Tuesday, December 19

Why I don't volunteer

I know, all the good people volunteer. They offer their services, they take charge, the have their fingers in all the pies. I don't. I'm not a Scrooge; I'm not adverse to helping out, doing my part, etc. It has nothing to do with not wanting to help out.

The reason I'm posting this topic has less to do with the holiday season than it sounds. Yes this post was inspired by a recent event of a holiday nature; but its not a bah, humbug ... honestly. Here's what happened.

Every year for some years now our floor has hosted a potluck lunch the week before Christmas. Its a pretty good turn out, lots of participation, etc. And truthfully we've been doing it for so long that it pretty much runs itself. People know what's expected at this point. But someone has to get the ball rolling, arranging for the conference room, notifying everyone, putting up a sign up sheet, etc. And this year the previous organizer had tapped someone else to take over. Not me. Although she hinted it might be my turn next year. And I had to say, "no thanks." But I'm not a Grinch, I swear.

The problem is that I have control issues, and I don't delegate very well. I'm perfectly fine letting others live their lives however they please as long as our spheres don't intersect. But if our spheres touch, I will have a nearly irrestible need to wrest control from you. Its not that I want to. I don't. I don't like telling people what to do. I just know that it would be so much better if everyone did it my way and on my terms. And yet I'm a very mild-mannered person otherwise. Really I am. But put me in charge of something and I turn into a drill sargeant. No, worse, I become this hulking dragon of a person, with my eyes wheeling about in my head and fire snorting out of my nostrils as Darth Vader's voice comes out of my mouth ... "What do you mean you haven't done it yet? Must I use the Dark Side on you." hiss ... pant ... hiss ... pant. It gets very ugly. I even frighten myself. So its much better if I step back and let others take control and just do my little part, whatever specific task has been assigned to me.

The problem is that I am by nature a pretty organized and efficient person and sometimes people notice that and just assign projects to me, assuming I'll be good at it. And usually I am, but that just brings on a whole 'nother problem. Once people know you are good at managing something, you're stuck with it. If you are good at it, they will not let you shake the job. Suddenly nobody else will be available or capable. They'll complain behind your back that you're pushy and fight you when you try to get them to cooperate ... but they won't let you step down and pass the baton. No matter how deep your voice gets.

So I avoid being the person in charge and I don't volunteer. I'll do anything you ask in the way of helping out, but I won't take control. Its better for everyone this way.


Sheryl said...

Our worlds intersect. You've never bossed me around or told me what to do. And I definitely did not hear Darth Vader's voice come out of your mouth. Though, I would love to hear that. seriously. ass long as it's directed at someone else. Like BCB, or JenT or Brayn - just not me.

Who says you're not a writer? I look forward to your blog posts.

McB said...

Ha! Stick around long enough and you'll see what I mean.

And thank you for the compliment.

rssasrb said...

LOL MCB. I understand exactly what you mean. Not that I've seen you do it, but I've seen me do it.

Stand by your guns. There is probably someone in the office just aching to "Be In Charge of the Office Potluck"

No is a good word when it comes to being volunteered for that type of thing.

Scope Dope Cherrybomb said...

When you were in charge of me in New Jersey I didn't hear Darth Vader come out of your mouth...maybe a little drill sergeant but no Darth. /,D

Merry Christmas MCB. I hope you have a great holiday.

Mary said...

McB for President in '08.
It just might work.

btuda said...

*snort* Sis #2 and I are always making Vader noises, but we only us our powers for good. And a good laugh. Really, can anyone say, "Luke, I am your father," with screaming "noooo" and tucking your hand in your sleeve?

I have no idea why, but we have a family tradition of watching Star Wars on both Christmas and Easter.

BTW, I belong to the Employee Association at work and we actually nominated and elected someone to an office who simply left the room for a moment. I didn't think that really ever happened.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

dee said...

As usual, just totally love your blog. I could spend all day here, just reading and re-reading what you have to say. Are you sure you're not really a writer?