Sunday, June 7, 2015

Valuing others time

This past weekend I attended mandatory camp training.  This is required every 2 years to review the staff guide, emergency procedures and health & safety info.

This could have been an awesome training opportunity.  Instead it turned into a colossal waste of time.

The training was scheduled for 5 hours.  In the first 3 hours we heard more inside stories of incidents that occurred over the previous years than we did actually covering the material that was provided to us.  2 hours into the training class I was irritated.  At 3 hours I was just sad. When it ended 4 hours later I just wanted to go home.

I was sad because this was an opportunity to learn and review some pretty important information.  But the rambling stories and “… several years ago we …” detracted from the small reviews of the printed material.  A good portion of the emergency information was glossed over or not covered at all.

I had to drive almost an hour to attend, and of course almost an hour home.  I learned more about the woman running training than I did about the camp material.  The training was for volunteers who would be helping at camps in different locations, but instead she primarily covered what she thought was important to volunteers at the main camp - where they have a trained paid staff.  That was not where I would be volunteering.  She skipped over pages of material telling us that was for the paid staff, except where I and some of the other volunteers would be running the program that was some pretty important stuff we needed to know.  Like what to do if a camper is missing or hurt.  Being told that her paid staff at a camp an hour away from us would handle emergencies at her camp.  This training was not a valuable use of my time – I learned more reading the material on my own when I returned home and then taking some online courses on camp.

I took this training 2 years ago with a different trainer and I learned a lot.  I really wish I could say this same this year.  The staff running the training seemed more interested in telling camp stories, feeling impressed with their knowledge and status, and not training the adults who had to attend to volunteer at camp.  And occasionally bashing the organization they were representing.   I’m sure I am not the only one attending who had to juggle things to attend.  Which made me realize they really did not value the time of those attending.

This is probably a  bit of a rant, but ask yourself - Why would anyone want to continue to volunteer for them if the organization or trainers did not value their time?  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How I schedule classes

Add the subtitle:  and how creating schedules in my house is like herding cats.

Image result for herding cats
My instructional business is part-time.  I don't teach full time.  I could try to, but I'm just not sure there is actually enough people out there wanting to take classes to have enough registered participants in each class.  I also like being part-time as I can teach around my family's schedule.

And this is where I should put "Cat Herding" on my resume.  Except, we don't own a cat.

I usually schedule my classes 3-4 months ahead of time.   Not this time.  Here it is June, and I'm finally posting the summer class schedule.  We were supposed to take a trip, which didn't end up happening.  Then we were signing the kids up for summer camps, looking at creating smaller vacations while college touring all while not knowing which colleges since my oldest has been so busy with school, softball and work that I only see her for short pockets of time - if at all.  (sigh)  It's like herding cats to nail down the who, what, where and when with my family.

It's not like I don't WANT to schedule classes; I just don't want to schedule something and then need to change the date of the class due to a conflict with my family schedule.

Because ultimately I am self-employed so that I have the flexibility to be present when my kids need me.   So I can volunteer and make quesadillas on demand at Seis de Mayo (because at our school we never do it on the 5th of May) or attend the Holiday luncheon or sell tickets at the Music in Our Schools concert.  It means I look at all the things my family is involved in, put them on a massive Google calendar, and then create a class schedule from what is left.  Except my family is not often as forthcoming with their schedule information.

It's like herding cats.  It takes forever, but it gets done eventually.