Volunteer Scab Wanted

Recently, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “How to get more Americans to volunteer.” It’s written by academics but it still has some good points to make.

After I retired, I tried to volunteer. I was unsuccessful. What every organization I went to wanted was someone to replace paid service support. Mostly cleaning toilets or sitting at a reception desk or pushing a mail cart.

I don’t want to come across as arrogant or haughty but none of that is engaging. First of all, I feel like I am denying some blue collar laborer righteous employment. That makes it a moral and ethical issue and I can’t work in such an environment.

Second, the work I was offered was not only uninteresting, it was work I have neither capability nor interest in. I’m an INTRO with several college degrees and I have managed organizations with thousands of college graduates. Asking me to do clerical or janitorial working involving continuous interaction with other people is repulsive. It tells me you don’t care about volunteers, only their labor. That’s the worse sort of capitalism and just because you are a charity doesn’t make you inherently not bad.

After two years of trying to volunteer to do something useful and, at least, not painful, I gave up. I am now cynical about volunteering. It’s a scam and a cheat.

So I suggest you need to change my mind rationally and not appeal to guilt and pity.