23 September 2009

Free Work = Zero Valued = Painful Lesson...

Here's a tip, one I had to learn the hard way: Volunteer and do something for free and the typical bureaucratic organization that suckered you into doing that values your contribution at roughly what it cost them: Zero. I just sat through the most appalling non-profit board meeting where a new, senior, well-paid administrator asserted that "all contributions are valued" but admitted upon inquiry that only ca$h financial contributions were actually measured. Well, guess what, people care about what they account for. No record = it didn't happen. Thus, if you are so naively stupid -- as I admit I have personally been for years now -- to volunteer hundreds (if not thousands) of hours at zero pay -- i.e. for free -- that turns out to not actually count for $#!+ in comparison to financial donations. But even an old dunce like me learns eventually. From now on, no freebies. You want my help, you pay for it.

P.S. To clarify, this is totally different from the inter-personal favor banking that happens when individuals help each other out. I continue to be personally helpful to friendly and appreciative folks -- and to ask favors of others. The big difference is that I remember -- and value -- those who helped me.

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