I have an infection in my head (aka a sinus infection.) For those who have never had an infection in your head, I can assure you it is as un-fun as it sounds. It has also derailed the many non TV-related activities I was planning to participate in and blog about this week. (Sadness) The only activity I did manage to make it to was horribly disappointing, but let me tell you about it.
There is a non-profit I have been stalking for about year and a half. This organization (which will go unnamed for now) teaches teenagers basic financial literacy skills. Although I work in the technology industry, I dabbled with the idea of becoming a financial planner a few years ago and used to teach middle school and miss teaching and working with kids. This organization is aligned with my interests and seems like the perfect way for me to “give back” and make my world bigger while keeping my day job that satisfies my need for financial security.
I have had my eye on this non-profit’s web site for a while but nothing ever fit in my schedule. Finally, the stars aligned and there was a volunteer opportunity that I could attend! I had some weird email exchanges with the executive director that indicated a lack of organization and clarity, but I maintained a positive attitude. It was decided that I could not volunteer until I was oriented/trained, which may or may not be until after this opportunity passes but there was an orientation (that might include training?) on September 30th. It wasn’t really clear, but I maintained a positive attitude! On Thursday, I managed to get myself and my throbbing head up to midtown to attend the long awaited orientation session.
It was the worst orientation I have ever attended (and there was no training.) She flipped through some handouts quickly. Maybe it was the infection in my head, but I could not even follow which page she was on. She seemed to skip the most important things. I have no idea when the group started, how many volunteers that have, how active they are, what types of events are coming up, what volunteering would be like, and what they expectations are of the volunteers. (Crazy right?) It turns out that this orientation was specifically for a mentoring program she wanted to start (that she had never mentioned to me and was not the opportunity we discussed.) Not only did she not cover the basics, it was very clear that she really had not worked out the details for how this mentoring program will really work. There was a lot of “we will see what the group wants to do.” Yeah, that will work well with teenagers and a group of complete strangers that walked in off the street. I am not touching that mentoring program with a 10 foot pole (also because I have already committed to mentor a high school student for the next four years with another group that, so far, seems way more organized and I don’t want to double mentor right out of the gate.)
She ended the scheduled 2 hour orientation after 40 minutes. I finally had to stop asking questions because I was bordering on obnoxious, she was not getting it, and my head was really throbbing. It was established that the next step (for people that wanted to mentor or I assume teach in other mysterious capacities that were not discussed) was training and she would let us know when that would be…”maybe around the same time next month.” I left despondent and discouraged (I think those words mean the same thing but I really wanted to make my point!) I don’t know what will happen next but I am not giving up on my quest to save the world. Maybe I will get trained, maybe I won’t. Maybe I will run out of the training session and never go back or maybe I will stage a coup and take over the whole non-profit. Regardless, I will keep you posted.