Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pardon Me, But Could You Please Pay Me For This?

So, I've been out of the "strictly corporate" world for over five years now. And little by little, I have been sucked into the twisted world of volunteerism. Don't get me wrong. I like to do my part, and because I am only working part-time now, I can. HOWEVER, when your volunteer commitments consume every waking moment of every freakin' day, something has gone terribly wrong. Am I right? Correct me if I'm way off base here, but in the last week, my volunteer jobs have been totally kicking my ass - pardon the potty mouth. It's late, I'm tired, and my great big white trash bed is beckoning. And yes, I know I have only myself to blame. But here's the thing. The two big volunteer gigs that I have going on right now weren't supposed to be coming to a head concurrently. Not even close. Murphy's Law has got me over a barrel, and now there's nothing I can do.What's a Tacky Princess like moi to do besides whine?! Or is that WINE?! (I've already tried that, and it's just making me sleepier!) So, let me lay the scene here. We were on vacation, which is why I had to take a little Blog-atus. Sorry for that. I missed you, too! In the bad old days of my corporate life, I remember taking a week of vacation all at once and coming home only to regret it. You know, because of all of the "make-up work" to be done once I got back. It really sucked. Well, that's what this is like, but EXCUSE ME! I'm not even getting paid! So, I return to 12 phone messages, and that was just the people that didn't know I was gone. Now "officially" back, I've been getting about 5 messages every hour and a half that I am away from the phone. When I tried to return the calls in the order received yesterday, I got held up on the second one. It was a 3 hour call! Is that possible? I don't think I've ever been on the phone that long, even when I was totally in lust with my crush in the 9th grade! Who talks on the phone that long? (Apparently, ME!) So - at what point, do you start to wonder if you could get paid for this free labor? My sister-in-law once figured up what she saved her family by staying at home instead of working outside of the home and having to have more done for hire. She got herself up well over $30,000 a year, and that was about ten years ago. I remember thinking that was impossible, but she showed me her figures, and it truly made sense. She really did save her family money. I swear I'll never volunteer for anything EVER again! (Yes, you may remind me of this next fall when the sign-up sheets come out once more!) It's too late for this school year, but I am determined not to get sucked into the volunteer abyss next year. Determined, I say! In reviewing my calendar early this week, I thought to myself, "Well, I'll probably have to skip book club this month. No time for that." That was before I got this message: "Hey, just wanted to make sure you realized that you signed up to host book club tomorrow night!" OMG! Is this really my life? My Christmas tree is still up and has dropped more needles than any tree I have ever seen before. Today (and I am not kidding), I swept up about half a paper grocery sack's worth of pine needles. Unbelievable. My hubby, naturally, is OOT. Before he left on Monday, he actually said these words to me. "Hey, if you want to get the tree outside (What do I look like, Xena, the Warrior?), here's what you can do." Foolishly proceeding past my look of death, he advised, "Just take a hacksaw (uh-huh, for real...) and cut off the top three or four feet of the tree. That way, you can easily haul it out in two or three smaller chunks." OK, I know I'm too much of a kept woman, but you've got to be kidding me! Like I didn't have enough to do without worrying about getting the 8 foot, hundred twenty pound tree out to the curb. That was the least of my worries. I told him that could be on his Honey Do list when he returned. It's already dropped like 123 million needles. Naturally, I wanted it to drop the rest of them right there in our living room. And let me just add here, remember how I was going to give you advice on getting organized after the holidays? Well, we'll still get to that. But suffice it to say that tonight before my book club, I had to pull an Elaine (refer to previous blog entry!). There's a huge box of crap in my garage that now must be sorted through. But the inside of the house wound up looking pretty spiffy in spite of me! WTM'ing at its finest, if I do say so myself. Now if I can just get a little sleep! How many times is too many to press snooze? And is taking the kids to McDonald's for breakfast three days in a row really that bad? Would four be the end of the world? I'll keep you posted! Cheers!


Blogger Robin said...

My (extremely disorganized) friends thought I had shared the secret of the universe with them one day. I was over at their house helping them clean up the hour before a party. I finally gave up (they have more stuff than places to put it) and got out the yard waste bags and just started throwing everything into those.

Come to think of it, they probably still have some of those bags out in their garage.....

1/13/2006 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha thay must b related 2 my dad the christmas pack rat. he has more crap than u can shake that christmas stick of urs at...oic, its wots left of ur tree,sory. neways every year i help him undecorate and help him out by breakin as much old ornaments as i can n throwin out a few others wot does he do every next xmas? buy more crappola we have an rv garage full of xmas crap n that is a lot

1/13/2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger Cricket said...

I'm a volunteering fool, too. Imagine counting over 15000 Box Tops on your own, clipping them, and bagging them 50 each. It's a nightmare, but I was the most successful the school ever had doing it. Too bad it gave me blisters and made me go screaming in the night.

I have so many other ridiculous examples; you'd think I'd learn. You'd think we'd all learn.

1/13/2006 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

Volunteering always snowballs into way more than you can commit to. Just say NO WTMs! Sounds like you pulled off the hosting, thing. Good for you! You deserve a Bloody Mary and an Egg McMuffin.

1/14/2006 6:41 AM  
Blogger Alabama said...

Hey there, saw you on my sitemeter and decided to drop in and visit. Adding you to the blogroll.

Yeah, sounds like you are busy but at least you can be busy, ya know?

As far as volunteering goes my first response is always "no", just like I do with my kids. They know to come back and ask me later after I have had time to think.

I get overwhelmed easily so I know not to pile my plate too full. But sometimes I do forget.

Good luck.

1/15/2006 1:07 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

No doubt about it, once they get their hooks into someone reliable, they don't let go... Your doomed, unless you move or have a nervous breakdown.

I'll be sure to remind you next year. Indeed, I will.

1/16/2006 9:25 PM  
Blogger Very_Vera said...

I used to work for two major consulting firms which required you to do community service (on your time) in order to get promoted. It was insane! After 70 hour work weeks I was painting houses at 7AM Saturday morning - exactly my choice of things to do.

1/22/2006 8:02 PM  

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