Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What happens when you realize that you're undervalued?

I volunteer with Girl Guides, which is an organization near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately my class schedule this year conflicts with our usual meeting night. Seeing as though I want to continue to run my unit, I thought, "this has an easy solution, switch the meeting night!" Wrong!! I figured that I would have to clear this with our district commissioner so I emailed her last night and explained the situation. I felt that I argued well for myself and showed that I am passionate and committed and felt that that should be accounted for.

This morning I received a call from her. She asked me what was going on, and I restated my email basically. Her response was that there was no way to move the meeting night because there is another unit meeting on the night that I proposed to move it to (so what?) and that it would be difficult to find a new place (I offered to look into this). She also mentioned that the girls who are in the unit expect that we meet at the place and time, so it would be inconvenient for them if we changed it (ie - girl retention is important). Well unfortunately what will be more inconvenient is that their unit will have no leaders this year! She ended this little monologue by saying that she was very happy to see my commitment and enthusiasm about the unit and if I am unable to volunteer this year, they will be sad to see me go. When she initially said this, I felt that it was genuine, but now I'm rethinking that. She is higher on the chain of command, and perhaps has different goals that I do, though they should coincide at some point. But what really rubs me the wrong way, is that it felt like she was just writing me off as though I am replaceable (which I am not!).

In one of my dad's many life lesson speeches he told me that I shouldn't work for a company that is not willing to bleed for you. You put in so many hours, and hopefully passion, into what you do he said, and it's imperative to feel that that does not go unnoticed. It's best if the company is willing to return the favor. Suddenly I find myself in this position with Girl Guides. They are totally not willing to bleed for me. In fact they are willing to cut me loose! Such a dilemma. I love what this organization is capable of doing and am proud to be a part of it. But now I don't feel like they value me in a similar way. So do I walk away with my pride, or should I suck it up and do good for my community?

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