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Old 11-18-2012, 08:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Am I being an unreasonable volunteer?

I agreed to take on a volunteer position for an activity DD is involved in. Part of this job involves coordinating the orders and purchase of items for the group. Let's just pretend it is tshirts and sweatshirts. (it isn't but it is a good analogous example) We don't NEED the shirts, they are just a fun part of being in the group.

Our vendor is a semi- local guy that works out of his home. He lives in our area but is another town over in an area at least 20 mins away that I NEVER have any reason to go to. I have been there once several years ago and it was hard to find and difficult to get to. The group gets none of the money that is paid for the shirts-- it is not a fundraiser of any type so everything above cost is his profit. The group actually pays for one tshirt for everyone so the vendor is guaranteed several thousand dollars. Some families order extras so that is additional money he makes and the sweatshirts are an additional order done later that is again, all money that goes to him. He does come out and work with us on them, collects the initial tshirt orders at that time and delivers the initial tshirt order when they are in.

The person that did this position before me did it for about 6 years. She is a superwoman SAHM that was on the board of every activity her kids did, devoted 80 hours a week on her volunteer jobs, did a great job and is a friend of mine. I, however am back to work and can't devote that time to a volunteer position and frankly didn't even when I wasn't working. She also, through her course of working with this guy for the activity, started actually "working" for him as sort of an unpaid assistant. She helps him with his business and he lets her have all the tshirts she wants for her family for free at any time. So I called her to let her know that I had some additional orders that came in and there were some issues that needed to be fixed (wrong sizes, wrong names). My intention was to give them to her since she "works" with him. She told me I needed to deliver the orders and checks directly to him. I don't go over to where he lives ever and I don't have time to be delivering things to him! I told her this and she said that I would basically have to suck it up and do it because that is part of the volunteer position. HE is the one making money off of the orders, the group gets nothing out of it. I get nothing out of it (he did offer me a free shirt for "all my hard work" 3 months ago that I never received). She did finally take them but at this point I am still waiting for several corrected orders and reorders but he won't deliver them to me, I am supposed to go get them. ( I haven't even been called and told they are even ready though) Right now I have about $1000 in sweatshirt orders sitting on my desk that I was told I have to take to him. I told her that wasn't happening and I would bring them by her house this week for her to take them over.

There are plenty of vendors that are much closer to me (and the group location) that would love to have our business, would be happy to deliver and pick up, and probably could work with us to also make it a fundraising activity so we get something back. But this person has been doing it for years, is well known, and I know there will be some major pushback and a lot of hard feelings if I suggest going with a different vendor next year. I do know if I have to use him again next year I will not be taking any orders after the initial order that he picks up and I will refer everyone with an issue directly to him to deal with from now on.

I guess the question is, am I being unreasonable to think that if he is the one that is making all the money then he needs to be willing to come to me? If I am being unreasonable then I will happily step down and let someone else take it on (but believe me, no one is knocking down the doors to do it!)
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