I have worked in Volunteer organisations for more years than I care to remember and there all like that. One of the problems of runnning such an organisation is the problem of getting anyone to work and you can get VERY pissed off ringing up everyone to try and get something done. I realise to most its a hobby but wether its PB, the local fire brigade, football club etc they do have a job to do and its VERY frustrating to ALWAYS be getting the run around. I have as one should realise been in that side of an organisation and have the scars to prove it. Any volunteer orgiaisation is governed by what is known as "the 10/90" rule, that is 10 percent of the people do 90 percent of the work, put your self in the 10 perecnt position for a while................
With PB I had absolutely NO intention of getting any where near a responible position but I had two serious problems. After my initial visit NO ONE contacted me at all, I rung up the apropriate managers directly and they directed me what to do. I did write to them and say this was completely unsatisfactory, I never bothered to follow this up.
The second problem I considered was VERY serious, Now although I was a volunteer for PB, I had no intention of EVER joining the society. Now one of the societys senior members (and I do know his name) wrote a questioaire to all volunteers that were NOT members of the society. This questionaire had around 12 questions two of these STRONGLY indicated that PB was going to kick out any volunteers who were not members of the society. To say I was bloody furious would be a serious under statement. I stewed over this for some time then on the advice of some others I directly approached two members of PB's board. They were shocked at the story, they apoligised and stated there was no intention on the boards part to force any volunteer to do anything and said the author of the document was known to be a bit of an idiot when it came to volunteers. They ended up by contacting me sometime later to say again how sorry they were and they also said there was 1200 members of the society and around 200 volunteers who were not members. They said from passed experience of such things they would expect to lose 60 volunteers (something PB simply could not afford) over the poorly worded questionaire and that I was the ONLY one to contact them on the problem, this being par for the course.
With any hobby that has some kind of serious responsibilty attached you will ALWAYS have to work with this sort of system, you in my opinion have to have some understanding of the organisations responibilties and problems. Its EXREMELY
hard going to run such a large organistaion such as PB, thats just keeping its head above water. I was very impressed by how much effort both the section managers and members of the board put in.
A last comment working with volunteers is the toughest assignment ANY
managment can have and there will always be mistakes because sucsessfull managment of volunteers is an ART form that cannot be learned.