Sunday, July 01, 2012

Rodeo and stuff

I am a volunteer.

I will be the one smiling at you when you pick up your tickets wishing you to enjoy yourself. I will be the one wearing the silly usher’s vest and showing to you to your seat.  I will be one of the many who will go around after and pick up the debris and empty the garbage and recycle bins.

I may have sold you your ticket to event prior to it.  I might have been the one answering the phone and reciting the times and dates while you jot them down.  And the one who does that the second and sometimes third time you do that, too. Each time I’ll do my very best to do it with a smile on my face because I’m a volunteer by choice.

I’m not a paid employee of the facility or organization that’s putting on the event.  I’m there because I want to be.  I’m there because I believe in the organization that’s putting on the event and want to contribute to its success.

I don’t get to watch the show for free. Fact is I haven’t sat down in the stands in the last 7 years to watch more than a few minutes and really couldn’t tell you who won, lost or wrecked. I don’t get any ‘behind the scenes’ perks that you can’t have for the price of the event.  I don’t get to meet the performers and I don’t get to go afterwards and have a drink with them either because I’m a volunteer. 

I don’t get to harangue anyone, demanding that the event change to agree with my considerable knowledge and experience either.  I do as I’ve been asked to do in my capacity as a volunteer.  Sometimes that means I will tell you “no”.  I’m not just
‘exercising my superiority’; I’ve been entrusted with the job I’ve been given and I’m going to do it.  If that some how hurts your feelings, I’m truly sorry.

I’m not there to spoil your particular fun.  Nor am I there to baby sit your children or run your errands either.  I’m there to make every possible effort so that you and other paid patrons can enjoy the very best performance possible in the most comfortable way for all. Not just you.

I’m a part of a team.  We all fail or succeed as one.  If I stand by and let another volunteer fail, I fail. That would be nothing less that sabotage of the organization I’m volunteering to assist; and what would be the point of that?

If I micromanage someone into a state of indecision or worse, fury, I fail, just as they do.   I do my job and let others do theirs and the event succeeds and so do we all.

The best thing I can hear as I tiredly smile and wave to you all as you leave is “See you next year.” That tells me that you’ve enjoyed yourself and intend to come back and that is a true measure of our success.

See you next rodeo.