Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1239236 times)

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whatsanenigma

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5985 on: July 02, 2014, 06:07:50 PM »
  But no - she could not bear the slightest bit of constructive criticism, and we were the most horrible people in the world because we didn't give her nonstop tummy rubs.

I would think that any sensible person who really cares about an organization or cause would want to do the best job possible-to learn from more experienced people how to improve and get the job done in the best way it could be done.  You don't do an organization much good as a volunteer if you don't do things up to standard, after all.  And really, I would think that everyone would always want to be learning how to do their jobs better, so as to benefit the organization to the fullest extent they can, that it wouldn't be just that the new people would want to learn the already-established stuff ASAP.

Unfortunately, not everyone is sensible, I suppose! It sounds like this volunteer of yours didn't really want to help your cause as much as she wanted to get attention for "helping your cause".  Which is, of course, too bad.

Thipu1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5986 on: July 02, 2014, 06:53:27 PM »
Volunteers are the salt of the earth.  They do things that not for profit organizations simply don't have the funds to do otherwise.  We are very grateful for the wonderful work these people do. Often, they have helpful suggestions to increase productivity, reduce waste or streamline work flow.     

However, every once in a while you get a volunteer who is under the impression that s/he is the only person who is keeping the organization from going down the tubes.  We had one who had no qualms about changing procedures to suit her tastes and 'teaching' other volunteers her 'improved' methods.  She was so good at  persuasion that  some new part-time employees weren't sure who their boss really was. 

Okay, we were ungrateful.  We didn't recognize an organizational genius when we saw one.  What we did recognize was the chaos that her wonderful ideas were causing.  We could put up with a lot from volunteers but she had to go. 

     

Jocelyn

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5987 on: July 02, 2014, 07:32:37 PM »

I really really try.  But, excluding drop-offs at goodwill, etc, over half my donations to charity have left a bad taste in my mouth.  Nothing like the homeless shelter/donuts though.  I think something happens to people's mind that get enmeshed in that world.  Look at the threads we've had from people that volunteered and then been abused and overworked and totally un-appreciated.  I keep trying different groups, methods.
Well, we don't have many threads along the line of 'I did X, and it was a completely satisfactory experience'.

KB

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5988 on: July 03, 2014, 02:49:45 AM »
I would think that any sensible person who really cares about an organization or cause would want to do the best job possible-to learn from more experienced people how to improve and get the job done in the best way it could be done.  You don't do an organization much good as a volunteer if you don't do things up to standard, after all.  And really, I would think that everyone would always want to be learning how to do their jobs better, so as to benefit the organization to the fullest extent they can, that it wouldn't be just that the new people would want to learn the already-established stuff ASAP.

Unfortunately, not everyone is sensible, I suppose! It sounds like this volunteer of yours didn't really want to help your cause as much as she wanted to get attention for "helping your cause".  Which is, of course, too bad.

Sadly some people  (a very small, but usually extremely vocal and often pushy minority) choose to volunteer because it means they get to tell all and sundry about how good they are, how much work they do, how nobody sdoes as much as they do, etc. Of course, such people also exist in many workplaces, but somehow, because volunteers can also play the martyr card of "Look how much work I do, and I don't even get paid for it!!" it makes them that much more difficult to deal with than a similar situation in a paid environment. (A shortage of volunteers also means it's harder to lose those people because they often do work hard, even they have ulterior motives for doing so.)

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5989 on: July 03, 2014, 09:26:37 AM »
I have been a volunteer coordinator, as well as a big time volunteer. Dealing with problem volunteers can be tricky. 

You don't want to alienate current or potential volunteers (or donors) with a reputation for unfairness to workers, but you also can't have a disruptive workplace, even if nobody is getting paid. A good non-profit will operate like a good for-profit--not discussing employee's performance with other employees. So people can get the wrong idea if a volunteer suddenly leaves, and all that is official said is "So and So decided we weren't a good fit." Especially if So-and-So tells the world that the non-profit is run by idiots.

Just as a business can be burdened with the Boss's incompetent nephew who can't be fired, non-profits can be stuck with the child of a major donor.

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data

ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5990 on: July 03, 2014, 09:45:40 AM »
There are two non-profits side by side. We do a lot of volunteer work for the youth camp and were asked by the caretaker to help the historic gardens next door.

The director of the non-profit that manages the gardens and house is one of the most Narcissistic people I have ever met. Just a few hours proved to me that I would not spend one more minute in her presence.

Hillia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5991 on: July 03, 2014, 11:58:48 AM »
I have a friend who is very accomplished in framing and displaying art.  She has worked with several artists in arranging shows and her work is always well received.  When she moved here, she volunteered with a local museum, and her first project was to frame and arrange some 40-50 pieces of artwork.  She was given no direction or hints on what was wanted.  So she approached the project as she would have one of the gallery shows she was used to arranging, spending hours framing and hanging the art.  The museum director came in and looked at the gallery dubiously, then asked her if she couldn't arrange them by size, and have the top edges all lined up.

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RooRoo

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5992 on: July 04, 2014, 02:33:10 AM »
That explains why so many museum galleries are so stultifying. The art is great, but one gets tired of taking a step or two to the left and raising one's eyes to exactly 5 feet, 6 inches above the floor...
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

MissRose

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5993 on: July 04, 2014, 11:06:37 AM »
One of my co-workers sits by someone who may be committing PD with some of the following actions:

*Calling off at least 1 time at week
*The calls in that department typically take no more than 5 minutes at most, and she spends more time in wrap up mode instead of moving on to the next caller


I have a PD candidate near me, and a customer that I helped her with fixing her issue complained about the person being rude, short with her, calling her "lady", being condescending etc.  Not the first time I've heard that about that person from a customer and not the last either.

weeblewobble

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5994 on: July 05, 2014, 08:32:52 AM »
But, the homeless shelter people started to get pissy.  Saying things like "We budgeted you to give us Y number of donuts, and you only donated X number.  You need to make us some more NOW"  This happened more than once and got heated, so they just stopped donating the donuts at all.

And it's this level of entitlement that causes people to not donate anything at _all_ and go sour on all charities!

I really really try.  But, excluding drop-offs at goodwill, etc, over half my donations to charity have left a bad taste in my mouth.  Nothing like the homeless shelter/donuts though.  I think something happens to people's mind that get enmeshed in that world.  Look at the threads we've had from people that volunteered and then been abused and overworked and totally un-appreciated.  I keep trying different groups, methods.

My family used to really enjoy doing the Angel Tree program every Christmas, picking two kids every year to shop for. My children  (now 6 and 10) would spend days planning just what they wanted to give the kids on the tree and shopping for extra little stocking stuffer type items.  Then we would load the presents into the car and drive them to the local donation center, where you walked in and got to see the volunteers wrapping the presents for the families. The room was filled with toys and people in santa hats and you could NOT convince my son that it wasn't the North Pole. Afterwards, "Santa" sent our family a thank you note for helping him fulfill his Christmas list. My kids looked forward to it every year.

Then three years ago, local management for the charity changed as did the policies for handling the donations. Instead of dropping them off at 'The North Pole' we have to drive to the charity's regional thrift store about 45 minutes away. No toy room. No elves. And instead of being thanked for our donation by smiling staff members, we get a sullen store employee who jerks her chin toward a pile of bags in the corner and says, "Over there."

That's it. 

I know you shouldn't do things to be thanked, but the total lack of gratitude on the part of the organization's staff, not to mention last year, when my kids were told "Don't TOUCH ANYTHING" by the store employee before we even managed to get through the door* have led to my kids losing all enthusiasm for participating.  We've decided to send the charity's national office a check and spend our time/resources on some other local holiday charity project.

*I usually don't get offended on behalf of my kids, but seriously, we hadn't even walked through the door all the way and my kids were too busy hauling in big bags of toys to touch anything in the store. My kids felt unwelcome and hurt.  That was the final straw.

ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5995 on: July 05, 2014, 09:40:41 AM »
^That is terrible!


PastryGoddess

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5996 on: July 05, 2014, 06:45:02 PM »
Weeblewobble, I think a letter to headquarters would not be amiss.  That is absolutely horrible

KenveeB

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5997 on: July 05, 2014, 06:45:30 PM »
That's so sad, weeblewobble! I used to love doing the Angel Tree every year too, but I started having trouble with it a couple of years ago. Now I do an adopt-a-child program through our local Children's Advocacy Center, who help the kids involved in the CPS system. I guess it's definitely a good system when there are enough charities out there that you can pick one that suits your preferences best. :)

Jocelyn

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5998 on: July 05, 2014, 07:33:06 PM »
Weeblewobble,
You definitely need to communicate with either the local or higher-up admins about this. The whole point of donation is to transform lives, both those that are the recipients of your generosity, and your family's. If your kids don't get to see others transformed by the joy of giving, if they're treated as nuisances, and all the donation consists of is putting a sack in a box, that's not transformative. And personally, I'd be very uneasy about making a 'put a sack in a box' donation, because what sort of security is being kept over those donations? What keeps the employees from being able to rifle through the gifts, and helping themselves, if the gifts sit there for long periods of time where no one else knows what's there?

doodlemor

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5999 on: July 05, 2014, 09:24:14 PM »
Weeblewobble,
You definitely need to communicate with either the local or higher-up admins about this. The whole point of donation is to transform lives, both those that are the recipients of your generosity, and your family's. If your kids don't get to see others transformed by the joy of giving, if they're treated as nuisances, and all the donation consists of is putting a sack in a box, that's not transformative. And personally, I'd be very uneasy about making a 'put a sack in a box' donation, because what sort of security is being kept over those donations? What keeps the employees from being able to rifle through the gifts, and helping themselves, if the gifts sit there for long periods of time where no one else knows what's there?

POD, especially the bolded.