We Need to Work On Working With Others

I understand the standards and morals I live my life by are different from what others live their lives by and may not even necessarily be what they find the most important to them. Still I believe there should be a common thread of humanity within us all to care for each other as people, not for who we think we are or for the groups we belong to, either by choice or through social classification.

Along with humanity, there should be a better practice of ethics. Obviously, we live in communities and not isolation. You can think all you want that you are not involved in any communities but if you interact with anyone besides yourself, you are participating in a community. We should all pull our weight and do our share. Of course, some of us will be more excited about certain tasks than others will be but when everyone is required to complete a task, it is expected that everyone pull their weight. I don’t care if you dread the task, at least pretend you are pulling your weight. What ticks me off is when other people don’t pull their weight either by being unresponsive or hard to work with. What is even more ironic is that when they need something to be completed, now they are the ones blowing up about how no one is f*ing helping them with anything and being so hard to work with. Wouldn’t things be easier if I commit to working with you, either because I am choosing to or because I have to, and you commit to working with me, either by choice or by force?

Here in the office, all of us AmeriCorps and VISTA members take turns staffing the reception desk and fielding program calls. Reception was a task that mostly everyone dreaded because we had to basically work on whatever projects we had around answering calls. This worked out pretty well until later in the year when things got a little more hectic. As a non-profit, you don’t have very much man-power and a lot of your bigger initiatives that require more man-power will call on the whole team. Whenever this was the case, working reception shifts became more of an issue.

Then as the summer started, with our college coaches working with recently graduate high school seniors and helping them prepare for their transition to college, our reception shifts encountered, yet again, another obstacle. We managed to work everything out by dividing up our reception teams differently. This reception week, the last week for all of us 12-month AmeriCorps members, was originally supposed to be covered by the college coach team. We ended up combining teams because they had a lot of exit items to complete. Yet, ironically, while the rest of us have picked up the slack and helped out the college team, no one is being cooperative and helping fill in for shifts that needed to be switched. Not only to bash on the college team but all of the other AmeriCorps members, as well, are not stepping up. I am already taking on two reception shifts this week when everyone else only needed to take on one shift. It just doesn’t seem fair to me that no one is stepping up. To make matters worse, many of the college coaches are intending to skip out early and it looks like very few of them will actually show up for their last day on Friday.

I’m not being cynical because the college coaches are not planning to come in on Friday when I am still expected to. Okay, maybe they have the okay from their supervisor, no big deal. What is a big deal to me is that no one is willing to step up, especially the college team. I just feel when others pick up your slack you should at least try to work with them or meet them halfway. It’s so frustrating when you are already covering for other people and they just keep asking for more.

“Endurance is the crowning quality, and patience all the passion of great hearts.” – James Russell Lowell

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