I keep hearing about how we should all volunteer our time to help non-profits out. Americans should donate x-hours a week/month/year to help out. I'm sorry, but from my past experience I have determined that people don't volunteer because they are sick of the bullshit that goes along with volunteering. On the one paw, the agencies are in a tight spot because it's hard to hold on to volunteers. We're not being paid, so the urgency of commitment is not there. On the other paw, I don't see agencies treating their volunteers like gold, which they should. The key to keeping good quality volunteers is to keep them happy.
I used to volunteer every weekend at Wildlife West. I would get up every Saturday at 6 a.m. to help care and feed the critters. But after a few times of showing up and waiting outside the gate for an hour only to find that the keeper was off that day but nobody bothered to tell me, I gave up. I started working in the office, but one day a new volunteer showed up and said she was going to be working Saturdays. So what was left for me? Who knew. I still suit for them at festivals, but the management is so unorganized that I feel like I'm wasting my time.
I stopped volunteering at Animal Humane last year for a few reasons. The first was that I was working side-by-side with their paid employees. I got fed up working my ass off while the regular staff played with the animals and took long breaks where they discussed all of the drama in their lives. I also got a little miffed when I found myself working with someone who was only there because it was part of her community service time. So now I only work as Zunipup because I am more in control of what I do for the organization and it's something I truly enjoy.
So maybe I have a chip on my shoulder that should not be a part of the volunteer spirit. I guess I'm just one who wants to know what I'm signing up for. I'm looking for the personal satisfaction above the needs of the organization. I just like to know what I'm doing. I don't mind shoveling shit if that's what I signed up to do. But if I signed up to work in an office and you tell me to shovel shit, I will have a problem with that.