Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dear Unfailingly Cheerful Volunteer Person;

Okay, I get it. You volunteer, and that's awesome. You clearly don't need to work full time, so you do something that gives you meaning and helps others. I am, truly, happy that you do that; in fact, it's something I often suggest to my clients who feel that their life has no meaning. You fulfill an important need here, and make lives easier for the patients.

Meanwhile, however, can I offer you some tips to ensure I don't wind up throwing my radio at you?

1) The reason I'm not smiling is because I'm concentrating on my job. I'm not unhappy, or sad, or angry, (and don't need cheering up) but I will be if you don't stop yelling SMILE!! at me every single time you see me, and then waiting to see if I comply.

2) I used to leave my door open, but now it's nearly shut for a reason. If I shut it all the way, then people who need to see me won't knock on it. It's not nearly shut so that you can peak in and start a conversation. If you don't have business with me, walk on by. And don't ever, ever knock on my door when it's closed.

3) I'm working. My employer doesn't pay me to chat about your new grandchild, dog, parakeet, son, daughter, ex-husband, spring plantings, winter rye, the fruit setting up in your garden, how busy you're going to be canning this season, the type of organic fertilizer you use, the bald patches in your grass, the latch on your gate that needs fixing, the wonderful supper you cooked up last week, the fish you caught, the awesome cloud formations you saw last week, or what they talked about on Oprah yesterday. It's not just you. It's you, and every single other volunteer that stops by and wants to talk about these things.

4) I especially don't want to hear about your restful week. I gave up summers off to be here.

5) When if I'm on the phone, don't hover in my doorway where you can hear the conversation, waiting for me to finish. Also, I'm "working hard." I'm not "hardly working," so LMTFA. Moreover, it's cold enough for me, it's hot enough for me, it's windy enough for me, and yes, I'm thankful that it's Friday.

6) Sometimes, you can just have thoughts in your head that don't need to be expressed out loud. Trust me.

7) Quit hogging the bathroom. What the hell are you doing in there for so long?

That's it. Thanks for letting me rant.



  1. I hope that's from a combination of different people because if it were from one, there isn't a jury in the world who would convict :-)

  2. re: #1 - nobody ever tells a GUY to "smile!" and it drives me NUTS. If I wanted to "smile!" I would. I am perfectly capable of expressing my own emotions, when and where I deem it necessary to do so. And just FYI, being told to "smile!" is 100% guaranteed to produce exactly the opposite, so if you really want me to "smile!" you'll "smile!" pleasantly and then GO AWAY.

    In other words, I feel ya. :)

  3. Sing it, sister!

    The "smile" thing is the worst, even worse than the chatty co-workers.

    As Brat says, no one ever orders a man to smile, no one thinks a man needs to go around with a perky, vapid cheerleader expression on his face. Tellingly, women never tell each other to smile. It's only men who think they're so special and clever that we'll burst into a great big grin at the sight of their dumb mugs.

    Funny thing is, I usually am smiling, albeit only slightly. Problem is that I have a very short lower jaw that makes me have to smile really huge for it to be obvious. Therefore, when a man orders me to smile, I often already am, but I stop really quick and start contemplating homicide. Have a nice day, too, pal. Hope you get run over by a bus.

  4. Why is this person at your workplace all day? To volunteer there? wow, I feel your frustration!

  5. This is actually several people. That's what's so sad about it - each thinks s/he is a unique, muchly needed bit of cheer in my otherwise dreary existence. They don't realize that there is a parade of insanity streaming from the volunteer office past my office each day. :-/

  6. Wow! Ok, you are my new work hero!(no that you needed to know that) I'm going to post your list on my office door frame! :-)

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