Friday, April 25, 2014

Lack Of Thought Counts More Than The Thought Itself

Dear Tazi:

I have been deeply insulted by “Vera”, the Volunteer Coordinator at my local community center, and she refuses to apologize for her errant behavior. I know she reads your column – she prints it out and posts it for the senior citizens who do not have the Internet – so I know she will see this letter if you print it!

I am a busy woman. Just because I do not hold a job outside the home does not mean I have no commitments in my life. However, I believe that giving back is a way of showing thankfulness for one’s blessings; therefore, I volunteer one Saturday morning a month at the local community center. With my busy schedule, I sometimes forget which Saturday morning I have volunteered for and I miss my scheduled day. I feel bad about this, but it is the thought that counts, and I always offer to come in on another Saturday, should my schedule allow, but Vera never bothers to schedule me.

The last time I missed my scheduled appointment was because my hairdresser was able to schedule me into a cancellation slot. I needed to get my hair done for a big charity fundraiser that night, so I accepted the appointment without realizing that it was my day to volunteer at the community center. Vera called and left me a message calling me “undependable” and telling me that she would no longer be putting me on the volunteer schedule. Tazi, I have never been so insulted! I am involved in several charitable organizations as well as social groups that depend on me as much or more than the community center; to call me “undependable” it outright insulting and to essentially fire me for missing a few scheduled days is beyond the pale. I have never been so insulted and I want Vera to know just how wrong her behavior was.

I am hoping that you will print my letter so visitors to the community center can see it and will let Vera know that she not only owes me an apology, but also placement back on the volunteer schedule.

Miss Generosity

Dear Miss Generosity:

My, you sound like an important person! Does the rest of the world know how important you are, or is this sense of importance all in your own mind? I am printing your letter because you – and others who think like you – need to realize that when you make a commitment to volunteer others are depending upon you to actually show up to honor your commitment!

You are correct in saying that it is the thought that counts, but in your case it is your lack of thought that counts more. Just thinking about showing up to volunteer does not make a difference in the world; you have to actually remember to show up and do your part in order to be “giving back”. Do you really think an appointment at the beauty salon was more important than honoring your commitment to volunteer at the community center? Honestly? I admire your commitment to attending a charity gala – you could have just as easily gone for a night on the town without donating to charity – but I do not think the charity you are supporting would support your decision to blow off a volunteer shift for the beauty parlor. Your attitude makes me want to barf. Excuse me while I go find Mommie’s new shoes.

I rule that Vera does not owe you an apology; I believe that it is you who owes Vera – and the visitors to the community center – the apology. There are three ways in which a person can give back to their community; they are through gifts of time, talents, and treasure. Since your time is obviously in short supply, perhaps you can find a way to donate from the other two.

Perfunctory Snuggles,

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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