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Tell me again, why do I need one of these things?

I've already bottled posting this entry once. So, let buzzy tell you…

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kowalski: pinboard
I've already bottled posting this entry once. So, let buzzy tell you about her week -- there is quite enough fail on planet buzzy after a couple of less-than-fantastic days at "work" - my charity-sector heritage-sector un-job. If you don't know, I try to cut out details/real names when I am talking on-line, it may be paranoia or it might be my next boss on google or it might be my current (cranky non-computer fan) boss trying out google for the first time... same difference (sort of).

So, buzzy has a record doing volunteer-things -- she's done a couple for about five years. At worst with sheer bloody-mindedness and at best the scary sort of enthusiasm. So, on planet buzzy today, it's buzzy's other un-job volunteer thing, otherwise known as "computing for the inept" every other weekend at the library. Trying to find people who need a hand with information technology and occasionally getting somebody who actually needs help.

I got talked into doing a "children's craft event" by the harassed-sounding library volunteer co-ordinator, who didn't seem entirely sure what the event was... My expectations, in sheer lack of other information, involved children, mayhem and PVA glue*.

What I got was a bunch of "art community development project" people and a singular lack of kids.

At which point I nearly bottled it. Let's just say that I find this type of thing pretentious, patronising and deliberately over-complicated and over-organised. And (lo!) it was. Especially the patronising bit. I try to leave out specifics, but if I am a kid cajoled into making [something creative], I'd like to take it home, not have it "feature" in an "installation".

Oh, and apparently, I can use some of my normal volunteering time (tomorrow) when I normally computer-aid "helping out" with this venture. Oh, joy! This is increasingly peeving me off. As today was three hours extra as a favour and "desperately needed" I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy about having my regular three-hour weekend slot converted into something I want to do even less than "computing for the inept" (regular buzzy-watchers will know that I have considered packing that in frequently and only being a "terribly nice person" has stopped me) by the well-worn "oh buzzy, you're such a lovely valued person..." gambit.

Suffice to say, lovely valued people don't invite co-ordinators to fuck the hell off. Likewise, demand some genuine training/support and cut it with the half-arsed emotional blackmail. Because that warm lovely feeling of helping the visually-disabled use the screen-reader is even better when nobody tells me what programme I'm meant to be using, or how to set it up, and that might be why I leave with un-fuzzy feelings of guilt and epic fail. After the person has thanked me profusely for my "help".

Most of the time, is spent helping people on the computers who don't want to be helped terribly much and casting around - shoulder surfing - for people that do. And don't get me started on what an ethical quagmire that is. As I was saying to one of the knit/natter ladies, I'm not sure how/why I've kept giving up my weekend to do something occasionally rewarding but mostly tedious, stressful and boring.

The reasons -- social interaction, getting out, meeting new people, useful skills... -- are holding less and less water. Especially the one I started with -- a possible jump-start into library/archive employment -- has long ceased to be viable, especially when my health-problem flakiness became progressively more apparent as I started to cancel sessions for being too dead...

[interesting fact: Poly Vinyl Adhesive is used in the construction industry as a bonding agent. And none of it involves washing-liquid bottles and sticky-backed plastic]. buzzy watches the mike holmes show too much.
  • Volunteering should always be fun. I mean, I know it cant be a laugh riot every day - but volunteers should definitely be getting something good out of it. After all, they give up their time for nothing. Organizations in this country would grind to a halt without the help of volunteers.

    Seriously - if it's getting to be a drag - seek out your local volunteer center and see if you can find something more rewarding to do. As a volunteer resource advisor, I feel really sad when I hear of people like you who are eager and willing to give your time, but being taken advantage of by an organisation. You don't owe them a thing, hon.

    I hope you get it sorted out really soon. There are loads of really worthy organisations out there that would love to have you.
    • I''m doing a little thinking right now - I just don't want to pretend that I am not listening to you. Shesh, sorry about the double/triple/quadruple negatives, but I hope you get what I am meaning.
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