Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Open Letter to Volunteers

While I appreciate all that volunteers do to keep our children involved in fantastic activities, I am often frustrated by the quality of our experience with these volunteers. I know-if I'm going to gripe about something, I should be willing to change it. But I feel like I am in a position to gripe. Believe me, you are probably not cutting muster in your current volunteer post, I KNOW I could do better,  and as soon as I unravel the time-space continuum, I will. Until then, fix yo shit, ' cuz I'm sick of it.

Team moms and Coaches:

DO maintain a current roster of all children and parents. This document should be updated and distributed. If new children join, you have to update it.  Sorry, but you're the sucker that raised their hand when a team parent was needed. You must pay.

DO maintain some sort of calender: Most sports have one through a website.  Google Calender is  easy-even I can figure it out.  And, then we can all upload the damn thing to our phones, and always know what the hell is happening.  Because those flyers that come home? Most don't, and the ones that do are under the pile of crap I will get to once this season is over.  Right next to the three-weeks-late power bill and my soon-to-expire coupon for anti-depressants.

DO touch base by text, phone or email, even when there is not much to report-it tells us we haven't been forgotten, and keeps the organization fresh in my mind, which keeps me excited for the events coming up, and lets me know I'm in the loop

DO apologize when you err, and forget to, say, tell a parent when practice is canceled-we have lives, and things like this truly affect the overall quality of the experience, and reflect on the organization as a whole

DO give us as much possible notice on upcoming dates, events, expectations. We all have lives and sometimes need to make plans, especially when a sport takes up 5 months a year including every foreseeable Saturday

DO try to fix your errors. People are way more understanding then yo3 might believe (despite my rants)

DON'T bring any of the following for post-game snacks:  cupcakes, Capri-Suns (seriously, have you SEEN the amount of sugar in these???-OK, maybe the Roaring Water or whatever, that has way less sugar will do) , candy, jell-o or pudding cups, red-colored drinks (ummm, the uniforms are white, are you people temporarily blind while you schlep through Food for Less?)  Honestly, what is wrong with waters, string cheese, maybe some cut oranges.  The kids just exercised for 3 straight hours-they don't need sugar, they need oxygen, for Christ's sake. Water and orange slices will suffice until they regain the use of their fingers, because it's frikkin' cold as a witch's tit out here. Now let's get this party moving, so I can get some laundry done before my child outgrows the clothes he's wearing.

Some of you may be all, "where does she get room to talk, that self-absorbed condescending bitch".  Go back and read my blog from the beginning. I'm nice and have developed something I have heard being described as a modicum of patience, but also over-achieving and perfect. Enough is enough, for crying out loud.  I have volunteered since I was 14 as a candy striper. I always put 100% in, and when I can't, I fix my errors. I am currently involved in 5 non-profits in one way or another. Believe me when I say I wish I could run them all, my way, without dying in the process. Alas, I cannot, so I need you all to do what you signed up to do. If you can't tell someone, and make the situation better for all involved, crawl back under that rock you call a duplex, and take your rotten child with you. Don't act all embarrassed or ignore the problem-that's way too first-fast-food-job of you.  Be a grown-up and step down if you can't handle it-we will all be better off.

Now, this may sound like I don't appreciate the people in my children's lives.  That is soooo not true.  One of the my kids' team moms is really great, getting emails out each week. She thanks each person that did snack, reminds the next group who's up. She texts when she needs something, so you can ignore her, or step up.  It's quick and painless.  We all appreciate it. She may not hear much about her work-this means she is doing it right.
Also, I co-lead a Girl Scout Troop with a wonderful mom that has no idea how great she is.  When she slacks, she has a good reason.  When I nod off, she comes up from behind to take up the slack. She's funny and smart, and I enjoy her company. She also keeps me honest and in the loop, and accepts the "new" me that sometimes can't remember what week it is.  This makes her full of awesome-y fabness.

I feel much better now.  (That one chick really pissed me off last week, and I didn't want to embarrass my husband and child while I read her the riot act she so deserved, so you get to bear the brunt.  For this, I love you extra this week.)

Thanks for all you do,
(or, step it up, slacker, before I have to check you),

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