Annoying volunteer

@dawnald (84146)
Shingle Springs, California
September 15, 2010 3:55pm CST
So about a month ago I took over the volunteer coordination for the adoption center (it's a no kill cat rescue, if you haven't been reading my previous posts). Basically that just consists of sending e-mails to the volunteer list in an attempt to put together a schedule for Saturday and Sunday. I let them know how many we did the prior weekend, if we have any special needs (ie we need more people Saturday vs Sunday or whatever), and anything else that the group wants me to convey to everybody. I figured this was a way that I could help during the week even though I'm somewhat distant from the adoption center. Some of the other people live closer and can just drop in and so on. Anyway, there's this one volunteer that nobody else seems to like. She seems to have latched onto me, since I'm less inclined to snap her head off than anybody else is. And she mentioned that she hadn't been getting e-mails, so I foolishly told her I was doing the e-mailing now. She gave me her e-mail address to add to the list. Later, when I mentioned it to the adoption center manager and the person who used to do the e-mailing, I discovered that she had been dropped from the list deliberately. Well great, now what. So we finished the day, and that's when this person really got on MY nerves. Every 5 seconds, "Dawn, what do I do next?" "Dawn where do I put this?" "Dawn, I don't do bleach, so can you spray this for me?" Well dang, I hate having to stop every 5 seconds to give instructions, reach for high up stuff, etc., when my kids are there. So why would I want to play mommy to an adult. So after she left, I made a snide comment to some of the others about my "new assistant" and they said, "see what we mean?" And the next week I "accidentally" left her off the e-mail list. Well, two weeks later, there she was, wanting to know why she didn't get an e-mail. so I gave her some lame excuse about AOL acting up. It wasn't totally untrue, I had been getting returned mails on perfectly good e-mail addresses, just not hers. Well after she left, the adoption center manager said, "I guess we're just not going to be able to get rid of her unless I decide to be a total b*tch." So I put her back on the list. I figure if the "powers that be" want her gone, they can just tell her so directly. Have you ever dealt with a volunteer and/or helper who was so annoying you'd rather do without them?
4 people like this
15 responses
@savypat (20246)
• United States
15 Sep 10
I have never been involved in any volunteer orgainzation where there was not at least one of these people. I have often wondered why no one took them aside and just laid it out straight for them. We are so concerned for their feelings that we tip toe around and put way to much energy into the situation. If they were told with firm kindness that as a volunteer they need to choose a job that will fit their abilities so that they can be counted on to do that job and not take time from other volunteers who are etrying to complete their work. So if all she can do is water cats, then a let her do that and don't expect anything else. That way you keep her, she keeps her pride, after all she's in charge of watering the cats on her watch. Everyone wins.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Sep 10
yeah I agree, tisn't really my place to tell her that though....
@savypat (20246)
• United States
15 Sep 10
Could be the good guy and put a bug in the leader's ear about how this could be handled to the benefit of all? Surely two smart people can save this situation and get this problem off all your backs.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Sep 10
Maybe I will just tell her I put the person back on the e-mail list until such time as somebody does decide to be a b*tch and tell her she's not wanted. :D
• United States
16 Sep 10
Are you sure this is not the same myLot member that keeps trying to friend. Sorry I am still laughing on that one.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
haha that would be funny...
• United States
16 Sep 10
Yeah you just never know who is behind their avatar. Bet you did not know I was wonder woman.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
nice strapless suit...
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
15 Sep 10
"Have you ever dealt with a volunteer and/or helper who was so annoying you'd rather do without them?" Are we talking about your husband? Yep! I am BAAD today And to answer your question: Nothing or no one comes to mind but let the powers that be deal with her - not you - unless you are going to duct tape her whilst she is 'assisting'.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Sep 10
I could duct tape her to R. :D
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
15 Sep 10
I already said today that you were bright or brilliant. Jeopardy should have snatched you up. Great idea.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Sep 10
he'd be happy to squirt bleach for her - problem solved!!!
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
16 Sep 10
No dawn, I haven't but I do know the type of person. I am like a magnet to them, I swear. I have this one lady who is just irritating and crazy who buys a lot of my incense burners. I can't even describe to you how irritating this person is. When she gives me an order, she is in the store every single day checking up on my progress even though I told her that it takes about a week. Some of her orders are rather complicated in that she has so so many specific details and requests. She broke one of them last week and expected me to replace it for free. I did but I told her it was a one-time deal. They are glass...not guaranteed against breakage! I also get to listen to her personal drama which is better than any soap opera. Still, I just keep reminding myself that she is buying and she buys quite a lot. She means well. In your case, I would find a way to kindly tell her that you trust her judgment to do what is right and that she doesn't have to ask for step by step instructions.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
I will try that and report back on her response.
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
16 Sep 10
Well, I hope it works for you. Most annoying people don't mean to be annoying and most are not even aware that they are. Clearly this person is eager to help so her heart is in the right place. The fact that she needs to be told every single step of the way as to what to do tells me that she is insecure in her own ability to make common sense decisions and maybe fears screwing up. She has probably been put down alot, i'm just guessing. Sometimes just a little morale boost combined with some straight talk will do wonders.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
maybe so...
@much2say (40878)
• United States
16 Sep 10
Eek! I seem to attract these kinds of people - and they tend to latch onto me too. They're not even volunteers - they're just normal everyday people (um, well, maybe not normal - ha ha). But for volunteers, it must be hard to deal with . . . especially when they're supposed to be there to lend a helping hand, but instead become a thorn. I sure wouldn't want to be the one to tell her to be gone . . . I'd have to wonder if a person like that would go psycho on me! I'd rather let the "powers that be" handle that sort of thing . . . surprises me they haven't done so already if she's that much of a pest!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
Well they handled it by dropping her from the list, but obviously "subtle" isn't working....
@much2say (40878)
• United States
16 Sep 10
Have they tried locking the doors when they see her coming?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
It's inside a PetSmart store, so no, that wouldn't work...
@MsTickle (24994)
• Australia
16 Sep 10
Someone has to tell her. Sounds like she needs to grow up and sounds like she needs a friend to set her on the right path. Maybe that's why she is volunteering...because she is totally inadequate at life otherwise. I'd try to be kind first and explain a few things, tell her the truth and if that didn't work I guess I'd have to suggest she try volunteering elsewhere.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
I spose I could make the attempt. If I let the others talk to her, the will be a lot less kind about it.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24994)
• Australia
16 Sep 10
She seems to need a lot of attention and let's face it, she's trying to help herself by volunteering. She may not know she's being a pain or how, unless someone tells her. Reality is she sounds quite childlike...a puppy wanting to please. Be kind and if that doesn't work, throw her body to the curb.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Nov 10
volunteer,no. new employee,yes.i don't like babysitting either,especially when they're a pain in the butt and there's no training incentive.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
4 Nov 10
Yeah and we've done everything except say "we don't want you", but she's kind of thick...
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
19 Sep 10
At where I work at, we have some inspectors who have become like that. They didn't use to be, but somehow they are currently are. They've been at the job for more than 15 years, yet now they seem to have forgotten what to do. They keep bugging us every day. It's either they've become stup1d or it has something to do with the CBA negotiations happening in a few weeks.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
4 Nov 10
"they've become stupid" hahaha
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
17 Sep 10
I have had Staff like that in the past but it was my Supervisors who used to complain that the Person was just not for the Job so of course in the end I had to be the B*tch and well let them go
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Sep 10
Been there done that, but don't enjoy it much.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
17 Sep 10
She doesn’t do bleach??? Yep she is a pain in the proverbial and you’re right; if management want her gone they should advise her directly not by leaving her off the email list, that’s just passive aggressive! It’s not up to you to tell her to go but you do have to put up with her and she sounds like a right pain! It is volunteer work and you can tell her to use her own initiative or go home...She doesn’t do bleach???
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Sep 10
yeah she doesn't do bleach
• United States
16 Sep 10
My SON is like this! I get worried, I'm certain teachers get annoyed with him but it's so hard to make him see what he's doing. It seems to be an Asperger's thing. For him, having a written list helps but he'll still ask several times about every detail to be sure he will do everything exactly, perfectly right. At least that only is at the beginning, after that he just checks his list. If the woman refuses to do certain things...hmm. I was going to say, dump her but really, there are other things she can do. Just consider her an extra that does a small bit and give her the same thing to do every day she's there. Hard to say, but waiting for the higher-ups to get rid of her works too. It's up to you how much effort you want to put into her. You can find out what has been tried already, try something different, or you may discover it's just not worth it. Sad that someone isn't worth even working for FREE but possible.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
I'd say if she refuses to clean, we could have her come at a different time, but really we clean all through the day as cats get adopted. Still, why should she be exempt?
@gdesjardin (1938)
• United States
16 Sep 10
Jikes! You are in a sticky situtation. I have never volunteered anywhere before, but I do seem to attract those clinging type of people. Apparently people must confuse me with someone that has a lot of patience...lol I am sitting here thinking what type of creative advise I can give you, however, I know no matter what I would tell you, I probably won't do myself. (I guess I just hate to hurt anyones feelings, and I hate to seem like I am a b*tch. I would hate to be rude to her, because lets face it, it is volunteer work and she is (I am sure) TRYING to be helpful. Sometimes certain people try to be helpful and they turn out to be more of a hinderance. I don't know what to tell you Dawn...all I can say is I am glad I am not in your situation. Maybe the higher ups will step up to the plate and tell her they have their quota of volunteers for now, and politely kick her out the door.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
I DO have a lot of patience. But to a point...
@Shellyann36 (11258)
• United States
16 Sep 10
Sounds as if she is one of those "pick and choose" job kinda people. I guess I might have been one of the annoyed snappy people if I had to work with her. I would probably tell her that she is a grown up and she should know what needs to be done and to get to it! LOL! I hope the situation can be resolved. Good luck and lots of patience to you!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
Bleach is one of the things we do, and if you don't do bleach, I'm sure there are other volunteer groups out there! There!!! :D
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
16 Sep 10
Very unfortunate some people are deaf and blind and do not realize that their actions are jeopardizing others work. Good riddance that this lady has been dropped from your group otherwise she'll always be a torn in the flesh. I prefer to be in a group that are like minded rather than being dented by one odd person who can't understand basic rules or just can't work in a group. Fortunately, I have not met any body as annoying as this person.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Sep 10
She hasn't been dropped yet. Not my place...
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
15 Sep 10
Yes....I had a guy that painted my house a few years ago that was a total pain...like he asked me all the time what he should be doing?????? He was the painter. Anyway I told him I wouldn't pay him until the job was done and that was three years ago...and he never did finish! I hired someone else to do the work now...then he comes around wanting to know when he should get to it? Like three years ago you should have!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Sep 10
He came around 3 years later? Geez, there's a word for that. Chutzpah!