I thought I would try something new and do something nice by volunteering to a local group that I felt strongly about. Animal rescue, for instance. I filled out applications and joined 3...count them....3...different organizations. No word. I sent e-mails. One group responded demanding a minimum of 4 hours per week for a minimum of 6 months during the middle of the work day. Hello?! I work full-time!!! And the only positions they had available were manning the phones or database entry. Yuk! If I'm going to donate my time, I want to find the work rewarding. I wanted something more hands-on with the animals. Apparently, that group is totally saturated with volunteers.
Strike 1. Onto the next group. I missed the orientation meeting. However, I filled out reams and reams of paperwork, wrote carefully thought-out essays and applied. Nothing. I sent an e-mail. They don't need me for this term, turns out. They'll get back to me next year. Next year?!
Strike 2. The third group, I was most excited about. They seemed more laid-back and focused on transporting injured animals to rehab facilities. I joined, and checked out their very out-of-date website. I e-mailed. Nothing. I called. Nothing. I left messages. I finally called their emergency hotline and got the founder of the organization. Score! One would think. She proceeded to YELL, yes, yell at me that the work wasn't glamorous and I should go somewhere else. Then, she said she desperately needed volunteers. I kept repeating, "I just want to help. What can I do?" She accused me of "interrupting her" and that she "couldn't get a word in". Then she said, "It sounds like you're high on caffeine or something. I don't think we're a good fit. This isn't the group for you." Click. I was on the brink of tears. Strike 3.
Are you f*cking kidding me? How can I be turned down for volunteering from THREE different groups? Are there really that many volunteers out there? Screw that! I don't want to help unless I'm needed. I would think they would welcome me with open arms. At this point, I'm taking a hiatus. To be honest, I'm very busy and want to be careful about giving away my precious time. I am concentrating on finishing my postdoc and searching for a job, not to mention gearing up for another Ironman (and I have A LOT of work cut out for me to whip my ass back into shape after my hibernation). Finally, I want to carve out some time for myself...working on some of my memoir writing projects, watercolor painting, hiking with Travis, and horseback riding (I may actually end up volunteering for Pony Club, which I was involved in heavily as a girl; this would mesh my strange urge to volunteer with my love of horses and mentoring kids). I even have the urge to learn how to play the guitar! Needless to say, I have my hands full. I certainly don't need to waste my efforts on areas that aren't rewarding. Those guys can SUCK IT!