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A rant on why folks DON'T volunteer

May 21st, 2012 at 04:10 pm

As many of you know, I'm in education. My DH has been retired and is volunteering. In fact, he volunteers 5 days a week at 4 different schools.

Earlier this year he set up a time to work with two teachers at the same school. One decided the morning time wasn't working for her, so he agreed to come back in the afternoon which means he visits the school twice in one day to accomodate her. A lot of times he would stand in the hall waiting to come in so she could finish whatever she was doing...for the last few weeks he was waiting out there 15 minutes or more...I guess what is the most bothersome is the fact he shows up on time each and every week. Yet, she never seemed to be ready for him to come in.

Today he got to the school and signed in and went to the classrooms. Both were empty. He walked around thinking maybe they went to the restroom or the gym. No sign of these students or teachers. One of the teaching assistants saw him and said she thought the classes were on a field trip.

In our district you have to request a bus weeks in advance so this wasn't a spur of the moment thing. Yet neither of these two teachers could mention to him they wouldn't be at school on Monday or email me that they were going on a field trip.

He has felt that his time was not well spent going to these classes.

I just can't imagine treating a volunteer like this. Maybe I'm of an age where one appreciates it when folks give time and try to make sure they knew I was grateful.

Perhaps this is a reason people are hesitant to volunteer.

7 Responses to “A rant on why folks DON'T volunteer”

  1. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Wow, that is terrible. I think that other organizations would benefit from his time and efforts. If I were in his shoes I would send a terse email to the principal and the teachers and resign at the end of the school year. As a volunteer for many years I think people just don't "get" what our time is worth. And even though you posted this in "Ramblings and nonsensical chatter" I think your issue is very important.

  2. PNW Mom Says:

    If I were your husband, I would find another teacher and/or organization that would appreciate his time and efforts....that's just cruddy the way he has been treated.

  3. laura Says:


    Can I join the club of disgruntled volunteers? This is SO timely for me, and probably a nice opportunity to vent in a literary rather than communicative way Smile
    My morning yesterday:
    8:00 AM I turn up at the school to discuss the plans for Field Day (year end picnic). The email sent by the head coordinator was sent out without specifying an exact time/place. I assumed the usual. Our principal knows nothing about this meeting. This is for grades 1-7 and each grade has 4 room parents (28). My counterpart (difficult friend) turns up at 8:15. At 8:25 Head Room Parent Coordinator strolls in and hands out copies from 2007 that she's written 2012 over. No speficif plans are discussed; the conversation turns gossipy at 8:40 so I leave to then move on to my next volunteer stop, data entry for our Manna/Scripps project.

    I turn up early (20 minutes) and begin to get weekly standing orders entered, plus the random orders. My counterpart regularly turns up late (like 9:30 and she handles the processing/mathematic computations end).

    Head Manna Person turns up and chastises me for getting there early because my counterpart might not have work to do - she's (Head Coordinator) never been there and knows our division of labor. She got me so annoyed. My time is worth something too. And while I see her point, she could have addressed it far differently. Then she launches into the "How wonderful we are all here to work together and get these year end teacher appreciation gifts processed and ordered" And then she didn't like that we three workers prefer NOT to have orders read to us and look and enter ourselves.

    My tolerance for stupidity has gotten very low, so at 10:00 I said that I needed to go, my grandma who is 92 is here for a visit and my time with her trumps everything else. Big smile on my face and cheerfulness in my voice while I declared that.

    And I left.

  4. patientsaver Says:

    Whether he decides to continue or not, i hope he has a talk with her. She sounds clueless.

  5. Looking Forward Says:

    What a shame!

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Wow! I *cherish* anyone who is willing to volunteer to help me do things in the library - more than happy to do whatever I can to accommodate them, rather than make them adjust to me ... If your DH was here, I'd make sure he was *really* appreciated and valued!! Smile

  7. rob62521 Says:

    Thank you for the validation...I thought perhaps because it was my DH, I was not thinking straight. I know the few volunteers I had when I was in the classroom, I was thrilled and worked around their schedules.

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