Author Topic: Biting the hand that feeds you  (Read 8821 times)

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cheyne

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2012, 08:14:04 PM »
Actually, I do expect a "Thank you" if I do something for someone.  I don't care if it's mowing their yard, cooking them food or buying their kids Christmas presents because they can't afford them.  Have the needy [for whatever reason] become so entitled that a person volunteering time, effort and/or money can't even expect a simple "Thank you" without seeming selfish or greedy?

The woman in the OP was rude.  I would have turned around at the door when she stated "I told the church we don't need anymore food".  I work with several single men that would gladly accept home-cooked lasagna and apple crisp.  I believe that if someone is giving you a hand and helping you out you should show some form of gratitude.

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2012, 08:23:35 PM »
Actually, I do expect a "Thank you" if I do something for someone.  I don't care if it's mowing their yard, cooking them food or buying their kids Christmas presents because they can't afford them.  Have the needy [for whatever reason] become so entitled that a person volunteering time, effort and/or money can't even expect a simple "Thank you" without seeming selfish or greedy?

The woman in the OP was rude.  I would have turned around at the door when she stated "I told the church we don't need anymore food".  I work with several single men that would gladly accept home-cooked lasagna and apple crisp.  I believe that if someone is giving you a hand and helping you out you should show some form of gratitude.

I don't think there is really much question about that - I think the question is whether the administrator is reasonable to ask somebody not to make a decision about the whole program based on that one person. 

Betelnut

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2012, 08:24:53 PM »
Granted, sick lady was rude but perhaps she had called the church several times and had unneeded food delivered several times already.  That would be exasperating!

It can get quite frustrating to have too much food--my freezer is very small.
Native Texan, Marylander currently

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2012, 08:29:10 PM »
Granted, sick lady was rude but perhaps she had called the church several times and had unneeded food delivered several times already.  That would be exasperating!

It can get quite frustrating to have too much food--my freezer is very small.

Or she was sick or senile herself - it doesn't sound like there was any attempt to find out who she was, if she actually had any authority or what other circumstances might be in play.  I think the thing to do would be to start off e-mailing the administrator in charge asking if they could shed any light on the encounter before making decisions, let alone sharing the decisions.

cocacola35

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2012, 10:36:11 PM »
I don't think there is really much question about that - I think the question is whether the administrator is reasonable to ask somebody not to make a decision about the whole program based on that one person.

From reading the post, I got the impression that this was the OP's first experience with this program.  In my mind, the first experience counts a lot to see if I can do the job and how the program is organized.  If my first experience was like the OP's, then I probably would have reacted the same way.  If all I have to go on is a bad experience, then I'm not sure if I want to risk spending my personal time and money only to be the brunt of someone's frustrations with the program again. 

I don't think the OP was being dramatic at all by leaving- according the the post, after the bad incident she sent  a polite email to the organization about the woman's complaint.  Then she just didn't volunteer for that program anymore - she didn't make a huge announcement about it or declare she would never do volunteer work again.  She just decided to spend her personal time doing another volunteer project that was better suited for her.   

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2012, 10:42:45 PM »
I don't think there is really much question about that - I think the question is whether the administrator is reasonable to ask somebody not to make a decision about the whole program based on that one person.

From reading the post, I got the impression that this was the OP's first experience with this program.  In my mind, the first experience counts a lot to see if I can do the job and how the program is organized.  If my first experience was like the OP's, then I probably would have reacted the same way.  If all I have to go on is a bad experience, then I'm not sure if I want to risk spending my personal time and money only to be the brunt of someone's frustrations with the program again. 

I don't think the OP was being dramatic at all by leaving- according the the post, after the bad incident she sent  a polite email to the organization about the woman's complaint.  Then she just didn't volunteer for that program anymore - she didn't make a huge announcement about it or declare she would never do volunteer work again.  She just decided to spend her personal time doing another volunteer project that was better suited for her.

You wouldn't ask or verify or anything?  I agree that the fact that it is her first experience is significant - I think that means she has almost no data to base a decision on. Let's say the first person she delivered to happened to fall at her feet in gratitude, would it be logical to use that one experience as evidence that the norm was for all recipients to be that thankful?  Or if she arrived only to find out the sick individual had just passed away should she assume that is a commonplace experience?  Unusual or alarming things might come up, even your first time out but I can't imagine not calling somebody and asking them about it.

TootsNYC

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2012, 10:56:46 PM »
This is similar to the idea that someone would completely turn away from a political candidate because the staffer who organized a volunteer session goofed up how it was done. Or refusing to ever shop again at a store because a single employee was rude.

It's just sort of illogical.

immadz

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2012, 11:00:53 PM »
Your first impression counts. If I had a million great meals at a restaurant and one of them gave me bad service or an allergic reaction or something, I would be more likely to chalk it up to a bad day. If the first time I walked in a restaurant I had to deal with snark and incompetence,  I would not go back there again. After all there are other volunteer gigs to choose from. Places perhaps where she couldn't  be yelled at.


CluelessBride

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2012, 11:24:06 PM »
I understand the admin's point of view because I deal with someone like that on a regular basis.  I call them exremists or, at least, extremely over reactionary. 

It's all or nothing.  In this case, it's all "thank you, you're so great" or it's never do that again. 

In my case, it's along the lines of "Thank you for weeding my garden, but you pulled out some viable plants while you were at it."
being met with "I won't ever weed again." 

So, I get it.  I agree that it was a little dramatic.  I see it all the time.

I agree with you. And Sharnita and miranova.

I think that my own reaction would have been to alert the organizer, but also to check my own expectations, assumptions, etc.

This lady made food enough that her own family (maybe just her and DH) would have been eating lasagne and apple crisp for 4 or 5 days. How many people were in the sick person's family? Are people bringing too much food? Did the OP make too much food?

And yes, I might not volunteer for that ministry again if I felt that it wasn't much needed, or was badly organized, or even if it had plenty of other enthusiastic volunteers and my own contribution wasn't particularly powerful.

But I wouldn't need to announce that I restricted my ministry to weeding so I didn't have to deal with pesky people again.

While it's certainly possible that the poster made way too much food, I don't think the 4-5 day comment is in any way indicative of that.  Even if the family's were the exact same size, making enough for 2 days (say dinner and then lunch the next day) seems very reasonable.  And if you are making something like lasagna and apple crisp for someone else, it's almost just as easy to make a second pan for yourself.  So if you've already made lasagna for yourself and then the other person rejects theirs 2 days doubles to 4.  Add in that it's possible it was a family of four and the poster's family was a family of 2 or some other non-equal numbers - it really could be anything.

It would be rude to tell the organization that you were restricting your volunteering to weeding to avoid pesky people, but I don't think there is anything wrong with mentioning it to a third party.  I can't stand ungrateful people.  They are right up there with slackers and people who refuse to apologize on the "people who annoy me" scale.  So while I like helping people, I prefer to choose volunteer efforts where I don't interact directly with adults.  I do a lot with kids or animals or behind the scene work.


cocacola35

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2012, 11:40:03 PM »
I would tell the organization what happened and ask how something like this can be corrected.  However after being snapped at the first time, I would hesitate to give this program a second chance.   

This is similar to the idea that someone would completely turn away from a political candidate because the staffer who organized a volunteer session goofed up how it was done. Or refusing to ever shop again at a store because a single employee was rude.

It's just sort of illogical.

I don't think the political candidate scenario is comparable- if I don't like how one volunteer program is being run, I can find another one; it would not reflect my views on the candidate.  The same can be said about this meal program in the OP- this incident would not discourage me from helping others, I just wouldn't participate in this particular program anymore.  I'd find another meal program that was better organized or volunteer for something else.

On the store example, just call me "illogical".  If I'm going into a store for the first time and the first employee I encounter treats me badly, I'm not going back. After that first experience, I will associate that store with the rude employee and not want to risk running into them again.  It also does not make me think highly of the store if they employ people that are rude to the customers.  I'd rather spend my time and money somewhere else without worrying about being treated badly.   

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2012, 11:46:47 PM »
But the organization might be well organized, she never bothered to make sure the woman's claim was valid.  In fact, she didn't know who the woman was.  Maybe there were valid issues that would justify going to a new program but why not take the time to ask a question or two and/or deliver tow another person to see how the experiences compared?  She is basically trusting the person who was rude to her and she isn not even entirely sure who that person is.

AngelicGamer

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2012, 12:05:48 AM »
This is similar to the idea that someone would completely turn away from a political candidate because the staffer who organized a volunteer session goofed up how it was done. Or refusing to ever shop again at a store because a single employee was rude.

It's just sort of illogical.

Not really.  It's what a lot of political candidates run on - if their staffers are not organized and goof up in some way, the candidate can lose volunteers.  You lose volunteers, then you lose the ability to get your name out there.  The rule of thumb in the office I worked was that you were ready for your volunteer session before you left for the night.  People were giving up their Saturdays and Sundays and you don't want them waiting a half hour to a hour while you printed up what they needed.  It was all ready to go in packets.

In the OP's shoes, I would just walk away on the spot and inform the volunteer group.  If it turns out that there was something wrong in the organizing, I'd ask if they needed a second pair of hands to double check.  That's how I got my first volunteer job.  I jumped in and just helped out with getting people to where they needed to go.  The place asked if I could do some volunteer hours while the receptionists had their lunch breaks / ran errands / had to leave early.




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PeterM

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2012, 12:07:52 AM »
This is similar to the idea that someone would completely turn away from a political candidate because the staffer who organized a volunteer session goofed up how it was done. Or refusing to ever shop again at a store because a single employee was rude.

It's just sort of illogical.

I've seen dozens of posts here, at least, about people refusing to shop at a store or patronize a restaurant or some other service after their first experience was unpleasant. I don't recall seeing any of them called out for it. As others have said, I don't see anything wrong or illogical about this. "I tried it, I didn't like it, I did something else." What's wrong with that? How many bad experiences would she have to have before you'd think it was logical for her to decide not to do it anymore?

If this was the only game in town, I could see the reaction being over the top. Like if you had one bad experience at the local store and now go 50 miles out of your way for your groceries. But that's not the case here. She tried one type of volunteering and found it wasn't for her, so she decided to do other types of volunteering instead. For those who think she's overreacting to one bad experience with one ungrateful person, do you think she's really cut out to deal with multiple strangers whose reactions will be all over the map? It strikes me that if her reaction to this incident was unreasonable - which I myself don't believe - than this works as a pretty good weeding out system. The meal delivery program "loses" someone who's not cut out for it anyway, but she still does needed volunteer work. Win-win.

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2012, 12:15:07 AM »
This is similar to the idea that someone would completely turn away from a political candidate because the staffer who organized a volunteer session goofed up how it was done. Or refusing to ever shop again at a store because a single employee was rude.

It's just sort of illogical.

I've seen dozens of posts here, at least, about people refusing to shop at a store or patronize a restaurant or some other service after their first experience was unpleasant. I don't recall seeing any of them called out for it. As others have said, I don't see anything wrong or illogical about this. "I tried it, I didn't like it, I did something else." What's wrong with that? How many bad experiences would she have to have before you'd think it was logical for her to decide not to do it anymore?

If this was the only game in town, I could see the reaction being over the top. Like if you had one bad experience at the local store and now go 50 miles out of your way for your groceries. But that's not the case here. She tried one type of volunteering and found it wasn't for her, so she decided to do other types of volunteering instead. For those who think she's overreacting to one bad experience with one ungrateful person, do you think she's really cut out to deal with multiple strangers whose reactions will be all over the map? It strikes me that if her reaction to this incident was unreasonable - which I myself don't believe - than this works as a pretty good weeding out system. The meal delivery program "loses" someone who's not cut out for it anyway, but she still does needed volunteer work. Win-win.

I guess I would say that if that is her reaction when something goes amiss and she doesn't want to check with the people in charge then there probably is not a volunteer experience in existence that will please her.  Even weeding might diverge from what she expects at some point in time. 

PeterM

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2012, 12:37:49 AM »
I guess I would say that if that is her reaction when something goes amiss and she doesn't want to check with the people in charge then there probably is not a volunteer experience in existence that will please her.  Even weeding might diverge from what she expects at some point in time.

That strikes me as an interesting and uncharitable assumption, honestly. I think it's more like she doesn't want to deal with rude and ungrateful people, so she switched to a volunteer activity that minimizes her contact with strangers. I'm actually kind of mystified that anyone has a problem with that, but different strokes and all. Do you truly think that if she can't meet your standards she shouldn't volunteer her time at all?