Just an update. The volunteer who left in a snit did come in on Tuesday and not only did not say more than a few words, she left after about 30 minutes saying through clenched teeth, “well, that’s all I have for work today.”
Sigh. Was I angry, no, frankly I’m fresh out of big emotions. Was I rude to her? No, we know we have to be neutral at all times. She came the day after Monday, a day spent literally sorting out problems and walking the middle road. Bad timing for me, I was exhausted.
I spoke to her as usual, praised her and thanked her for her work. What I really felt was deep disappointment. Although we are not unrealistic and not Pollyannas, don’t you just wish that volunteers would come for reasons that are helpful and REMAIN for those same reasons. Often we worry so much about volunteers coming for the “right” reasons, that we get blindsided by those who develop other reasons to stay. They disappoint us to the core.
Even on our worst days physically, spiritually and emotionally, we have to remain upbeat, caring and willing to step outside of ourselves for a great cause we believe in. We sort of expect that from our volunteers and when one we have relied on gets angry with us, that is hurtful. It’s about the mission, don’t ever forget that. Maybe I need to tell her more often how her work is affecting the bottom line. I will do that, but at least next Tuesday, I’ll be prepared. I’ll bring my coat and drink hot chocolate.