Oxymoron, Keystone, 1
By Emily Jo Donatello
Please open the audio below and listen while reading this entry:
(Jim Croce, Hey Tomorrow)
In my time I’ve organized many an event, seminar, conference. Planning for them I’ve always obeyed two laws: you can never have enough help; you can never get enough help. So, I was bewildered when I was informed by the Volunteer Coordinator for the Keystone Conference that my offer to volunteer had been declined. I couldn’t believe it. I’d sent my first offer days after the end of last year’s conference at which I was a volunteer. I sent several other offers during the ensuing eleven months. Some received no replies at all. The replies I did receive always expressed appreciation and anticipated my being scheduled before the Conference.
When this week the Volunteer Schedule was emailed, my name was not on it. Upon inquiring, I was informed that all slots were staffed, but I could stop by the “Help Desk” at any time and ask if any further help might be needed at the time I dropped by. I replied politely I wouldn’t be doing that.
What should I think? There really were so many willing to volunteer not all could be accepted? Not if one obeys the two laws above. Perhaps my service last year was inadequate in some way? No one said anything to me about it then or since? Is this an insiders game, played by a clique within a clique? That would be most unfortunate, if true. Those handling volunteers have lost touch with common sense or common courtesy or both? I can’t say.
O, well. I will miss, sad to think, meeting new people in the context of helping them. I will regret not giving something back as my way of thanking those who’ve given so much to stage the Conference.
I had been so positive about “Keystone” the past two years. Going there again was a trip I anticipated eagerly. Now I must push past this snub and wisely use my newfound additional time to explore other aspects of the convention, enjoying the other good things I may find.
My plan for the week had included going from Connecticut to New Jersey on Wednesday, then spending the day Wednesday organizing outfits, accessories, and my mindset for the time to come, followed by the drive to Harrisburg on Thursday.. That plan was upended by a surprise March N’oreaster, a quick step on the tail of the one from four days ago.
Considering the potential for disruption at home, which could require my assistance, I’ve postponed the trip to NJ one night. I hope I’ll get out in the morning. In the afternoon, flustered and stressed, I’ll drive on to Harrisburg and the Conference Hotel.
After that day I’ll need a glass of wine for sure. Fortunately the “Dog & Pony” awaits.
I’ve met nice people there the past two years. I think I’ll go for three.
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