Sometimes you wonder why you bother. Know what I'm saying?
The time was, not all that many years ago, when I volunteered for a lot of organizations. The Buskers. Jazz Fest. Tall Ships. Other places. I did it for a few reasons, but the main one was, at the time I had a job that I absolutely despised. I hated getting up in the morning. I hated being at that job. I looked forward to going home with an enthusiasm that I cannot describe using polite terms.
I figured that if I volunteered for those places it would give me a sense of purpose, of belonging, and that my efforts would be appreciated.
I was dead wrong.
Most of the time I was given the crap jobs to do. I felt taken advantage of. One time, another guy and I had the task of walking from one end of the Halifax waterfront to the other, only to turn around and repeat that process. All afternoon. It was a boring, monotonous, literally thankless task. By 2007, after an especially brutal experience with the Tall Ships festival, I pretty much swore off volunteering my time, with the exception of Operation Rednose.
I learned a lot about myself volunteering for those places, and a great deal about the organizations. I cannot understand how any organization can build its financial model around having a certain percentage of volunteers working for them. I just can't. It doesn't make sense.
I find it vaguely insulting when someone asks me to do something on spec, to do it without any kind of compensation. Someone once reasoned with me that since I spend time on this here blog, that it should not make a difference if I do free stuff for them. My rejoinder to that would be that I do this blog for me and not anybody else. If you want me to work for your for free, then I guess I can ask my plumber to work for free, or my lawyer to do pro bono work for me, or to ask my tax accountant to waive the hefty bill she sent me recently.
Not sure where I am going with this. I suppose it is that, the older I get, the less inclined I am to do things for other people, unless there is some kind of financial or spiritual gain for me.
I will keep the above in mind after I retire. I'd rather stay home and read a book or go for a walk or do something for me, than devote my energies to someone's for profit enterprise that is too cheap to pay me anything.
Trying to figure out how to write about something that has been bugging me for quite a while now. Let me figure that out in the coming days. It is a topic that may really tick some people off.
See you tomorrow.