About 600 down, 324 to go!

Or at least something like that.   Nope, this is not a post about finance.  This is about getting volunteers and passive aggressive people.   

 Last spring, I volunteered to be the volunteer coordinator for our new, expanded, three day parish festival.  I began this little endeavor needing over 900 volunteer spots filled.  Nope, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into at all.

It started out easy enough.  Get the information from the area chairs as to how many volunteers they wanted per shift, how long the shifts would be and what the start and end times should be also.  That’s how I ended up needing over 900 volunteers.

Then came the passive aggressive people.  The ones who tell you that they will get back to you about something that you need to know in order to do your job well, but they never do.  No phone call, no email, no quick chat after Mass, no contact whatsoever.

And I have to admit that I don’t understand passive aggressive people, at all!  If they don’t like me, say so.  If they don’t want to work with me, I have two other co-chairs they could work with, it’s no skin off my nose.  But instead, they decide to play their little games.  The never ending kind because they have the info and I need the info in order to move forward with getting volunteers for THEIR area.  I mean really, do they want to look like a schmuck because their area is the only one without any help?  Do they want to play the martyr, doing all the work themselves?  Do they not want the festival to succeed because they are not the top dog running the show?  What is their motivation?  Why the endless, stupid games?

It’s incredibly frustrating working with passive aggressive people.  And I have learned a lot from them over the years.  This is not my first encounter with the type at any rate.  I have learned that:  a) I never want to be one.  If I like you or appreciate you, you’ll know.  Likewise, if I don’t like you, you won’t be left in the dark on that either.  b) One way to circumvent the passive aggressive people is to always include their boss on all correspondence.  And always putting your communications with them in writing helps too.  I love email when working with this type.  c) This is probably the most important part.  Don’t ever let them get you down!  You will be much happier in life if you can learn that their narrow opinion of you or the task at hand is really their problem, not yours.  You will carry on doing your job to the best of your ability whether they cooperate or not.

I did manage to get the information I needed from the passive aggressive people and now I will get their volunteers even though it wasn’t supposed to be part of my job.  My job was to assist them in finding volunteers if they could not.  But I will do this because I want a successful parish festival whether they do or not.  I don’t care that I’m not the top dog running the show.  Quite frankly, I don’t want to be that person.  I’m a helper, not a commander.  Yes, I probably could run it, I choose not to do so.  Someone else can take the glory.  And yes, the passive aggressive ones probably will.  I know the truth and so does God.  That’s all that matters. 

And hey, if I can get 162 people to sign up for two shifts each, then my job is done!

Hope you always get the volunteers you need.  May God bless your day.


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