Sunday, December 11, 2011

explain this to me.....

Mom here - pardon me as I need to vent:

So I have been volunteering at the current shelter for over a year now. I came here after a bad experience with another shelter. Unfortunately, that director felt the need to call the one here and bad mouth me. It is a long story, but I was "black listed" and had to explain to this new woman why I wanted to volunteer.

A year goes by and I have not had anyone tell me I am doing a bad job. In fact, I have heard nothing but good things from the people I work with in the evenings.

Well, the one shift I work hasn't had a shift leader for several months. It seems they just finally realized it and decided to do something about it. A temporary replacement was found. And then several people said I should volunteer to lead the shift.

I had serious reservations....I knew the director would shoot it down. But the friday after Thanksgiving I was volunteering and the leader of the shift leads came to me and said at least a couple of people had recommended me for the position. I told her I had some reservations since I had a "past" with the current director. I was assured this shouldn't be an issue. I told her that I would be happy to help then. She said I would just have to go through the training.

And I never heard another thing from her. So I emailed her the other day about setting up a time for training. And got the following email from the director:
While I'm happy to see you volunteer for such an important leadership role at ******,
I do have concerns and reservations. 

As you know we have had some complaints in the past and I need to know that will not
happen in the future. 

Likewise, in the past we have learned that some adoptions didn't go through bases 
on your recommendations. While we want to keep the animals safe and placed with a 
well matched family we need to lean on the leads to only give recommendations 
regarding an animals behavior etc that are consisted with staff notes/views. 
Example: only tell an adopter a cat is not good with dogs,kids, etc if that is 
noted by staff. Everything else needs to be answered with an honest "I'm not sure". 
I realize this may be unclear so you can feel free to contact me after I get back 
from vacation to discuss further.

Why do I bother???  She can't ever seem to give me an example - just "I have been told". I love volunteering, helping the animals, and working with people to find the right animal. But a major part of me so wants to tell her to kiss my @$$. I am just so frustrated....why is it that the people I work with there all the time have nothing but good things to say and then I get someone stabbing me in the back? Is she just out to get her own way? Heaven knows she has never seen me at the shelter or working with the public.....


  1. I would have a meeting and clear the air...there is clearly a load of crap that needs to be taken care of.
    Just my two cents...

  2. I feel the same as Katnip Lounge.

    I would have the two of you, you and the Director together in a pile and discuss the matter. Several things will be accomplished. One, it will finally be out in the total complete open. Then, armed with a pad and pen, go thru and list, enumerate, whatecer, the Directir says and then, address those concernes one by one. IF there is something to clarify, then is your time to do so.

    You explained to the new person why you wanted to volunteer. She must not have put 100% credence in whatever the forst one said or you'd not be there. That's a plus. Build on that. PLEASE let us know how you do. Don't give up. Meet this head on and with a neutral tone and expression. xoxoxoxo (really..lots of xoxoxoxo)

  3. Oh I am so sorry you're having to deal with this pettiness! Oh dear!:-(

    I think you need to have a meeting with the director and keep communications open. Take someone you trust with you to be an objective observer. You need to know what happened inbetween her reassuring you that you are ideal for the post to then seemingly change her mind as gleaned from her email. Sorry I probably sound really preachy! LOL!

    GOOD LUCK! You do what you do because you are passionate about these beautiful animals.

    I hope you don't mind me sending you this link - it's not quite the same but the blogger is a volunteer at her local RSPCA and is having to deal with extraneous ignorance too.

    Hugs to all your wonderful kitties! take care

  4. Oh...seems like many involved with animals, rehoming, rescue have very similar stories to yours. It even has happened to me at work, when we get in a surrendered cat due to behavior issues and when they go off to their new home, not much about their past is disclosed. To me, that is a often a recipe for disaster.

    I never did that when I was breeding and got a cat back. It was FULL DISCLOSURE even if it meant that home decided against taking the cat.

    To me, THAT was in the best interest of the cat!

    It rankles me when I hear shelters say 'We find good homes for cats' when really, much of the time, they just find homes...

    I know it is not easy, but I have learned to let go of some things that are not really mine to control. I often do voice my concerns and sometimes they are listened to and acted upon, but when they aren't...I realize that that isn't really part of my responsibility and letting go of that doesn't make me a lesser person and I have helped in the capacity I can and make up for what is lacking in other ways...

    I do not think I would take this position if I were you, and try and make up for it in working in other ways for the animals...

  5. Too bad the animals don't run the shelter, much of the time animals seem easier to work with than humans. Sorry to hear you have had so many negative experiences volunteering, that sounds very frustrating indeed.

    I might suggest the meeting with the director and asking for very specific examples of her "concerns and reservations" and maybe even ask for specific examples of what it would take to improve in her eyes. The challenge is to not take it personal, but only hear it as her perspective then you can decide if you want to jump through the hoops to keep volunteering there.

  6. Everyone else has given good feedback, so I won't repeat any suggestions.

    I'm sorry you're experiencing this, though. It seems that no matter what area of life, always there are those whose egos are so petty that they get in the way of the Higher Good.

    Best of luck working this out.

    Or hey, you could start your own private rescue, like Beth from Forever Home Cat Rescue. Though that requires more organization, resources and planning that I can possibly imagine, I'm sure!


  7. Right, I am not going to add much. I agree it's best to get all involved in on the meeting so there can be a honest discussion.

    Isn't that just why we have cats in our homes, too? Less drama, more love!!

  8. I too am sorry. I hope you can find a workable solution that you can be happy with.

  9. I'm really sorry, too, that you're having to go through this merely to help the animals. Some people -- and your director sounds like one -- really shouldn't be in charge of others. Good luck dealing with her. And blessings on you for all you do! :)

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    Thanks for commenting on my Fundraising for Cat Protection Society post! Just wanted to let you know of an update with my fundraising page - I've decided to give people more incentive to donate by doing 2 giveaways. The fundraising page will be active for 6 months so at the end of the first 3 months I'm going to draw all the donors out of a hat and they will win their choice of anything from my Etsy store (there will be even more cool art and apparel in there soon too!). At the end of the 6 months I'll do it again :o)Just wanted to inform you of the update, and thanks again for visiting The Purr Diaries!!!
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  11. So sorry to hear you have to deal with this. Especially when your ultimate concern is the animals. :( I hope it resolves itself in a satisfactory way for you.

  12. It is very said that stuff like this has to happen to those who truly and sincerely just want to help the animals. I would ask for a face-to-face meeting and get everything out in the open.

  13. Often times these issues come out of insecurity on the part of the "leader." She fears that you might be "better" or "more popular" and she is afraid to give up some of her so called power to you.

    No adoption shelter can possibly have a 100% adopt rate.

    You do need to sit down with her but she may not recognize her insecurities and the fact that everyone loves you might be the problem.

  14. I'd suggest a face-to-face meeting. Be sure to bring with you a list of things you want to clear up. IMHO, it's very short-sighted of them to treat you that way. Great and passionate volunteers (LIKE YOU!) are extremely few and far between, and I hope this situation can be resolved. I really do. Whenever we get frustrated with things at the shelter at which we volunteer (your current situation sounds eerily familiar to us...), we tell ourselves "we're here for the animals." (and we repeat it over and over. LOL)

    Hang in there, friend!

  15. I'm so sorry. Unfortunately there are some places that do not value volunteers and don't realize that volunteers are the backbone of most rescue groups.

    I would have a meeting and if you're not satisified with how it goes, look for a different group to volunteer with. Unless you're in a really tiny town, there should be several groups, most of which will appreciate you for all you do. Good luck.

  16. I'm constantly amazed at the size of many of the egos in the rescue community. There is one way- theirs! I would also recommend a meeting to clear the air. It helped me after I had a falling out with my current group (one of the reasons we were hardly fostering this year even prior to Fui being unwell).

  17. I have discovered and I have not had a lot of experience that these rescue people or at least some of them do have gigantic egos. I cannot believe that they said that you should say you don't know if they like dogs or cats or children. That is just awful. I thought the whole idea was to find a GOOD home for an animal. No wonder so many animals end back in the shelter. That is too bad. I don't think a meeting is going to help. It also sounds like someone is after you probably because you do do such a great job. I am sure sorry you are going through this.

  18. Hmmm.What to say after reading all the comments? Everyone pretty much summed it up. Egos.Pettiness. Insecurities. Jealousies.Getting in the way of the Higher Good.Who would have thought it would/could happen in rescue? I have similar problems with fostering. You need to do what you feel is right for you.I keep my mouth shut because I know opening it won't change a thing and ultimaltely I am there for the animals.But some times saying something does help.You know what will work in your situation.And if it is too frustrating..find another organization to volunteer with.Hugs and lots of them and we wish you didn't have to go through these fields of shit but...egos,insecurities, jealousies...pettiness can always be found in abundance.
    the critters in The Cottage xoxo


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