Wednesday, July 15, 2009

i am astounded at how hard it is to get people to commit. and I'm equally amazed at their inabilities to come up with smart-sounding excuses. in general, the incompetence in the world amuses me, yet at the same time, frightens me. i was on the phone with a customer representative who was supposed to be mailing me software that i needed. i spelled out my name VERY clearly, making sure she had each letter correct. and she still mangled the spelling of my name.

i volunteer at a program for teenage girls every Thursday night. a friend of mine is in charge of making sure it runs smoothly, and to ensure that there are mentors there every week. for the month of July she is away, and asked me to make sure that the program still runs. since I'm taking summer classes, i knew I'd be home all July, so i agreed to do it.

i never realized how hard that seemingly easy task would be.

on Monday night, i texted everyone, to see who'd be available (there is a limited number of mentors, because half of them are in camp, and the other half are on vacation)

i got a dozen excuses, and not one confirmation

"sorry I'm going to be out of town" (if it's true, that's a legitimate excuse)

"my sister is coming from Israel" (and therefore...? you have to be there when she walks in the door? chances are, she's going to be jet lagged and only wanting one thing-sleep. and if she's in from Israel, it's safe to assume that she's going to be around for more than one night!)

"I'm not feeling very well" (hello, it's MONDAY! when someone knows they'll be sick long-term, they call it being sick. when someone tells you on Monday that they're not feeling well and can't come on Thursday, you know they're fishing for an excuse. that's like telling someone in advance that you can't come to a party they are making the next week because you won't be in the mood)

"um, it's too early in the week to commit" (really, why are people so hesitant to commit to things? it's only two hours! the problem with these people is that when i call them back on Wednesday, they made plans for Thursday night! hello, don't tell me you'll be available if Monday and Tuesday are too early and Wednesday is too late! there is no day between Tuesday and Wednesday!)

but seriously, why do people have such reluctance to give up time-for anything, really? what, they're worried that last minute something more appealing will come up? if that's the reason, it's like saying "i don't really want to help you out/babysit/hang out with you, but i have nothing better to do, so i guess I'll do it"

that really makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.


Doobie said...

I know the feeling. For a while I was PTA coordinator for volunteers at my kids school. Many people (who would never volunteer themselves) lamented the fact that it was always the same women who were involved. As if everyone one was running to volunteer and we were only allowing a select few to actually do the work. Often it could take me 2-3 hours of calls to find the 2-3 volunteers needed for a one and half hour event. It was shocking how much time I saved if I just did the job myself!!! And another interesting thing about volunteering, once someone actually said yes and helped out they were almost always willing to do it again. Alot of volunteer jobs can be fun!

CJ Srullowitz said...

It's a job that makes you want to say, GRrrrrr!!

The same ppl who say it's too early in the week, will tell you later in the week, that it's too late; they've made plans.


really not anonymous said...

Similarly, i love when I go back to my old community, the people there always say the same thing " if we knew you were coming, we would have invited you." its been 10 years, you think they would figure out we ARE coming? consider it a given unless told otherwise.

People just dont want to be bothered to do anything, and when pushed come up with an excuse that works better in their mind to justify their position then in makes actual sense.

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

But I suppose it would be better for them to not commit, then to commit and last minute change their minds and say they can't.

Anonymous said...

Thats the way it is. dont worry natural selection will work its magic and hopefully 10 generations down the road all these people will cease to exist due to their issues with commitment and/or their obvious lack of common sense. so at least ur great great etc grandchildren will be happy....untill some other stupidity pokes its ugly head into the world

%Shocked% said...

Why do you think it's a matter of committment? The truth is, if these people are mentors during the year, then maybe they want a complete break from responsibility. Is it mature? No. Is it right? Maybe not. But it's understandable. They simply don't want to. The amount of time isn't the point, it's the (I hate cliches but here goes one now...) principle of the matter. At the same time, saying 'no, I don't want to' leads to the guilt trip, coercing, bribing, etc. People would rather just avoid the whole thing and make up a lame excuse knowing that you won't 'call' them on it. Unless you're REALLY a sales-woman, in which case you might.

Not everyone is gifted with fast minds, which may explain the pathetic excuses lol.