Saturday, July 10, 2010

How not to treat your rescue group volunteers

One well-documented tale that I am still hesitating to publish contains details of a particularly nasty course of events between a volunteer of a local rescue group and those who managed it.

The reasons I hesitate to publish the scanned documents are because: a) it happened to my ex-girlfriend, and b) it happened about 10 years ago. (My ex has given me the green light.)

But the guilty parties are still parading about at the occasional DFW-area fund raiser or rescue-related event, acting as if they're the best things since sliced bread or the iPhone. Still not getting their hands dirty, of course.

And, even though most rescue groups treat their volunteers well, some tend to go through them pretty quickly because of treating them like serfs or worse. Thus the pervading jokes about starting new groups called "Rescue Group X Rejects". So an outing might actually have some positive results.

Here's a condensed version of the chain of events. You can be the judge as to whether I should re-scan the evidence for publication.

1. A newish volunteer with Web knowledge (my ex) offered to provide a basic Web site for a local rescue group she'd recently begun volunteering for.

2. The site was published after the volunteer built it and paid for the .org URL with her own funds. This was before the days of cheap domains.

3. The site's passwords were freely distributed within the group, so any of the group's volunteers could upload, post and edit information about animals available for adoption.

4. About a year later, a new volunteer decided that she wanted to be the sole Web manager. So she logged in and changed the password, effectively kicking everyone else off.

5. When the original provider of the site (my ex) objected, she was basically told to fuck off and go clean litter boxes at Petsmart as this was "better use of her skills". This did not sit well with her, and she made no secret of it.

6. The new volunteer who changed the passwords got wind of the situation and felt threatened. So she called my ex's office and said that she was "using company computers to steal her Web site." This was impossible, as the ex created it on a Mac platform and software, and her office was/is a 100% Windows PC environment. But she was still dragged into HR and questioned about the anonymous phone call.

7. One of the group's Board -- an attorney -- actually wrote a lengthy letter to the ex, telling her to fuck off on corporate letterhead.

8. My ex called the attorney's boss and said WTF? The harassment stopped.

More later... probably.


PJBoosinger said...

If you've got a green light, you should tell the story. Teen mean girls don't mature out of it and should be outed for the mean women they become. All too often they go on and on leaving destruction in their wake of others who don't get to tell their own side which usually strikes far more true bells.

Glad to see you back and posting :)

Feline Provocateur said...

By the looks of your own blog, it appears that you're dealing with your very own clique of mean girls.

Perhaps we should join hands and sing We Shall Overcome - except that my singing voice is AWFUL.

PJBoosinger said...

From what I've heard so far, they apparently got very mean at the horse auction. Kinda feel sorry for the Sheriff. I always feel for a guy standing before a clique of the Mean Girls and his clique was actually a coalition of cliques :)