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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, November 10, 2006

Don't do what you don't want to

So we just got home a few minutes ago. After work, the missus and I went to a local bookstore for orientation with Volunteer Broward, a local clearinghouse for volunteer/charitable organizations.

We figured since we're not about to give cash that we don't have, maybe we can earn some decency stripes by helping out at one of these places, what with the holidays coming up.

Anyway, while the volunteer coordinator guy was giving his lecture, one guy in the audience griped the entire time...for everyone to hear.

Now, I admit I was ready to jump over the balcony, or cut myself and go soak in a bathtub full of rubbing alcohol, because I was bored to tears. I won't lie. I hate orientations. Unless you are being oriented for your first flight on a space shuttle or your first brain surgery, orientations are 80% useless. Just tell me how to sign up, where to be, and when, and I'm good.

Still, in spite of my angst I bit my tongue and listened...mostly. I did sneak Marley & Me off a nearby shelf and peak at the cover notes till a disapproving nudge made me put it back.

But the griper, a guy sitting about 10 feet away, interrupted the coordinator guy every couple of minutes to ask a "what if."

The thing is he wasn't asking stuff like "What if we're late?" or "What if we don't understand our assignment?"

He was asking like "What if I don't like what I volunteered for?" and "What if I can't get along with the other volunteers?" and "What if I decide you all suck and should go jump off a cliff?" and "What if I get the gout and don't really give a crap about helping strangers?"

OK, I exaggerated the last two things, but this dude spent the entire time asking speculative questions about what he would do when (not if) he encountered a problem.

I have a question for Mr. Curiosity - actually two questions: If we end up in another training class together could you volunteer to shut the hell up, before I volunteer to toss your behind out a window? And, if you're already convinced it's gonna be a bad experience why bother?


  • I would have told him to shut his whiny arse up.
    Either that or volunteer him to be a crash test dummy.

    By Blogger Steph, at 11:33 PM  

  • I was tempted to tell him. I couldn't figure out why he just wouldn't have stayed home.

    Guess it's true that misery loves company.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:39 AM  

  • lol - steph's a tough aussie who can crack a whip when she needs to. Just send her on over - she'll whip him into shape.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 12:53 AM  

  • Yeah, it was obvious this guy was attending of his own volition.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 7:38 AM  

  • The what if guy reminds me of the brother of my neice's new husband.
    He asked what time he needed to be at the weddding venue to help decorate and was told 9am. He then looked at my sister and said "What if I don't want to help"


    By Anonymous llh (Laura), at 8:47 AM  

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