The Festival: Staying Sane Through the Process
Insane Block Party Festivals
There’s a festival coming up in my community, and residents are being asked to help out.
I have to say, this is not something that fills me with warm fuzzies. I guess it’s because of some bad experiences I’ve had with volunteer-led events.
But, being the new kid on the block, I’m still in that mode of ok-I’ll-try-anything. I tell myself that I’ll try stuff and if I don’t like it, I just won’t do it again.
There was a big meeting a couple of weeks ago. We used the Ceramics class shop for the gathering. I have to confess that while the organizer was droning on and on, I kept myself occupied by looking around the edges of the room where ceramics projects were on display.
There were some pretty funny-looking projects, like vases with lips that drooped unevenly, and pitches with handles that had caved in sometime during the drying process. There was a gnome whose head was no longer attached, and a fair maiden with one boob broken off.
Anyway, back to the meeting.
The organizer must have been a CEO of some firm before she retired, because she was all business and plans and schedules. Actually, this was probably a good thing. Better than some disorganized clueless yahoo getting up there and issuing instructions without a plan.
The festival was going to need lots of volunteers, apparently, to set up booths and break down booths, to man concession stands, to direct traffic, to dispense information, to act as security patrols, etc, etc, etc.
The booths themselves were to be staffed by people who were renting them to sell their wares and display their goods. We didn’t have to do anything with the booth contents, thank God.
In our meeting, volunteers were called upon to head up those areas I just listed. The heads of those areas then needed teams of volunteers to carry out the work.
I did not want to be the head of anything. Fortunately, there were enough eager beavers who needed to feel important by leading something. Leaders for all of those areas were identified, and then a sign-up sheet went around for the rest of the volunteers to put down what area they wanted to help in.
When the sheet came around, I handwrote another category: Dessert Sampling. I wrote my name as the leader of that area, and in the team lines underneath, I wrote my own name eight times.
I know. Dumb. But I was feeling a bit pissy by that time, so I didn’t care.
I did, however, write my name down to help out with directing traffic and breaking down booths. So, I cooperated.
I think it’s great that my new community has the energy and enthusiasm to host festivals. I know it’s good. I just am not really in the mood to participate. I’d rather go back to Guatemala or find a way to Korea.
It’s just where I am personally at the moment.