Author Topic: Biting the hand that feeds you  (Read 8627 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2012, 12:44:18 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?

No, I think that volunteering for anything is like a job - there is a learning curve. I think that for somebody who didn't want to work with rude people the only person she talked to about this was a rude person.  She didn't talk to anybody else to find out if the rude person was giving her accurate information or if the rude person was even somebody who had authority to make those kinds of calls for the patient.  It sounds like she assumed it was aunt or mom, believed the claim that they had called the organization and asked no other clarifying questions.  Now if she asks clarifying questions and finds out that the experience is going to put her into contact with rude people then it would be logical to leave.  My issue is that she doesn't actually know what it is that she is leaving because she didn't bother to ask anybody.

CluelessBride

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2012, 01:11:06 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?

No, I think that volunteering for anything is like a job - there is a learning curve. I think that for somebody who didn't want to work with rude people the only person she talked to about this was a rude person.  She didn't talk to anybody else to find out if the rude person was giving her accurate information or if the rude person was even somebody who had authority to make those kinds of calls for the patient.  It sounds like she assumed it was aunt or mom, believed the claim that they had called the organization and asked no other clarifying questions.  Now if she asks clarifying questions and finds out that the experience is going to put her into contact with rude people then it would be logical to leave.  My issue is that she doesn't actually know what it is that she is leaving because she didn't bother to ask anybody.

Actually, she says she wrote the meal organizer to let them know what happened. But I think whether or not she was reasonable depends on how you look at it.  She met a rude, ungrateful person.  It took the joy out of volunteering and possibly really upset her.  It's true that the majority of people receiving these meals may be grateful.  However, this may have clued her in that some people are absolute jerks, even when you are doing nice things to them.  And if dealing one on one with ungrates stresses her out, why should she have to risk dealing with them when there are other volunteer activities available to her where she doesn't have to?

After all, weeding the church garden may free up time for someone else to cook meals. 

Again, I vastly prefer to not work directly with adults because it stresses me out to deal with people that are ungrateful. I have enough other sources of stress in my life, I don't need jerks adding to that if I can avoid it.  I don't mind not getting recognition for work, so I do well working behind the scenes.  I also do well with children or animals - because even though they may not say thank you, they never act like ungrateful boars. I know myself and my strengths and limitations, so I play to those.  I'll leave dealing one on one with jerks like the one mentioned in the OP to people with more patience for that kind of attitude.  Perhaps the poster feels the same.

I for one am grateful she's weeding the garden.  I just spent all afternoon weeding and my body is now revolting.  Making 100 lasagnas would be less painful.  ;)

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2012, 01:16:22 AM »
It sounds like she wrote and said "I quit because ..." opposed to "I had a weird/upsetting experience when I delivered the food and was hoping you could shed some light on what that might have been about" It doesn't sound like anybody from the organization had a chance or respond, explain or anything else.

CluelessBride

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2012, 01:23:53 AM »
The organization still could have responded and apologized/explained the situation.  But that might not have changed anything.  Again, it might not have been a response of "this organization is bad/did something wrong and so I quit".  It may have been a response of "you know, working directly with people can be very rewarding when they are appreciative of the work I do, but when they are rude and unappreciative it make me upset.  I'd rather engage in a volunteer activity without direct contact with people that might berate me".

That's really know different than someone saying "I don't want to be a teacher because I don't like kids" or "I don't volunteer at animal shelters because dogs frighten me".  Sometimes (like here) it takes an event to make you realize something isn't your thing.

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2012, 01:29:25 AM »
The organization still could have responded and apologized/explained the situation.  But that might not have changed anything.  Again, it might not have been a response of "this organization is bad/did something wrong and so I quit".  It may have been a response of "you know, working directly with people can be very rewarding when they are appreciative of the work I do, but when they are rude and unappreciative it make me upset.  I'd rather engage in a volunteer activity without direct contact with people that might berate me".

That's really know different than someone saying "I don't want to be a teacher because I don't like kids" or "I don't volunteer at animal shelters because dogs frighten me".  Sometimes (like here) it takes an event to make you realize something isn't your thing.

I guess using that example I would say it would be like the first day you work with the kids the first kid you encounter is rude and claims the adults in charge have a policy that says xx,y and z.  You quit without ever asking an adult or interacting with another kid. Handing that much trust and power over to the rude kid just seems so illogical and I can understand why the administrator pointed it out.

CluelessBride

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2012, 01:42:34 AM »
Well it still depends on *why* she quit though.  If she was quitting because she felt like the organization was poorly run (or in the working with kids example, because she disagreed with the xx,y and z policy), then I absolutely agree with you.  However, if she quit because she realized she didn't want to deal with interacting with people because some of them may be ungrateful, then anything the organization might say wouldn't change that.  (Or in the kid example it would be like quitting because you disliked the rude kid, regardless of what policies the adults might actually have, and realized you didn't want to deal with any more rude kids.)

I personally think it's telling that she didn't say "I refuse to volunteer for that church anymore because things are poorly organized."  Rather she says she chooses to do landscape maintenance because she'd rather deal with plants than people. 

Kiwichick

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2012, 03:25:02 AM »
It sounds like she wrote and said "I quit because ..." opposed to "I had a weird/upsetting experience when I delivered the food and was hoping you could shed some light on what that might have been about" It doesn't sound like anybody from the organization had a chance or respond, explain or anything else.

Where did you get that from?

She says ' I went home and wrote a polite e-mail to the meal organizer suggesting she contact the sick parishioner to confirm whether or not any more food was needed. You will be happy to hear that the parishioner had made a full recovery.'

I don't see any drama in changing how she volunteers, she also says 'Id rather deal with thorny creatures of the plant variety than the human ones.' so it seems she has found the perfect niche for herself, there's no reason why should she bend over backwards to discover if the first experience was usual or not.

Sharnita

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2012, 08:18:46 AM »
It sounds like she wrote and said "I quit because ..." opposed to "I had a weird/upsetting experience when I delivered the food and was hoping you could shed some light on what that might have been about" It doesn't sound like anybody from the organization had a chance or respond, explain or anything else.

Where did you get that from?

She says ' I went home and wrote a polite e-mail to the meal organizer suggesting she contact the sick parishioner to confirm whether or not any more food was needed. You will be happy to hear that the parishioner had made a full recovery.'

I don't see any drama in changing how she volunteers, she also says 'Id rather deal with thorny creatures of the plant variety than the human ones.' so it seems she has found the perfect niche for herself, there's no reason why should she bend over backwards to discover if the first experience was usual or not.

I get that because she quit before hearing back.  It doesn't sound like she cares what the realities are. I do think that when you volunteer you are committing to some extent.  Now obviously you aren't enlisting so you can leave if you don't like how things work but in this case she doesn't even wait to find out how things work.  To me it is like walking away from somebody before they have responded to  a comment you made in conversation.

Kiwichick

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2012, 08:59:15 AM »
It sounds like she wrote and said "I quit because ..." opposed to "I had a weird/upsetting experience when I delivered the food and was hoping you could shed some light on what that might have been about" It doesn't sound like anybody from the organization had a chance or respond, explain or anything else.

Where did you get that from?

She says ' I went home and wrote a polite e-mail to the meal organizer suggesting she contact the sick parishioner to confirm whether or not any more food was needed. You will be happy to hear that the parishioner had made a full recovery.'

I don't see any drama in changing how she volunteers, she also says 'Id rather deal with thorny creatures of the plant variety than the human ones.' so it seems she has found the perfect niche for herself, there's no reason why should she bend over backwards to discover if the first experience was usual or not.

I get that because she quit before hearing back.  It doesn't sound like she cares what the realities are. I do think that when you volunteer you are committing to some extent.  Now obviously you aren't enlisting so you can leave if you don't like how things work but in this case she doesn't even wait to find out how things work.  To me it is like walking away from somebody before they have responded to  a comment you made in conversation.

Nothing in the OP says she quit before she heard back, she says the woman made a full recovery, so she did hear back.

She says that after that she confined her volunteering to plants.  I took that to mean after that whole experience not immediately after she wrote her email.  Since this is an etiquette site I prefer to give the OP the benefit of the doubt in the absence of any glaring indication that I shouldn't.

still in va

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2012, 09:07:29 AM »
It sounds like she wrote and said "I quit because ..." opposed to "I had a weird/upsetting experience when I delivered the food and was hoping you could shed some light on what that might have been about" It doesn't sound like anybody from the organization had a chance or respond, explain or anything else.

Where did you get that from?

She says ' I went home and wrote a polite e-mail to the meal organizer suggesting she contact the sick parishioner to confirm whether or not any more food was needed. You will be happy to hear that the parishioner had made a full recovery.'

I don't see any drama in changing how she volunteers, she also says 'Id rather deal with thorny creatures of the plant variety than the human ones.' so it seems she has found the perfect niche for herself, there's no reason why should she bend over backwards to discover if the first experience was usual or not.

I get that because she quit before hearing back.  It doesn't sound like she cares what the realities are. I do think that when you volunteer you are committing to some extent. Now obviously you aren't enlisting so you can leave if you don't like how things work but in this case she doesn't even wait to find out how things work.  To me it is like walking away from somebody before they have responded to  a comment you made in conversation.

i went back and re-read the original post, and it sounds to me as if the poster absolutely did fulfill her commitment.  she did not commit to provide meals to sick or bereaved parishioners for a period of time, say six months, then bail the first time in a dramatic fashion.  the procedure for food assistance was to sign up on-line to provide a meal.  she signed up on-line to provide a meal; she provided the meal.  she didn't send an e-mail to the organizer stating she would no longer provide food; she stated that the organizer might want to check to see if the family still wanted the meals that were to be provided.

there was nothing for her to "hear back".  the nature of the e-mail did not require a response, other than a possible "thanks for the head's up; i'll check."  the poster didn't go off to talk to the flowers in a snit while yanking out weeds.  the poster discovered that there was a better outlet for her talents that would benefit her church.  there's nothing wrong with that, and she was in no way in the wrong, or shirking volunteer duties that she had committed to.  her commitment was a one-time thing, which she fulfilled completely.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 09:17:02 AM by still in va »

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2012, 11:27:53 AM »
I volunteer for a Christmas Cheer program in my area.  I choose to volunteer sorting food or toys, rather than dealing directly with the recipients.  While the vast majority of recipients are grateful, it would take just one person complaining about what they received to taint the entire experience for me.

I see what the OP did the same way.  Her experience was tainted so she has now chosen a different volunteer opportunity that allows her to contribute without someone rebuffing her for her effort.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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lisastitch

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2012, 06:24:54 PM »
Sometimes one bad experience is enough to make you shrug your shoulders and say, "enough of that".  It may not be logical--and you may realize intellectually that you should give the restaurant/store/candidate/volunteer experience a second chance, but emotionally, you're turned off and see no reason to pursue it.

I'm very careful now about offering to do meals after one bad experience years ago.  A woman at church broke her wrist and needed meals.  I offered to do one, thinking that I would bring a frozen meal to church, where she could pick it up, and then she could thaw it and bake it when she needed it.  Her expectation was that I would bring a complete meal (entree, salad, dessert, etc) to her house at dinnertime, which I wound up doing, driving across town during rush hour. 

It sticks in my mind because her husband worked full time, but was able-bodied, and her children were old enough to help out.  She wasn't bed-bound.   Ironically, I had tendonitis in one wrist, and my husband had broken a bone in his hand so we had one pair of hands between us, and our children were younger than hers, but we were managing.



Ehelldame

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2012, 08:56:35 PM »
Why are you all commenting in a thread and not the original blog post?  Comments are not closed on the blog post but this thread is. 

And for the record, if I don't approve your comment on the blog, it really won't fly over here at all. 

Ehelldame

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Re: Biting the hand that feeds you
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2012, 08:21:30 AM »
In response to several private messages about the closure of this thread:

1.  I would have never known of the thread if forum members had not flagged it for moderation. 

2.  Please go to the topic, "Blog Threads" in Forum Announcements for further discussion.