In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tight Corner.”
Have you ever managed to paint yourself into the proverbial corner because of your words? What did you do while waiting for them “to dry”?
As a young parent of a kindergarten child, I was anxious to volunteer and support his teacher, and the school he attended in any way possible.
My enthusiasm overwhelmed my alligator volunteering mouth, painting me into a corner, as I found myself over extended with volunteer duties, from the school office, to substitute when not enough parents were available and chaperoning children on a school outing.
Several parents in my child’s class would ask me to cover their volunteering duties which I gladly did without hesitation. By the second semester, parents from other kindergarten classrooms were also asking for my assistance and I willingly volunteered.
The word “Assistance” is used to invoke volunteering, however when volunteers ask another volunteer to cover their volunteer duties, more than once, I see an irresponsible volunteer.
By late spring, I was inundated with requests by parents asking me to cover their volunteering positions which they originally signed up for weeks in advance.
In an overwhelming majority of the times, I was the volunteer who managed the signup sheet. Yes, I had that position. I surely painted myself into a “tight corner”, agreeing to volunteer.
I was feeling a little disenchanted with volunteering towards the end of the school year, then one day in April, I was asked to meet with the assistant principal in her office.
Sitting in the assistant principal’s office, it was surreal, as I began to reminisce of my elementary school years in the principal’s office, when, I was the average hyperactive child. LOl!
When the assistant principal entered her office followed by the principal, they began by thanking me for my dedication to volunteer duties and praised me for my involvement.
They both asked that, I not take anymore volunteer duties from parents who originally signed up to volunteer unless it is a true family emergency, and for the parents who are signing up and don’t perform their volunteer duties, I was to pass the information on them.
They both explained how they wanted me to encourage and develop additional parent volunteers.
I was a little surprised with the conference on volunteering, but I took their recommendation and suggestions and began refusing parents requests who wanted me to cover their volunteer duties.
I reported the parents to the principal while encouraging the parent try again and praised them for at least giving me an initial notice.
In late May, after the kindergarten graduation, the school’s principals,administration staff, along with the school superintendent presented me with a volunteer of the year award, which surprised me beyond belief.
I was completely shocked with the award and I was emotionally moved with the presentation, which came with a $50.00 gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Now, on a hot August morning, I sit in my car looking out towards the school district’s administration building, and I suddenly realize it has been twenty-five years since my child began kindergarten and today I begin my last year as the paid volunteer coordinator for the entire school district.
Volunteering pays off