At the moment I’m working four days a week. I have Sunday off, Wednesday off and, at the moment, Tuesday off. I’m three hours short of my normal time, but I get a whole extra day off, which is quite useful. I could really compress my hours into three days and take a second job, but although that would suit me, it wouldn’t be quite as convenient for running the shop.
It’s now time to confess that I didn’t follow up the chance of teaching adults to read, as I said I would a few weeks ago. I meant to, because it’s important, but the application form rubbed me up the wrong way. There were a number of things which jarred, but I can work round that, people who write forms often become a little bossy. However I then reached the bit where it required details of my relevant qualifications and went on to ask for two references, preferably from “people of some standing in the community”.
Well, I don’t have any “relevant qualifications”, which is generally a coded reference to the fact that they are looking for ex-teachers. I’ve had this sort of thing before. I also, to be honest, no longer have any people in my social circle who could possibly be described as having any sort of “standing” in the community.
They are supposedly an organisation which aims, amongst other things, to make people feel good about themselves by redressing their lack of education, and they end up reminding me that I made some bad decisions in the past, lack educational qualifications and, in addition, have no friends of any standing in the community. Even writing about it now I feel depressed and embarrassed about this.
Anyway, I’m giving my time to help people and I will complete a criminal record check before starting work, so why do they need references?
As I say, some people just can’t help being pompous when writing forms. Overlying that is the idea that I’ve seen this all before – people running volunteer schemes or charities because they want to be in charge of something and look important, and they want to make sure all their helpers are the right sort of person. Unfortunately, I’m not.
I’ll tell you what I am though, I’m someone who has done a lot of volunteering, and someone who won a regional award for my work in running volunteer and training schemes.
At the moment I’m waiting to find out what we will be doing in the shop in the long term. When we settle that I’m going to volunteer for a scheme that goes into schools to help kids learn to love reading. In the meantime I’ve set up a payment to donate to them every month.
Sorry if this makes me sound like a bad person but I have experienced several organisations where I wasn’t happy. My time is valuable to me and I’m not going to waste it on the wrong scheme.
And there we go, a rant about people trying to do good in the community. I really am a nasty piece of work.