Author Topic: Don't Abuse the Volunteers!  (Read 1983 times)

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jillybean

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Don't Abuse the Volunteers!
« on: August 23, 2013, 10:16:21 AM »
So I volunteered to help sell drinks this morning up at the high school to raise some funds for the booster club.  My son is starting high school and I am new, so I don't want to get off on the wrong foot...but I was told to show up at 9 and arrived a little early, so I called my contact to ask if he was there yet because, from past experience in middle school, I know he tends to run late.  Well, he wasn't there and he told me that they really didn't need my help after all.  In fact,  he probably wasn't going to be there either.

Okay, I'm happy to volunteer.  I LOVE to volunteer, but this kind of crap really makes me mad.  I have a very flexible work schedule but it's been very slow lately and I turned down some work for today because I had already made this commitment.  Not cool to waste my time like this.  So like  I said, I'm the new parent and I really don't want to get off to a bad start, but if this happens again, I am not going to be volunteering for them.

So my question:  Should I send an email and tell them about my experience this morning and ask that they be more considerate of my time in the future, or should I just let it go this time and only mention it if it happens again?  Or some other option?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 10:18:02 AM by jillybean »
Texas

Shoo

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Re: Don't Abuse the Volunteers!
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 10:19:34 AM »
So my question:  Should I send an email and tell them about my experience this morning and ask that they be more considerate of my time in the future, or should I just let it go this time and only mention it if it happens again?

Yes, I think you should.  You can be factual without being snarky.  The truth is, they DID waste your time, and you DID lose work because of it.  They need to know they did this, and they absolutely can't do it again.

If you don't say anything, it will happen again.  And it might happen to other people too.  It's the beginning of the school year, and I think it's important to set the tone for how you (and other volunteers) will be treated right from the start. 

Firecat

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Re: Don't Abuse the Volunteers!
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2013, 10:40:58 AM »
I think you should mention it, too. This is exactly the kind of thing that puts people off volunteering. It's important to treat volunteers with respect, and that includes respecting their time, or you won't have them for long.

*inviteseller

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Re: Don't Abuse the Volunteers!
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2013, 10:49:03 AM »
I would send an e mail or text and say

X,
You know I am always willing to volunteer, and my schedule is flexible enough so I can arrange to help out often, but I did not appreciate being told when I was already at the event that we would no longer be doing it.  If there will be a cancellation on any event I have volunteered for, I would like more notice so as not to waste mine or anyone else's time.

jillybean


I will tell you though, I was that new parent in the PTA and didn't know too many people, but saw right away the diddling around that the head honchos engaged in and how slapped together things were, so I stepped up and within my own committees made sure everything was organized and everyone knew what they were doing..word spread and I ended up taking a more leadership role to help steer all the other volunteers who weren't getting clear direction from the top.  Because of myself and a few other ladies who stepped in too, the events were going smoother, were more thought out and advertised thus better attended.  Maybe you could try to take on some more leadership roles too, if nothing else, to get things better organized for all the other volunteers who are frustrated.

gen xer

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Re: Don't Abuse the Volunteers!
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 11:28:26 AM »

Yes.....a polite note would be in order because you rearranged your schedule and turned down some work.  I would have been angry at being taken for granted too.

They need to get their you know what together and they won't if you don't say anything.