Thursday, 3 April 2014

Volunteer Work



I did my day's work at the gallery today. It's run on a co-op basis so if you have a painting exhibited, you need to work a day so that the place can stay open. It seems like a good idea and I don't mind going in.

Oh I know, you can hear it coming, BUT volunteer workers seem to be self important opinionated pains in the arse.

It's just one day a month and I will have to use it as an exercise in self control, and try very hard to avoid the woman from today. She started off giving instructions and bellowing on about how shitful the governement is and that big business was the devil. This was all before we had even turned on the lights! I allowed her to dig her political hole pretty deep and then I told her I had actually voted for these 'clowns' and that whilst there might be some problem with businesses, the biggest problem under the previous government was that there were just too many people wanting and getting something for nothing and that money was finite and that governments needed to balance the books any way possible. Anyway as you can imagine it all got a bit brittle and then I was given the job of dragging out the over sized wheelie bin for 'rubbish day'

There was another woman working there who was in the office, paying accounts, getting building works quotes, answering calls and organising new memberships and stuff. I asked her if 'we' were paying her and she said that there was some arbitrary sum paid for 3 hours a week and that was OK cos she usually worked only 2 days a week but this week it would be 3 days and so she was getting a bit pissed cos there was not enough time for her to do any painting. I stuffed and addressed some envelopes for her and really hope that it took something off her very crowded plate. She was a pleasant woman.

So I made nicey nicey with the visitors and had an OK time chatting to holiday makers from all over Australia, and was very pleased when quitting time came around and bossy boots said that she would close up and that I could go, cos she was waiting for a call about something no doubt very important.

I have to imagine that if anyone is going to buy a painting, then they will need to be schmoozed at least a little. Bossy would need to haul arse out the boss chair and actually engage people in conversation. Maybe that idea could be ratified at the next committee meeting and then cast in stone, but only if the meeting lasted longer than the rest of my life.

Anyway I imagine this place is like any other business that is run by volunteer committee, by the time egos are stroked there is fuck all time for 'proper' business decisions to be made. It definitely reminds me of school Parents and Citizens groups. If you have ever been to one of these meetings or indeed taken an executive role you know that it is not for the feint hearted. Too many and too much in one room.

It might well be yet another case of  YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.