyone to step forward to volunteer they all take one large step backwards and you find you are the only one standing there with a dumb smile on your face and no clue as to what you have just been sucked into. That said, I graciously accepted my role and gave it my usual energy and charisma.
The person that organizes the entire event is amazing, you would think that she has no life outside of planning this even, and she does, in fact a busier life than most. She is so detail oriented that I actually believe our fall festival is a bigger deal than the presidential inauguration. Don’t get me wrong, she is a picky bitch and only the best of the best get asked to take on a role under her stern supervision, she is not above firing her free labor if they aren’t getting the job done! I am easy going and understand that we are doing this for the kids who will pay as much attention to the creases in the tablecloths and the number of balloons in each bouquet , as I pay attention to calories when I am eating McDonalds. However, she wants it done right and I have both respect and irritation at the same time for her.
Everyone has their own idea of what volunteering is, and I found that out during our festival. We the organizers were required to work about 20 hours in two days, and when I say work, I mean manual labor. I have no problem with people that are clear from the beginning by stating they don’t want to volunteer, I don’t even need them to make up excuses why, just say you don’t want to do it and I will leave you alone. I do have an issue with individuals that volunteer (so they can talk about it to their fancy friends) and then show up and complain about what they are asked to do. We actually had one person show up, walk around for a few minutes and then when she thought no one was looking she walked out.
The high school kids are a whole other story. Some of them showed up and worked their tails off. I was proud of them and proud of their parents for making them responsible people. Somehow I managed to get the ‘D Team’ of volunteers that showed up and signed in for their hours and then once I gave them instructions they disappeared. I started hauling furniture out by myself and was trying to figure out where they went, after I brought out the fifth table I find my volunteers sitting at one of the tables I dragged out with heaping plates of food. I couldn’t believe it, I hadn’t eaten in nine hours and had been on my feet the entire time and here they sit on a break before they even start working. I gave them my best look of disappointment and then repeated my earlier directions, which were answered with all sorts of objections. I am completely over “entitlement”. This is the reason the automotive industry almost went out of business three years ago. People feel that they are worth 100 times what they put in and that they are entitled to super benefits and working only as hard as a union directs them. Well, not on my watch! Get to work or go erase your name from the roster and you can find some other activity to volunteer for so you can graduate from high school.
Wow, rereading that last paragraph makes me sound like a total sour puss, so let me get back on track. Parents, please do not show up at an event that you not given an ounce of your time to and then bitch at me when the balloon artist gave your kid a sword and not a lightsaver. To me, it all looks the same and I don’t care if your kid always gets his way at home, he is getting a sword here and you are lucky I am not sticking it up your ass. I also don’t want to hear how long the lines are or how long you have been waiting. Ever been to Disney? Shut the hell up! The people that are working are volunteers, I am not willing to ask them to increase their productivity, especially for you. What’s that? You say the haunted house was too scary for your two year old that you decided to haul through there? No shit, we warned everyone prior to entering and even discouraged people with young children to go through. I hope your kid gets over it, but not before they have one good nightmare and piss in your bed.
Alright, I am back on track, which is probably the best time to bring this blog to an end. I joked with friends and other volunteers that I had gone to college so I wouldn’t have to do manual labor. However, I am thankful for the opportunity because it forces me to appreciate people that do it every day. Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to blog and bitch about everyone, I just want you all to know I am not completely shallow.