OT volunteering

rosajoe_gwMay 26, 2012

I have been volunteering a lot since I retired and more and more I find volunteers are unappreciated and treated rudely.

I was asked to run a booth at the Easter Festival and they left me there completely alone for 6 hours. No potty break, water, or food. I couldn't leave the booth because I was afraid the items would be stolen. The person called me the next day and asked if I would help with another one NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

No one wanted the blood drive and I reluctantly took it over because I think it is such an important part of the community. It was so unorganized and I truly felt the problems were due to the previous chair person. In all fairness, her health is very bad and I'm surprised she could do as much as she did.

Now, it's like it is MY drive and MY problem - the Red Cross is turning over so much to volunteers and everything is being computerized. None of my volunteers feel comfortable with using the computer so I'm doing so much by myself. The only lady that will stay with me after dark is 80! the others want to be out before dark so I have all of the clean up by myself.

I have been volunteering with the Red Cross for over 2 years and they have a nurse that we have complained about twice - unbelievably nasty person. She was at the last drive and she was yelling at me - I walked away and she followed me - I told her she needed to get far, far away from me. We normally leave at 7PM and she dissappeared until after 9:30PM - I could not leave or call the church to lock up until she left. I know she did this to spite me and show me SHE was in charge. She treated the previous chair person the same way and they would fight - I refuse to fight with her.

The donors were there 2 to 3 hours and complaining the entire time about how rude she is. We are a small town so they send all of the trainees to us. It's like they think of us as the 'country bumpkins' and we are being treated very unprofessionally.

I can't find volunteers to help me because of the problems! I know some of you also volunteer - are you running into increasing problems?

I'm taking a long break - I'll stick to my charity quilts. I am amazed that volunteers - FREE LABOR - are being treated so badly! I've been shaking my head all week!


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Rosa, I am on the other side of the equation - I have volunteers who count the Sunday offering for me. I try very hard to thank them every week and tell them often how much I appreciate them.

The situation with the Red Cross nurse sounds like something that needs to be reported. She may be overworked or have other issues of her own, but there is no reason to treat anyone the way she does.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 3:34PM
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Oh, Rosa, I'm so sorry that generosity and good will have been so abused. I don't do much volunteering except as officers of the various groups I belong to (chorus, yacht club, etc.), so I haven't experienced your problems. I plan to do more when I retire.

My husband, who is retired and has tried to volunteer for various things usually related to nature and the environment, has been disillusioned by the disorganization of so many volunteer agencies. You know the old saying, "You get what you pay for." Maybe that's the problem, but it sure is a shame.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 3:36PM
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When the witch was treating the previous chair person so badly I reported it to the Red Cross supervisor TWICE. I receive e-mails to do things and when I spend my time doing them - no one knows what to do with the results.

Someone called 10 donors and said their type blood was critcial - when they came in to donate they were turned away - all told me they won't be back - can't blamed them!
The Red Cross is going through budget cuts and other problems, but I have given them 2 years to get it together and it has only gotten worse.

"has been disillusioned by the disorganization of so many volunteer agencies" I AM LOL!!!!!

At 10PM Monday night I took a shower and sent an e-mail telling them I would walk out if the is nurse is sent back to our location BUT there are so many other problems I'm just quiting. I have run into the rude treatment (and talked to others that feel the same way)I am starting to think THEY think any one that works for free has to be dumb as H*** lol!!!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 4:03PM
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Rosa, I feel your pain. I have been a volunteer for a local agency since 2006. I have also suffered much disrespect and and disregard from some of the individuals there. I do have to say that most of the staff are wonderful but it seems like the higher up the totem pole they are, the worse they are. I used to volunteer twice a week for 5 or 6 hours each day, now I only go in for 3 hours a month. If I was treated as badly as you have been I would first make a written report to the volunteer coordinator and then make the big decision as to whether to stay or not. There is no need for that kind of treatment. And yes, you might be right with that last statement you made about them thinking volunteers are dumb as H---, either that or they feel threatened - don't really know. I'm sure that you can find some organization that would treat you much better if you look around. It just so happened recently that they sent around a survey to volunteers about the organization and it's partnership with volunteers and boy did I let them have it. I stated that it might lead to getting booted out but that with short staffing and cut funds they need to make some changes in how volunteers are treated, and guess what?? They didn't boot me out and the immediate supervisors have really changed the way they treat me. Of course it's probably because someone above them got on their case big-time but at least they acknowledge my existence with a hello and goodby and thank-you when I leave. Don't let guilt put you in a position of just taking it, they should all be ashamed of themselves.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 5:19PM
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