Wednesday, March 4, 2020

16 Ways to be a Bad Volunteer

This is not us saying anything other than, "Hey, consider these things when you volunteer". Think, Babylon Bee. Satire is fun, and helpful. You know, unless you are triggered and confused. 

There tend to be two kinds of people that serve as volunteers. There are those who volunteer and give freely, and there are those who take freely. Here is some advice about how to, most effectively, be the second one. 

1 • Have A Bad Attitude: Volunteering can be a real drag. The pay is horrible, the hours unreasonable, the people unskilled and frustrating. If you show up to volunteer for an organization, make sure you make it clear up front that you will only do certain jobs. If you are tasked with something you really don’t want to do, make sure everyone knows about it. Passive aggressive behaviour is best, but if you’re not sure how to do that just state it flatly every time someone is in earshot. 

2 • The Power of Me: Refuse to work with anyone you don’t like, especially if you want to be in charge and they won’t let you. The only way to overcome this kind of conflict is with ultimatums and bullying. 

3 • Expect Some Pay: We know we are volunteering, but this charity organization must have some available resources that they would be willing to share. After all, they got it all for free anyway. It’s pretty selfish of them to hog all the resources for themselves. Besides, you’re giving your valuable time to them - you deserve to walk away with something. The least they could do is give you a hoodie. 

4 • Complain About the Food: Some charities are kind enough to feed you, but hey, it better be good. You’ve worked hard all day, you deserve a nice hearty delicious 4 course, low-sodium, gluten free, nut free, non-dairy, fair trade, Keto friendly, THM meal. And bad coffee is just a deal breaker. 

5 • Hate the Accommodations: Some charities are equipped to house their volunteers, it is your right as a hard working volunteer to a nice soft king size bed and ensuite bath to soak your weary bones. A bunk house is just disrespectful. 

6 • Good Enough is Good Enough: Remember, it’s a charity, they’re lucky to have you. When you’re working, good enough is good enough. Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and volunteer work. So the building’s a little crooked, or the paint’s the wrong colour, you get a slight shock every time you get in the shower — it’s good enough for this place! 

7 • Fanfare: You have taken time out of your schedule to give that time at no charge. There best be some celebration of your presence. You are there to be celebrated. Let the celebrations begin. #NumberOneVolunteer

8 • Forget the Rules: Rules are always made because of very specific incidents. You don’t need to worry about the rules because you are a mature, responsible adult. How dare they impose any rules on you. Fascists. #Legalism

9 • Calendars and Clocks are for Chumps: You’ll get there when you get there. It’s not like they NEED you to be there before things begin. And there are lots of other volunteers, so peeling off early is only a matter of setting healthy boundaries and not falling subjective to the oppression of the calendar. 

10 • Training is for Everyone Else: You know everything you need to know. The university of life has brought you up to speed quite nicely. Books, blogs, videos and lectures are a bore that you just don’t need in your life. Why do we have to overthink EVERYTHING. 

11 • Paperwork is for Chumps: There has got to be some reason you shouldn’t have to do a police check or fill out that application form. What do they think you are, a criminal? 

12 • It’s All About the Selfies: Work and work safety are irrelevant when it comes to selfies. Make sure you post pictures that put the organization you are volunteering for in a compromising light. You just want to be sure it LOOKS like you’ve worked hard. 

13 • Impose Your Wisdom: Workers at charities love nothing more than for guests to come and tell them everything they should be doing, and how they should be doing it. You can safely assume they do almost nothing with their time and resources and that your first impression of every situation you encounter is a nugget of as-to-yet-be-considered, wisdom. Make sure you tell everyone. Further to that, make sure you express absolute outrage when your advice goes unheeded and your recommendations unapplied. Threatening to leave during critical times is the most helpful approach. 

14 • Don’t Offer Solutions: One of the most helpful things you can do is offer helpful constructive criticism for areas of deficiency. Just be sure to leave out the constructive part. There’s no need to ever offer potential solutions along with your criticisms. Cold criticism is a hallmark of volunteer work. 

15 • Gossip: The most important thing to remember is to leave the charitable organization or ministry having hard feelings for something trivial, or that you didn’t fully grasp - and then pass that confusion on to everyone who will listen. It’s your responsibility. 

16 • Don’t be a Lemming: Everyone knows who the Lemmings are. How can they possibly enjoy such a compliant, servant hearted and submissive style of volunteer work? Does no-one stand up for themselves anymore. This volunteer experience is about you, so make sure you don’t let anyone take that away with their goody two shoes example. You’re not jumping into the ocean with them.  


At Arrowhead, we have been immensely blessed by wonderful volunteers over the years. Our volunteers have come humbly to serve God with us, and have given freely of their time and energies. We are so very grateful for their love and service and by no means wish to criticize their loving service. Hopefully our list can give you some things to consider as you prepare for volunteering, perhaps you can think a little bit critically about your attitudes when you are volunteering, whether with a Christian agency or any charity. We can all strive to serve God well together and set aside many of the things that rear up and compromise Christian service and ministry. 

No comments: