Sunday, January 15, 2017

Volunteering & Signing Forms

So, this happened a bit ago now, but I wanted to write about it then, and I'm finally getting to it now.  I suppose I likely don't have this posted anywhere, but the way I've always handled signing volunteering forms (for school, clubs, whatever), is that I will sign them or fill them out on the day the volunteering is being performed.  As in, that is the only time I will be signing them. 

I want to say the ONLY time there's been an exception to this, was we had someone doing community service here, and needed a letter for the court from the rescue, stating that they completed the requisite number of hours, what they did, etc.  This was after, mind you, like 25 hours of community service / volunteering.  So, that's a tad bit different... at the end of the 25 hours, I wrote the letter for the court.

However, the average person volunteering comes once or twice, for 2-3 hours at a time, and usually, if they are doing the volunteering for school or whatnot, they bring the form with them.  I will sign it, fill it out, whatever needs to be done -- that day.  The reason for this is because, if 2 months later, someone asks me to sign that they volunteered... sometimes these forms asked what they did.  For volunteers that are here for an hour, maybe they only did one task, but if they were here for multiple hours, you can bet they did multiple things, and you can also bet, 2 months later, that I may not be able to recall what those multiple things were.  Not that there aren't typical things that volunteers tend to do, but I like to have these forms be accurate, and a sure-fire way to do that is to fill them out that day, when I know exactly what the volunteer did.  Plus, I know exactly how many hours they spent there... there's no guessing about this, months later.

This has only been a problem once

I had someone adopt some chins from the rescue, and then later bring them back to the rescue when they couldn't care for them any longer.  This person would occasionally bring their teenage daughter to volunteer, and drop her off for a few hours at a time.  Well, on this one occasion, the mother texted me, saying the daughter wanted to volunteer that upcoming weekend, and informing me that I had a form that I needed to sign.  So I told her, ok, bring the form with when you bring the daughter.  Well, as it turns out, she needed the form ahead of time, that day to be specific.  She needed it that day, because they had waited until the very last day to turn in the form, and so they had to get it signed and turned into the school that day.  The weekend was a few days away, so the daughter wasn't going to volunteer for a few days.  Because she had volunteered in the past, I told the mother, ok, if you know the daughter is going to stay for 3 hours that weekend, I will fill out the form for 3 hours, with the anticipation that the daughter would actually come by and stay three hours volunteering in the following few days.  This wasn't quite what the mother had in mind.  She said, well, the daughter had been volunteering in the past, and I needed to fill it out for x hours, and sign it.  Now we're not talking about that weekend's to-be-volunteered hours, but for previously volunteered hours.  So, I informed the mom, that's not typically how I do things... I fill out the forms when the people volunteer.  HOWEVER, I did tell her, because I did know that the daughter volunteered before, I would sign the form that one time, for the previous volunteering.  I told the mom, that I was letting her know, for the future, that I needed the form on the day of volunteering.  Oh, apparently that was too much to ask. 

First, she went off on, how dare I ask her to have the form the day of volunteering, when I knew the kid volunteered before.  Yes, she did, and that's why I had said I would sign the form, this one time, even though it wasn't what I usually did.  To me, that's being nice.  Then she said, well, did she have to bring the form all the way to Hammond?  Well, yeah, I mean, that's where I was, that's typically how you sign a form, in person... and she says, well, but she's all the way in Crown Point, she'd have to drive to Hammond, then back to Crown Point, then to the school to drop it off.  Note, it wasn't my fault that she waited until the last day to get the form signed... so she proceeded to ask, could she just sign it for me?  I told her no.  I said, then what happens when I sign the next one, and the signatures don't even vaguely look similar?  She didn't care.  She literally wanted to forge my signature.  Since I wasn't willing to either drive to Crown Point to sign the forms for her, or let her forge my signature, she basically let me have it, telling me the rescue is completely for-profit, and how dare I use volunteers to make money, how dare I re-home her chins and make money twice off of them.... and how she would never have her kid volunteer for me again... and so on and so forth. 

I never did see them again.  I thought about calling the Crown Point school system and telling them that if they received a volunteer form with my signature, that it was a forgery, but I'm not quite that mean.  I wouldn't want to punish the kid...  But I did think about it, as I was trying to be nice, agreeing to sign the form, way after the fact, and her blowing up and basically saying I was being unreasonable, and how dare I not bend over backwards for what she wanted.

By the way, I should mention, this happened in Fall of 2016... I looked up when the daughter had last volunteered, after all this went down, just out of curiosity -- it was early Spring of 2015.  So literally, she had volunteered a freaking year and a half prior and wanted to use that as her "current volunteering" that she had to do for some school thing.  Apparently, every 3-4 months, they had to do so many hours of volunteering.  Not many, like 4 hours or something.  And apparently, four hours of volunteering is too much, so she wanted to use volunteering from a year and a half before, to fulfill the requirement.  Personally... that's asking a little much.  And then, further, to want to forge my signature to save some driving time and effort... yeah, no. 

So... if you volunteer and want a form filled out... bring it when you come, because I will not be offering again, to sign a form later. 

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