Volunteering Stinks!

Posted on: 04/23/09 1:10 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Yeah… I said it. There are times that it stinks to be a volunteer! (You probably didn’t foresee that coming from a guy who wrote a book about volunteering!)

I volunteer for my daughter’s jr. high track team. Since it’s only jr. high, it’s actually through our local ‘park and rec’ (don’t ask me to explain why. This is California. It probably doesn’t make sense).

Here’s where it gets weird. Since it’s a school track team, I went and got fingerprinted, filled out paperwork at the district, got a background check, etc. No big deal… I expect that as part of volunteering (I just talked about the importance of this in my blog last week about the killer “Sunday School Teacher”). But two weeks into the volunteering… the head coach emails me this email:

I just was notified that park and rec needs you to fill out their paperwork and get fingerprinted for them too. Please take care of this.


Do you wonder why we have trouble getting volunteers? (Maybe that’s why I’m the only parent out there!)

The volunteer recruiting principal violated here is what I called the “Oh, by the way” jab, in chapter 2 of my book, THE NEW BREED. We shouldn’t bring on volunteers, only to spring all kinds of, “Oh, by the way, I need you to…” obligations on them later.

“2 separate fingerprintings!” Hilarious!

So today I filled out my 8th form, got fingerprinted a second time… and I’m off to track practice!

One Reply to “Volunteering Stinks!”

  1. I really enjoyed and learned a lot reading your book The New Breed. Thank you!

    I work at a small church as the Ministry Director and one of my main jobs is Volunteer Recruitment. Our Church is very transient, always changing, as the majority is military. I struggle with maintaining and replacing volunteers. The last thing I want to do is add an “oh by the way” but sometimes it is inevitable as new things come up. What is your advice on the best way (but only when absolutely necessary) to say “oh by the way”?

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