Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Community Service Update

I'm happy to report that I have officially been accepted as a volunteer at the Northside Hospital program. As you might have read in the earlier post I had filled out an application to become a volunteer a couple of weeks ago. As per standard procedure, shortly after they received my application they called me to set up an appointment with the Director of Volunteer Services - Maryanne.

Going into the interview I wasn't really sure what to expect. A couple years back, part of my job was to do all the 2nd line interviewing for my department, so to say that I'm familiar with the interviewing process is a little bit of an understatement. My old department hired about 50 people a month, and turned down 3 people for every one we hired - if you do the math that's A LOT of interviews. But those were all interviews for specific jobs - I was interviewing to donate my time to the hospital, and I wasn't really sure what kind of questions they would ask, and even more importantly what they were trying to determine in the interview.

As it turned out the interview was much more of a meet and greet then anything else. Maryanne, the director, was a nice lady who is probably in her early to mid 50s. I'm not sure, but I think she was at one point a nurse... she's got that "I care about you, but I'm very busy so I'm going to get to the point" nurse attitude (that I personally love). Her main concern was that I understand that volunteering at Northside is NOT like volunteering for Habitat For Humanity, or the Salvation Army. The main difference is that unlike other programs where you volunteer occasionally and you aren't really committed to the program, the Northside program is a COMMITMENT. Much like a job. In the program you have to commit to a weekly four hour shift, and a minimum of 50 hours of service. So, essentially she wanted to make sure that I understood that if they accept me into the program I would be expected to work for a minimum of 3 months.

I explained to her that I had read all the hour commitment information before even applying, and that I wouldn't have wasted her time - or mine for that matter - if I didn't think I could make at least that kind of hours commitment. She appreciated that I had already taken the time to review the documentation, and the conversation quickly turned to what kind of volunteer position I'd like to fill.

I had written on my application that if at all possible I would like to work with babies. The only problem is that the baby rocking program is one of the most popular programs, so openings are slim. So, she put me on the waiting list. I'm currently second, but she said chances are good that I'll make it. Evidentially, by the time my orientation is completed (next month) a couple of the current participants are moving and she expects those slots to open soon. If spots don't open up, I told her I'd be more then willing to help in any other area until one does.

I can't wait!


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