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Author Topic: Volunteer organizations problems  (Read 901 times)

Lightning

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 527
Volunteer organizations problems
« on: October 25, 2018, 02:26:19 PM »
If anybody has any advice about this, I'd definitely appreciate it.

I'm on the fence.  I'm going to have to make a decision sometime between now and next weekend about whether or not to withdraw an offer of volunteer services to a non-profit organization.  The organization involved has some electronic equipment that's been acting up intermittently.  I knew a few months ago that I'd be in the area next weekend and had the Sunday free so I offered to bring along my portable tool kit, a function generator, a scope, a meter or two, and some other goodies that they don't have and take a crack at it and teach anybody interested how to use the test equipment at the same time.  The response was enthusiastic initially but then petered out to luke warm as people dropped out with a bunch of "can't make it" and in some cases, messages that went unreturned.  So I'm thinking of calling it off since it would be me plus one other person I don't know.

What bothers me, from having dealt with organizations like this one about 15-20 years ago, is that they're the first to rip shreds out of people about how they're volunteer-run, availability of resources is scarce, blah blah blah before demanding free money (it's called a donation and it's mandatory) and free work, but then when it's on offer, refuse to meet halfway on it - but then complain bitterly later that they didn't get any volunteer work.  And my availability to do volunteer work is limited too so I understand that.  Between shift work and a finite amount of vacation that I have every year and other stuff that I do and normal life in general, there's limited windows of opportunity for me to pack up a bunch of equipment from my home work shop, drive for a day out of country, have meaningful time to dig into what needs to be worked on, pack back up and head back home, cross the border a second time on the return trip, then get everything put back in my workshop at home so rolling all that into another trip works well for me.  Yet nobody local to the area was willing to commit to the Sunday with me so I'm thinking of withdrawing the offer of assistance and putting the kibosh on the idea and making it a straight up vacation.  It would certainly simplify the packing and travel.  But I don't want to hear any shit later about how "I don't do enough" when nobody's willing to meet me halfway on anything to make it happen.  I went around this block close to 20 years ago and walked away from this crap.  I thought I'd like to get involved again but with the way things are looking, I'm thinking about walking away again but am having trouble making up my mind and I'm far from certain on how to best handle the situation, hence the request for advice.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

varekai

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1932
Re: Volunteer organizations problems
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2018, 05:46:15 PM »
Personally if interest is lacking, Id pass.. you time is valuable even if youre doing it for free.  When I belonged to the local Jaycee chapter here, which is now defunct, everyone was gung-ho when a project was proposed... but as the date got closer there was the same 3 or 4 people that would always end up actually participating.. my 2 cents.


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Lightning

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 527
Re: Volunteer organizations problems
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 05:52:16 PM »
I pulled the plug.

Honestly, it's my vacation time, my equipment, my skills, my travel costs, and nobody can be bothered to meet me there and help me out.  It left me wondering what on earth I'm the one putting out such a huge effort for so I canceled it a couple of hours ago.

If they want this thing sorted out, they can find someone else to donate expertise and a travelling electronics lab.  It isn't my problem anymore.

jcnaz

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3454
Re: Volunteer organizations problems
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 06:14:32 PM »
I think that you have made the right choice.
Nothing is more disheartening and annoying than to give your best efforts to groups that don't appreciate what they are getting.
Enjoy your vacation. If the job had been meant to be the other pieces would have fallen into place.
A bunch of black kettles
-JC

LiquidOcelot

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2925
Re: Volunteer organizations problems
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 07:23:43 PM »
Fuck that, i hate volentarily manditory shit. Its a favor. For free. To fix something that would cost hundreds to fix otherwise. Id bail

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Shoestringshop

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2637
Re: Volunteer organizations problems
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 03:59:41 AM »
I hate anything the has the word "Mandatory" in it! I worked for a retailer for 7 years and we had 2 "Mandatory" meetings a week at 9:PM until Midnight! That sucks when you work the open shift, you either stay and not get paid or drive home fight traffic and then come back. I always said if I ever have my own company I will have any meetings on work time, and if we ever ask for "Volunteer Work" it would be just that! "Volunteer Work"!

So as for your predicament I would cancel but would let them know why. You volunteered to help and people said they would be there for you... Now ONE person!? Nope I wouldn't do it! 
Wife said "No more GRILLS in this house!" So I bought a 2nd house!

Lightning

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 527
Re: Volunteer organizations problems
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 12:53:21 PM »
Unfortunately, I think I made the right choice too.  It's so depressing and disheartening though.  I put a lot of effort into planning and getting equipment ready.  I used vacation time to ensure I'd be able to do it.  It's a 600 KM trip that's at least 7 hours each way from my place in Canada to my friend's place in the US and then another 150 KM and nearly 2 hour drive between his place and where we would've been going.  So that's a round trip across the border, a lot of driving time, a lot of gas, restaurant meals, wear and tear on the car, you name it that I was going to pay for myself, all with a long lead time on my end to make sure I have the time off work to do it because I'm on shift work - I started planning about two months out with requesting vacation time to make it happen.  It's a major logistics effort on my part to get there, never mind providing volunteer assistance once on site.  I'm still going to the one event I was already planning on, but given the overlap of some of the people involved in both places, I'm a bit worried about hearing any garbage about how I supposedly don't volunteer enough.  Well, this is why.  If I don't, I get shit on for that.  If I try to, like this, nobody locally's willing to step up with a minimum of effort compared to what I have to put out to make it happen and it falls through, and then I get shit on for not helping out.  All roads lead to getting shit on.  It's disheartening and depressing for sure.