Am I being an unreasonable volunteer?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by lovetoscrap, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Hrhpd

    Hrhpd DIS Veteran

    May 12, 2012
    I do a similar type volunteer position for several teams.

    I have facilitated the order of sweatshirts, t-shirts, swim suits, fins, shoes, uniforms and other assorted apparel for large teams.

    We deal with numerous vendors.

    Not a single one of them delivers. We can either choose to pay a large shipping fee, a large delivery fee or go pick up the orders ourselves.

    I think you are being unreasonable.
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  3. lovin'fl

    lovin'fl DIS Veteran

    Jun 7, 2011
    I have to agree. I have been involved with uniform and spirit wear ordering for my DDs' softball team in the past and they NEVER deliver the stuff to us.
  4. Andtototoo

    Andtototoo DIS Veteran

    Nov 23, 2010
    Perhaps it's a regional matter since I order a ton of personalized merchandise for events and I've never once had to drive to the vendor to drop off orders or pick up orders. Not one time. So while a 20 minute drive is, IMO, not a big deal, I'd hesitate to do it since I've never done it before.

    Nor have I ever had to wait two months for an order correction -- two weeks would be the max. And I certainly would never drive out to pick up a corrected order. That's utterly ridiculous.

    OP -- if the vendor is not working out for you, then get a new vendor. In this economy, it shouldn't be too hard to find a vendor who's willing to do what you need to get your business.
  5. lovetoscrap

    lovetoscrap Sees tag fairy posts that aren't there. Moderator

    Feb 15, 2003
    Thanks for the opinions.

    I am trying to decide what to do for the rest of this term. There will be major changes next year in how things are done and possibly in who our vendor is but for the next few months I have to deal with this one and the situation as it is. I have an Assistant Chair for the committee and she also has said she just isn't able to drive things to him. The standard for this in our area is for them to come to us as far as I know. While it is only about 20 mins away on Mapquest the reality of driving there, driving back with traffic and the difficulty getting there is that I would need to plan on 1 1/2 to 2 hours of time. Of course that is probably why he doesn't want to come here but this is his full time job and how he makes a living.

    I would be happy to step aside and let someone else take over but the chances are very good that no one will take it over-- the biggest thing the committee does is yet to come, this is just a small portion of it. Two people already backed out before I took it on. If no one were to step up then the previous person would most likely take the position back, and she doesn't even have kids involved any more. I made the commitment to the committee and the board and your perspective here is helping me figure out how I deal with this guy for the next few months and what direction to go for the future. It sounds like I may be being unreasonable and may have to waste my time taking things to and picking up from him, but it may end with him losing a big client (we are a huge group) because I will find someone next year that is able to be more accommodating.

    I appreciate the perspective!:)
  6. hegsag

    hegsag Mouseketeer

    Dec 31, 2007
    Since you volunteered I would ride it out this year and not continue next year if you are expected to continue using this vendor.
  7. clh2

    clh2 <font color=green>I am the Pixie Stick NARC at my

    Jul 15, 2003
    I have picked up t-shirts from a local vendor. It wan't "my" responsibility. HOWEVER, the person who was supposed to get them - her FIL passed away. This was right before the big event that the t-shirts were needed for.

    In my case - the t-shirt vendor was on my way home from work. Even with that - it was a total pain to get them. They were supposed to be readyat 12:30. So - I left work to get them. They weren't ready. Getting them at the end of the day was a royal pain. With traffic, parking etc, I barely got in the door before they closed for the day.

    The vendor was also open only M-F, so a Saturday pick up was not an option.

    To the OP - I would "suck-it-up" one time. If I was going to be in that role next year - I would insist that they take project out to bid, and if having several deliveries was a criteria - I would make that an expectation.
  8. Cheshire Figment

    Cheshire Figment <font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Friend

    Jan 12, 2001
    I would put out a "Request For Proposal" to all the T-Shirt Vendors in your area, including your current source.

    Give information related to the approximate quantity of shirts that will be needed and what will have to be done as far as artwork and names. Ask about delivery information. Also ask about late orders and how size/name mismatches will be handled. State in the RFP that it will not necessarily be given to the low bidder, but the one that offers the best overall package.

    Of course set a deadline for receipt of the proposals/draft contracts. And then go with the one with the best overall offer.
  9. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2000
    Definitely not a convenient vendor for you so he will lose a customer.

    While SOMEONE may have to pick up the stuff, I see no reason why it should be you. Either someone who has the time/ability to pick them up or you will have to raise the price and pay shipping. You didn't volunteer to pick them up and didn't have any idea that was part of the expectation of what you were signing on for.

    I see no reason to continue using an inconvenient vendor if there are others closer.

    While I don't think the vendor has to deliver if that wasn't in the original contract, I think you were duped into a job you didn't sign up for.

    If the original volunteer isn't able to do that part when she goes there (? no idea why she can't?) then she will have to accept that you will be changing vendors to one that is more convenient.

    I totally get being ready to turn over a job to the next volunteer, but if she wants her friend to have the contract she'll need to facilitate it.
  10. Nolcrest

    Nolcrest DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2000
    My father used to have a trophy & uniform sporting side business out of the house. For the most part people came to him to pick up their deliveries. I'm not saying my father never delivered if needed but it wasn't part of the deal. People liked going to my father for the personal service & good prices. Of course he made a profit. It was a business after all.

    Unless, I've paid a shipping fee I don't expect anyone to deliver to my house. How would the vendor get his work done if he was always traveling around making deliveries?
  11. loricdietzel

    loricdietzel Mouseketeer

    Jun 1, 2012
    I think that unfortunately you are stuck with what you've got for the rest of the year. Next year either give up the position or insist on a new vendor if you want to continue to volunteer in this way.
  12. disneydee6

    disneydee6 DIS Veteran

    Mar 21, 2010
    I think that, if you were to consider using another vendor, get their prices and deals (ie: delivery fees, pickup etc) and compare to your current vendor. Perhaps getting an idea of what you would pay with others would give you (and HIM) some perspective and you can decide if you are being an unreasonable volunteer (which I don't think you are. It is perfectly OK to say that what they are asking for is too much of someone who is trying their best to manage their time volunteering) . I hear you that it can be very challenging trying to balance work with volunteer activities (and that a '20 minute drive' is never that simple lol). It is perfectly acceptable to question this practice. Whether or not it is normal for his business is something I do not know.
    And business is business. Regardless of his past contributions, he is making money and if you can find a vendor that is willing to meet your needs when he isn't, then he can wave byebye to this customer.
  13. allison443

    allison443 DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2002
    OP I understand that you didn't think you would have to pick up the items. However, now that it turns out that's what has to be done, if it was me I would just suck it up for this year and do it. Especially since people already gave you cash and checks for the items. Have you even ordered the items while all this haggling is going on? I remember one apparel sale we organized for a sports league, a lot of people ordered items for holiday gifts. So you might want to follow the solution mentioned earlier and at least mail the orders in so the vendor can get started.

    I don't understand why you said "I don't get anything out of it" why would you get something out of it? It's a volunteer thing. :confused3
  14. allison443

    allison443 DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2002
    Also meant to add, if you don't have time to pick up the items at a place that's 20 minutes away, you may want to consider if you have time to put out a request for proposals, evaluate other businesses, talk to others in the group about a new vendor, etc. Sounds like that would take a lot of time! So I think it's reasonable for you to finish this year but then gracefully bow out. :)
  15. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

    Jan 4, 2001
    I would just drop off and pick up right now. If there were any "messed up orders" I would be sitting on him in his shop to resolve it promptly or else. I don't have a lot of patience for that kind of shenanagins. He would be getting the stink eye from me.

    In the meantime I would be shopping around to get pricing from other vendors.

    I would not even be bugging the former volunteer person. I don't care what her position is with the guy.

    I do have to question why you took on this role if you did not want to do it. That is kind of odd to me.
  16. FlyingDumbo

    FlyingDumbo DIS Veteran

    Jan 22, 2011
    Was the former volunteer friends with this vendor? Sound like he has a sweet deal. He messed up and you need to go back and forth? I'd be shopping around. In this day and age service counts.
  17. mdsoccermom

    mdsoccermom DIS Veteran

    Jun 20, 2010
    Same here, at least with the spirit wear. I always have to pick up the items from the vendor. It's no big deal. I'm the one who volunteered for the position, so I have to handle all the responsibilities that one with it, including driving 20 minutes.

    Frankly, I can't stand when people play the "I'm so much busier than you" game. If the OP is too busy to do all of the job, then she needs to find a replacement.
  18. hollieplus2

    hollieplus2 <font color=blue>Tags always make people happy<br>

    Apr 21, 2006
    Had to laugh at this response. You must be or deal with contracting!!! I'm a government contracting officer and I never thought I would see a post like this in the DIS :rotfl2: made my day.
  19. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    No reason? What if he's cheaper? What if he has better quality? What if he offers something nearby vendors don't (remember, the shirts are an analogy, not the actual product)?

    Gotta agree here. I understand the current situation is frustrating and "not what you signed up for", but I think you just need to live with it. Before next "season" rolls around do your homework. Find out what other nearby vendors provide the same service and find out what they would charge for the same product. I don't think you need to include the current vendor, you know what he charges. Present the options to the "powers that be" (unless you have the power to make a change by yourself).

    It sounds like your talking thousands of items. If the closer vendor charges 50 cents more an item, is it worth spending $500 more for you to save 5-10 hours (maybe)?

    ETA: I don't think it's up to you to say next year "We're only doing one order"... that should come with the blessing the organization you're working with.
  20. Mkrop

    Mkrop <font color=coral>I just cant go on demand<br><fon

    Feb 26, 2007
    20minutes even with traffic etc is not that big a deal in my opinion. You volunteered, you should do it.

    I will dissent too. You stepped up, you should have asked all these questions BEFORE volunteering. Put an email out to the group, maybe some lives or travels over that area and would be willing to drop the stuff off for you. And the SAHM line is volunteered, if you cant do it then dont. She probably has a ton of other stuff to do depsite the fact that she doesnt work. I know I do. I volunteer for a ton of stuff, if you have a job that you volunteered for then do it. I have other stuff to do. If I am out that way for some reason (and just bc she works for him doesnt mean she is out that way) then yes I would offer to run it by, BUT YOU volunteered for it this time.

    Same here, none of our logo wear is delivered, we (or someone in the organization) picks it up to save costs. If we had it delivered either by mail or them driving it to us, it would cost more.

    With that all said, if you are unhappy with this arrangement, then you can present to your board options that have the caveat, that if I am to continue to do this next year/time, then we need to have a vendor that delivers or is closer to where I can pick it up. If they dont want to change vendors, than you can step down.
  21. Mkrop

    Mkrop <font color=coral>I just cant go on demand<br><fon

    Feb 26, 2007
    Or in DH talks this "language" all the time:rotfl2:

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