As some of you probably know, I am one of the two people heading up my company's United Way campaign this year. The United Way has this annual thing called the Day of Caring, which is exactly what it sounds like -- people volunteer their time to support various causes around the area. As a volunteer, you might clean up litter in a public park, or read stories to children. You might spoon-feed the elderly or decorate a youth center. For the record, the team from my company is painting.
At least, I think our team is painting. My co-workers may just end up looking stupid while most of the work is done by people from other companies. Why? Because apparently the people I work with don't understand that they need to stick to the commitments they make. When I sent out the initial e-mails oh, say, a month ago, I made it very clear that all volunteers must clear their absence from work with their supervisor, and above all, actually show up to volunteer.
Now there are, of course, acceptable excuses. Illness. Sudden work-related emergency. Death in the family. Et cetera. And I wasn't at all pissed off when somebody e-mailed me yesterday to tell me that she just received a big assignment that will require her to overtime hours, and must be finished next week (the Day of Caring is on Tuesday, the 9th). Great. Fine. Wonderful. Sorry to hear you can't participate, but hey, maybe next year. In response to this e-mail, I thought it might be a good idea to make sure everyone else would still be available. What responses did I get?
- "Oh, that's this coming week?" Gee, it's not like I sent out a reminder e-mail earlier this week reminding you all that it's on the 9th...
- "I can't go because my manager changed her mind." And it didn't occur to anybody that I might be serious when I said "please let me know as soon as possible if you must cancel?"
- "When I found out we were painting I decided not to go." This one doesn't even get dignified with a response.
You know what? Screw all y'all. Thanks to all those who actually volunteered AND wrote it down on their calendars AND planned in advance to be available (which I kind of assumed was a prerequisite to signing up). None of these people will read this, of course, because I don't share my LiveJournal with my co-workers (probably a good idea). Anyway, if you happen to also be participating in the morning shift of the United Way Day of Caring, look for me at the breakfast meeting -- I'll be the one with the Calvin & Hobbes-style thundercloud over my head.