Monday, August 17, 2009

can i get a volunteer?

let's say an opportunity comes up for a problem to be resolved. not a problem like hey we need people to collect the trash or clean the bathrooms. it would have to be a problem that has some upside attached to the resolution, some prestige down the road. some creature comforts. perhaps a little glory, the opportunity to be the king of some pond or at least a member of the royal court. name in the papers. kid on the team. plaque on the building. some chance to be on the inside track to make decisions to mold the outcome to be recognized. that's what the sociopath sees, and that's why whenever these particularly juicy opportunities come up the sociopaths "volunteer" to help. they will be the first to jump at the opportunity because they love you so much see they want to sacrifice their time and energy for the good of the community.


but don't laugh, that's exactly how the spin works and it works like this over and over again. you might hear sometimes people complain that the same people always end up volunteering or helping out, and that is sort of true, but you have to look at the type of job to see which same people keep showing up, because there are actually two types of jobs and two types of people. i guarantee you that if the job has no prestige the same people who keep doing it will be lovely people accustomed to doing shitty jobs because they need to be done and they don't consider themselves above doing shitty jobs, and if the job has some kind of power levers the same people who keep volunteering will be some variety of sociopath. and these will be the very same people who remind everyone in a loud voice that it's always the same people who do all the work you ingrates. meanwhile the people who do the shitty jobs tend not to complain about it they just get it done. but you see it's really two groups of people and they get conflated by the sociopaths, and that is on purpose to lure more good people into the trap to do the many shitty jobs while the sociopaths glom all over the few power positions, because they sense power like sharks sense blood in the water. predators. and then they lord it over everyone, but nicely see? because they're volunteers and they've been in on the gig since day one, selflessly volunteering their time, so they know what's going on, so hey why don't you get involved we could use a little help there's so much to do?

and you might sit there and cock your head and think something doesn't add up but i'm not sure what it is. you might come under quite a lot of pressure, especially so if you have some useful skills. and if you decide to get involved but you don't know what's going on in the invisible interpersonal dimension where all this takes place, you *will* be stuck doing some shitty job in exchange for a nice pat on the back. but these matters definitely fall well within the parameters of things that are rude to notice because everybody is volunteering, see? so the second you say you don't like how things are run you will be told to just shut your mouth or get involved. and it's hard to argue with that.

except unless you are some kind of sociopath, your getting involved will *not* change how things are run, no matter how tasty they make that bait sound to a do-gooder who wants the best for everyone. you will simply be stuck doing shitty jobs while the sociopaths continue making all the power decisions from their thrones from which they are ensconced with a generous application of gorilla glue until the perks and glories have been handed around. and that can be arranged to go on a long time. and if they're ready to step out of the way, you can be pretty sure something must be ready to blow and they need someone to hold the bag for a sec while they take a powder from all that hard work volunteering.

not to cast aspersions on people who volunteer. that would be so rude. some of them are actually great people.

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