Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes, Now That You Ask. I Am a Sucker.

I had learned my lesson on volunteering many years ago. I'll tell you a story. As a favor to someone I work with who I knew was dealing with a lot to get a fundraising deal off the ground, I signed up to work a posh deal that preceded a performance event. They were desperate for people, I was told.

So, on a Saturday, I went. The second I got there, before I could even take off my coat and without so much as a hello (because I was the help), I was seized and shuffled off to . . . stand by the elevators and point around the corner to where the event was taking place. I think I saw about five people and directed one. I sat out there by myself for an hour. Meanwhile, the other volunteer--higher up on the food chain than I--was sipping champagne and chatting with guests. I felt like the high schooler hired to take the coats--invisible and inconsequential. It wasn't how I envisioned myself as a professional representing an institution.

After that, I wasn't as eager to offer up my services. I'm very much a team player, but a crucial component of that is not wasting people's time and treating them with respect. Different rules for different people make me very cranky.

Lately, though, I'm finding a certain amount of obligation inherent in this promotion concept. I understand it goes with the territory. And because the two people higher up the food chain committed to attending the same event at which our boss requested representation, I felt it my responsibility to put a face on event number 2--who else was going to do it?

So I am set to attend a concert of music I really don't like, by myself, that doesn't happen until 8. I had thought I had made tentative dinner plans with one of the conscriptees going to the other event. But alas! The second he found out that there were two of them going, he bailed on that and is going home. The same person, naturally, that I volunteered for at the first event (and he bails on every event, be it birthday, baby showers or whatever, so I shouldn't be surprised).

Every man for himself, I guess. Not what I want to be doing with my Friday night. But for some strange reason, I'm feeling a seething hostility.


erik said...

what's the music event?

Laura said...

Chicago Jazz Ensemble, with Patty Austin. I'm generally not a fan of jazz. I like our stuff because it's always much broader based.