Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{January 27, 2011}   Advice with a Spoonful of Sugar

As a Volunteer Manager, I help a lot of people. And, as I’m assisting them, many feel it’s difficult to just accept the help. They want to give something to me in return. I collect wind up toys, so sometimes I’ll find one of those in my mailbox, if you’ve read other posts, I’ve been offered free tattoos, cookies, free meals, free drinks, moving vans, flooring, even a new concrete driveway, you name’s been put on the table.

Now for ethical reasons, I don’t accept many of these freebies. A wind up toy is thoughtful, a few chocolate chip cookies can and SHOULD never be turned down, but on the whole, I thankfully decline, what I can’t decline though is the free advice that comes across the desk to my ears.

I can’t give their words back to them. As much as I don’t share anything personal with many of the volunteers that come in to my office, I still get advice on my hair, my clothes, my organizational skills, my eye make-up, my shoes, my job, my photos on my desk, my pens that don’t work….my lunch, my glasses, my relationships, my politics, my religion and my reading choices. EVEN THOUGH…none of this was ever brought up by me in the first place.

Recently, I was given (forced upon) the advice of personal fitness. Now, mind you, I work out and try to watch what I eat, but I’m no Jillian Michaels…and the man giving me the advice was  not Bob Harper. This man was becoming a fitness trainer, and was setting up shop in his apartment until he can get some funds to start-up his own gym. He lost 65 lbs in 3 months.  His training is free for now, but he will be accepting donations.  He told me to stop drinking soda, don’t eat after 9pm, no more fast food and go for walks. Easy enough, after that lesson, I didn’t really feel the need to go to his apartment for him to advise me further, but in kindness I added his scrap of paper with his number and name on it to my Rolodex in the “Health” section. He was pleased with that.

I don’t mean to be critical…but sometimes “Biggest Loser” can mean so many different things at one time…


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