Volunteering may not offer any monetary rewards. But that doesn’t mean the work can’t provide some other benefits. Ya know…like the joy of helping people who are down on their luck? Not buyin’ that? Well, how’s about the free food? And of course, there’s the thrill of meeting other volunteers who can be anywhere from near indigents right on up (or down depending on your perspective) to serious earners working high-powered jobs.
At this point, my experience and expertise (and the woman who runs the joint) has put whatever groups come in under my charge. Last week, we had two sets of 8th graders – one from a private school in Greenwich, Connecticut. And the other from yet another private school in Millville, Pennsylvania (the sticks). You can guess who did a better job (Hint: it wasn’t the super rich kids from Greenwich.)
Somehow, I managed to relate to the junior high school kids even if I’m 55 years older than them. (Hey! I’m not that old that I can’t remember jerking off 23 times a day when I was 13!) But yesterday, I really hit the jackpot with a group of models (all female) who came in from some sort of modeling app on their phones. In fact, a lot of people are using smartphone volunteer apps nowadays to find places they can give back. It’s actually pretty cool! Social media and technology for good. Go figure!
While the meat loaf gig on Saturday offers volunteer tasks which require about 15 seconds of orientation to perform…the weekday pantry gig down at Trinity Church is a little more complicated. And so…I have to give an intense 5 minute tutorial (no shit) and then have the volunteers follow me around with the first customer at which point they will hopefully not completely fuck everything up once they’re on their own. And believe it or not…running the show takes a little finesse and diplomacy – especially with the little Chinese ladies who will bulldoze you if you don’t stand firm.
When it was all over (and it was a hectic day), the girls wanted to snap a photo as one-timers often like to do to document their good deed. “Billy! You have to be in the picture,” offered the cutest of the bunch. “Ok. Where do I stand?” asked I sheepishly. “Right in the middle! You’re our mentor!”
Obviously, this is dumb shit that shouldn’t mean anything to anybody with half a life. But ya know what! I felt proud having gained the confidence and respect of a group of girls who are young enough to be my granddaughters. They learned the job…performed admirably…and most of all, liked their boss. Getting people to do what you want without them disliking you for it is an art. And apparently in at least one realm, I’m good at that.
After the photo shoot, a Latvian volunteer/model named Jelena took my email address and sent me the photos. Witnesseth! Models Inc plus one (actually two! The Chinese lady with her arm out runs the pantry). And before I present this photo…these are real models. Not escorts! Just wanna clarify.