Friday, December 5, 2008

i want to do good, but i also want to complain

so if you read this blog at all, you probably get the sense that i am trying to make some general improvements in my life and part of that is being more giving and helpful. i have made some concerted efforts to help in areas that really strike home with me and i have also been more open to randomly helping people who ask for it.

although i have missed the last few events because i had other things going on, i have been volunteering as a runner for prince george's county spca. i obviously love animals and just thinking about animals needlessly suffering is very upsetting to me. i always have a good experience when i volunteer during their low shot clinics. i have met some nice people and a few weirdos, but overall, it is fun and i feel good about helping. now, let me complain a little. the clinic is half an hour away and i always get lost either going to or leaving there, and it is always a different way of getting lost. they have these events on sunday afternoons, which is when i would normally be watching football. overall rating of this experience - 9.5/10

a few weeks ago, i went to fuel up my car. as i step out of my car, an oldish man suddenly approaches me and asks if i have jumper cables. a few things flash in my head.
  • we are at a gas station that has a repair shop...why wouldn't he ask them?
  • it is fucking cold outside
  • i have jumper cables, but i kind of have a bunch of stuff to do.
  • he won't know that i have them in my trunk...i'll just tell him sorry, dude.
  • wait...that is what my normal selfish self would do...
  • just tell him you have them and can help.
  • this could be annoying.
  • oh well.
so i fill up my car and then turn it around to face his. i pop my hood and get the cables when i notice him vigoroulsy reading his car manual for his old as oldsmobile. i tell him that i have done this a few times and tried to remember what dave told me last time we jumped a car. he refused my advice and kept reading...for like 5 minutes. i just stood there holding the jumper cables, freezing my ass off and getting annoyed. eventually we try to jump based on the manual directions and it does not work. i just get out and set it up the way i knew how and voila! his car started. i began to unnattach the cables and leave...while still waiting for some sort of thank you. he kind of gives me this annoyed "thanks" under his breath. i leave feeling good about helping someone, but annoyed with that person cause he was an asshole. overall rating of this experience - 3.5/10

i had agreed to be part of a malaria study for the red cross since i had traveled to the dominican republic this year. last night i went and drove all over columbia looking for this building, when all of the buildings looked the same. i had to ask 5 different people for help and nobody seemed to know. finally i flagged down a fed ex delivery guy and he directed me to the building, which was a good 5 minute walk from where i was. when i got there they kept me waiting for a while and i definitely contemplated just leaving. they finally saw me and the blood withdrawal process was pretty quick, although i realize that i am not a fan of needles at all. i couldn't even look when they did it, even though i barley felt it. they will be sending me a $45 check for my time, which is nice i guess. i can start donating blood in june, which i will hopefully do. overall rating of this experience - 7/10

next up is my first meeting to volunteer for the special olympics. i am pretty excited about this, but based on the little annoyances and hiccups from my other efforts to help, i am going in with reasonable expectations. if if do end up going through with this, i could help coach athletes in basketball (i will be crossing them up left and right), bowling, weight-lifting or swimming. i have worked with people with special needs in the past and it is usually a good experience, but this will be my first time with this organization. one strike against it already is that this meeting is on sunday afternoon. i will keep my fingers crossed and complain about my experiences in a future blog.

No comments: