I recently posted about how tired I always am and the list of responsibilities I always have to attend to. Of all those obligations you would think there would have to be something expendable going on that I might eliminate. Perhaps, to those not in the know, the logical thing to do would be to limit the time I spend at the firehouse, since it is, after all, volunteer. However, I already have adjusted that schedule and my sense of obligation prevents me from leaving completely.
Despite the near-constant stress and fuckery that come with staying, I do, in fact, love it. Further with almost no members living in town, and a generation of members that have no interest in learning the important things that keep us running day to day, I will be there forever. At the very least I will be there until the doors close, leaving a town without a fire department, because volunteerism is dead. The internet and the economy teamed up and jumped it in a back alley, beating every last breath out of it.
Seriously, though, the volunteer fire service is disappearing. Fewer people are interested in risking their lives for free, even in their own communities where they are certain to make a difference. We are seeing this across the country, as regulations become stricter and would-be volunteers just don’t have the time and interest in the schooling required. Also the economy just doesn’t allow people as much free time as it once did.
Anyway, this leaves me, and those like me, who have already dedicated a significant portion of their lives to the service to keep on trekking. There is a real fear for me that if I were to walk away, knowing that I am an essential member in a team of 10, that things would collapse faster than flan in a cupboard. So, I take on even more jobs by running the board, our fundraising campaigns, and our EMS division. This may not sound like much but it involves hosting training, paperwork, planning, budgeting, reviewing, receiving training, processing, running meetings, attending meetings, scheduling inspections, doing inspections, event coordinating, and sticking a broom in my ass so I can sweep while I’m at it. Just to name a few.
So, yeah, three massive responsibilities to a volunteer organization when I barely have time to shower each day…
I’ve held plenty of responsibility at the department in the past, so it’s not really anything I can’t handle with the right amount of caffeine & yoga. The major differences between now and then would have to be, 1- I have a child & 2- There are literally no other members interested in pulling their weight. When I said team of 10 earlier, I was actually being generous, because while I have plenty of members on paper they all seem to be under the impression that they joined a social club. They are constantly signing up to assist with events or attend training and then pulling the ole’ no-call, no-show.
So, while over-worked, under-caffeinated, & looking every bit of it, I set out to learn the spectacular reasons these miscreants had for shirking various obligations.
Here are some of my “favorite’s” from the think tank…
“I had a job interview”
On why they failed to show up for a haunted house that started at 830pm 😐
“It was snowing and I don’t really like the snow”
On why they didn’t attend a detail to PREPARE FOR A BLIZZARD after obligating themselves.
“I didn’t realize that attendance was mandatory”
Despite the 15 text messages and emails that were sent over the last 2 weeks
“I had my period.”
Funny, because in 18+ years of having that horror show it has never caused me to miss anything, least of all a meeting in which all I had to do was sit on my ass and listen to other people speak.
“I had a nail appointment that I forgot about”
You’re right. I forgot that those take the same 7 hours as the event you promised to assist with.
“I don’t particularly like pork”
On why they couldn’t attend a Pig Roast Fundraiser
“I was tired after work, because, you know, I have a job.”
Oh my! Please tell me more about this intriguing philosophy. I have never heard of this job thing before…
“My girlfriend was bar tending so I decided to go keep her company and have a few drinks”
Yes, I’m sure she gets quite lonely at a bar on a Friday evening. At least your were honest…or too stupid to come up with a decent lie.
“I had a dentist appointment”
UGHH! Fair enough; getting teeth pulled is the WORST!
“Oh, no, it was just for a cleaning and checkup.”
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK! THEY SURGICALLY REMOVED A HUMAN FROM ME 3 WEEKS AGO AND I’M HERE, BUT PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT HOW STRENUOUS THAT CLEANING WAS YOU LITTLE SHIT!
You know what, I think these fuckers are making me bitter. Bitter and angry like I have never been before…