Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Volunteer Work - Sometimes it pays to pay people.



Almost 2 months ago I dragged on some decent clothes and put on a bit of lippy, grabbed my CV and some paperwork and trooped off for my first job interview in years. I was very excited.

There had been stories in the local paper about Kiwi kids being abandoned by their parents who had taken off back to NZ. Seems these kids had been left to fend for themselves....no money, no housing, no passports, no options but to take to the streets and that of course is always gonna end badly. I amn not gonna go into a rant about this so no need to hang onto your hats, suffice to say that the whole situation is FUCKED!

Close by to the story was an ad for volunteers to work with disadvantaged teens and it seemed like fate had stepped in to fill some of my spare time.

I feel strongly that we need to give our kids the best start possible, and I am pretty good with 'em, if I do say so myself. I find 'em entertaining and clever and interesting and therefore spending time with 'em is never a problem. I reckon too that 30 years of dealing with all sorts has armed me with a bit of a bullshit antennae which would be useful for dealing with street kids.

Anyway off I went. It appears that the Volunteer industry is a growth one. There is a middle man company that interviews and then sends details to the needy organisations. This was my first interview. It took an hour.

All my stuff was recorded and then I was told that it would be sent to the place that needed helpers and they would call me. But that didn't happen. SO weeks later I rang 'em and found out about this little oopsie.

A new appointment was sorted and then weeks later cancelled due to the woman having, 'a senior moment'.

SO then I finally decided that maybe this place wasn't for me. Seems that very often it is a better idea to pay people for their efforts so that they feel an obligation to get things right rather than feel good about themselves for doing something, anything, even if it is a bit shit.

It seems to me that the 'do gooder' lot would be advised to actually EMPLOY a couple of people who might source government funding or preferably private sponsorship and then go about finding folk to help. Whilst there is no rudder there can be very little directed progress. This is a perfect case of you get what you pay for.

The Volunteer sector is a glowing here on the Goldie - all these old people looking for something to do. But it seems to me that it's just taking the piss. Treating the volunteers like fools and then providing some sort of shit second rate service to people who by the sounds of it, could really do with some first rate help.

I had already decided that I wasn't gonna do a job that someone could reasonably expect to be paid for, cos that would just be adding to the unemployment problem, but there are things that need to be done that would not really be counted as a 'proper' job, and these need to be organised and sorted and monitored, and that administration is a 'proper' job and should definitely be filled by someone being paid to be efficient and effective.

There are plenty folk like me who have ability and availability. Wouldn't it be cool if this army of willing folk were respected and carefully sorted to help out.
 
Perhaps I am being a little negative.....Tomorrow is another day.