I was just thinking that with all the upcoming holidays, you know, we volunteer managers should have a day of recognition. It could be called “National Volunteer Manager Day of Recognition”. Or maybe “Day of Multitasking with Unpaid Help While Being Grossly Underpaid” or perhaps “Thanks to Those Who Herd Cats Day.” But then a little tiny flash of remembering hit me. It was sort of a dull toothache kind of a brain pain. There already is a day for us. November 5th is “International Volunteer Manager Appreciation Day. IV Mad. IV MAD, really? Now why did I forget that, I wonder?
Was it in effect last year? Yep, according to the website, http://volunteermanagersday.org/, we had a day last year and the year before.
So, why did I forget that? I mean I forget things like paying my bills or where I left my footed pajamas. I might have just banished it from my memory like the night that pimply Dave stood me up for the homecoming dance. Shudder, I can’t hear “Wooly Bully” without tearing up but that’s another conversation.
I decided to sit down and try to recall last year’s IVMAD. What I remember is something like this.
I got up that day and immediately started thinking about what to wear. I wondered, should I be understated so that I could act surprised when everyone came to thank me? I’d just look up from behind the pile on my overloaded desk and gush, “Oh my, I’m just doing my job, but thank you everyone so much you’re making me blush.” Or should I dress up, look my very best and be the consummate professional? Be all aloof and corporate and well, above lowly celebrations? How patrician. I decided to wear my best dress, the one that zips all the way up. Id have to skip lunch but it would be worth it. Maybe I’d put on some power high heels. I’d have to sit down for most of the day, because the last time I had to dress up, I fell while getting into the elevator and knocked over a cart full of files.
On the way to work, I practiced my responses to all the praise I was about to receive. I certainly wanted to be gracious, but amusing so that everyone would later talk about how clever I was. I decided on a simple “thank you, this is my dream job. And believe me, I dream about it every night.” Ha Ha, I was thrilled with my cleverness. I could almost hear them talking about me. “She looks so fresh for being as overworked as she is.” “She’s so clever and droll, I’m always uplifted when I see her.” “My, I wish I had her enthusiastic spirit and did you see those fabulous shoes?”
When I arrived, I discreetly backed my car up to the side door so that it would be convenient to haul out all the flowers and balloons after work. There would probably be left over cake too.
I walked in, confident that it would be a wonderful day. Even though there were no balloons with WE LOVE YOU and all the staff yelling “Surprise” to greet me, I did not despair. They were all probably still out picking up my gifts, trying to decide whether to get red or pink balloons. As I sat down and got to work, I knew that my organization and system would come through. Why wouldn’t they? I thought back over the year to all the recognition days we celebrated so that everyone had at least one day to feel appreciated.
We had an ice cream social for Administrative Professionals Day in April. I made sure I told one of the secretaries that I loved the artistic way she made spreadsheets.
We had a pot luck for Pride in Food Service Week in February. I brought some Dunkin Donuts.
For National Nurses Appreciation Week we had a big party complete with catered food. I wore white that day.
And during National Social Workers Month there were coffee and muffins every morning for a week. I tried to not act too crazy around the counselors.
I loved National Nursing Assistants Week in June because we ate all week and most of them are really nice.
I especially like Payroll Appreciation Week in September. You can’t be too nice to the payroll people.
There’s even crabby coworker day (Oct 27)which is so much fun until you come back from lunch and find some dead flowers on your desk. “Hey whoever put them there, I’m not crabby, I’m just stressed out!”
The day wore on, my feet hurt and I was tired of holding my stomach in. I watched the door for the balloons or cake or dancing clowns, but finally a co-worker came in and said,”hey, tell your volunteers thanks from me.”
Like I said, we should have a day of our own. Maybe it could be called, “Hey, for once, just throw me a bone day”
But, maybe this year will be different. I’m not going to dress up, but will practice a surprised look. Actually, good news, I won’t have to practice that!
Have a happy International Volunteer Manager Appreciation Day everyone!