You would not beLIEVE the drama that goes on in rescue groups. And I'm not even talking about the saving-animals part. I'm talking about the people drama.
Okay, first of all, this post is entirely TL;DR, so feel free to skip to the last paragraph, where I've got a question for ya. Feeling brave? Read on.
I would like to say that I really, really enjoy my time volunteering. It's a ton of fun and really rewarding. It's just that some of these people are CRAZY.
The most recent drama involved two long-time volunteers, Frank and Mary. They are a married couple, I'm guessing early sixties, and they volunteered for a couple of different local rescue groups. They did one evening shift and one daytime shift at the adoption center, and they did adoption events for another group.
The problem was, Frank and Mary were ... well ... let me be blunt here ... useless. At the adoption center, Frank would spend his volunteer time either reading or sleeping in his chair. I'm not talking dozing here; I'm talking full-on sleeping, complete with snoring. He was gruff and loud (when he was awake). Mary? Mary ... hoo boy, blunt time again ... Mary ate her way into a wheelchair. And she would park that wheelchair, and her considerable self, smack-dab in front of the cages. Anyone who actually wanted to SEE a cat had to crane their way around Mary to get a peek. If someone wanted to visit with a cat, Mary was unable to help, and Frank was usually asleep. I cannot TELL you how many people would come in the day after one of their shifts, explaining that they had come in the day before wanting to visit with a cat and had been told to come back the next day. And both of them were ... dirty. Like, food-stained clothes, unwashed-hair dirty. Were there mental-health issues at play? Yeah, I think so, especially when a volunteer who had visited their house said that they were full-on hoarders. Do they need ... help? Yes. Yes they do. I hope they get it.
And Mary liked to gossip. Loudly. She would tell anybody who would listen, including stray passers-by, all about the latest tidbits, whether they knew any of the people involved or not. She would bad-mouth other rescues. She would give incorrect information about adoption procedures. She ... yeah. Why these two were volunteering at all, I have no idea.
So. The rescue who runs the adoption center had a leeetle problem. They were getting complaints from the management of the pet store, from shoppers, and from other volunteers about Frank and Mary. Frank and Mary had to go.
And then, a couple of months ago, a big adoption weekend was coming up at the adoption center. The volunteer coordinator emailed Frank and Mary, asking them to "take the weekend off". (She didn't want them in the store during such a major weekend.) And Frank and Mary BLEW UP.
They showed the email to the pet store management. Who DID NOT WANT TO HEAR THE DRAMA, and told the rescue that they'd better lose Frank and Mary if they wanted to keep their spot in the store. Ouch! The volunteer coordinator, fed up and trying to ease them out gently, told them that they could keep their evening shift, but their daytime shift was being given to other volunteers.
and then they promptly sent a nastygram email to the coordinator, who just as promptly posted it on Facebook, which wasn't very kind, but frankly, I think she was trying to get revenge on Frank and Mary for showing one of HER emails to the pet store management and
holy sh*t, it's high school all over again.
and this crap goes on ALL THE TIME with these people.
Tell me, what are your experiences with volunteer groups? Do the people act like adults, or does it descend into ridiculousness on a regular basis? Is it just the animal rescues? Or does this kind of stuff happen with all kinds of groups? Enquiring minds want to know.