Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm Official

After visiting my mother who claims to be bored all the time, I suggested she volunteer somewhere. When I got home, I realized I needed to follow my own advice. I spend most of my days at this keyboard, and my butt keeps getting wider and wider. Other than an occasional comment here, and emails from my author friends, I have no 'adult' contact outside the house. The adult contact inside is limited to grumbling, mumbling and complaining, and quite frankly, I doubt that sick people would be much worse. So I asked myself...How much talent does it require to hand out flowers, pass out trays or direct people to the correct wings and rooms?

I trekked down to our local hospital and signed up. I was interviewed and surprised. Gads...Did you know you have to have a background investigation to volunteer? I wasn't worried since the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has my fingerprints from when I worked at the jail, but it took forever. My nephew was hired at an Air Force Base to head the aircraft fuel division in a lot less time, and I doubt he had to get a TB test.

I felt like I'd signed up with the CIA. But, when I went to have my 'arm' read for the TB results, I was directed to Human Resources for my 'official' volunteer badge. I wish I had known...I would have combed my hair or put on some makeup, but at least I can say this is a current and true photo of the real me.

Monday, I report for a half-day orientation. I wonder what it entails Holding the flowers upright so the water doesn't spill? Not sticking your finger in the pudding and licking it off when delivering lunch? Not sneaking any of my books onto the reading cart? I'm sure there's much more to it, but since I've never done this, I can't imagine how much 'orienting' one would need. You can be sure I'll let you know, though. :)

I can say with great relief...I don't have to wear the historical pink pinafore. Instead, I understand a dark blue polo shirt with logo, a blazer and tan slacks are in order. Crap, tan makes my butt look bigger, but then who am I going to impress. I dare say I might be the youngest volunteer they have as one of the interviewers referred to me as a 'whippersnapper.'

I look forward to the experience, and it makes me feel like I'm doing something for the community. I can volunteer as many or few hours as fits into my schedule, so I think I'll start with two mornings a week and see how it goes. I definitely realize I'm a senior citizen. I have a bruise where the nurse injected the TB serum. It's depressing. I used to have to do something to earn a bruise. :)


Rayka Mennen said...

LOL Ginger. But a nice thing to do certainly, and the rewards will be good I am sure from the people who meet and leave with a smile.
Rayka Mennen

Mordewis said...

It's good for ya. I do so much volunteering I forget who all I'm working for... including my own two nonprofits. Lessee, I fix bicycles for Habitat for Humanity every other Monday for 3-4 hours... aw heck, if you wanna see all the stuff I'm doing, write... I have a monster file that I get anxiety attacks from looking at. Boy, that was a badly constructed sentence, wasn't it?

Chris Redding said...

You will learn about patient confidentiality. You will also learn about bacteria and transmission of viruses during your orientation.
I work in a hospital and my job requires no patient contact and it's only per diem and I sat through that orientation.
I wash my hands a lot when I'm at work.
But you will find it rewarding, I'm sure.

Anita Davison said...

Good for you Ginger. As for the part about sneaking your books onto the library cart - I can't see much wrong with that - sounds enterprising to me. Now if you removed the last three pages first so they have to buy the book when they get home to see how it ends........


Maryann Miller said...

Wow, you amaze me. Two mornings a week away from my office would kill me. When I was volunteering for Hospice, I limited it to one afternoon a week.

You will find this very rewarding, I'm sure, and I have to share a funny story with you. I recently interviewed a 92 year old lady who volunteers at the Child Advocacy Center. She was a long-time hospital volunteer and had to give it up last year because she couldn't push the carts anymore.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Well done, Ginger! I think that you have a lot to offer beyond the flowers and the book cart. Your sense of humor would brighten anyone's day!

Estella said...

Good for you, Ginger!

Mirella Patzer said...

Great idea Ginger. In retirement its always great to be able to give something back to the community. I'm proud of you.

CherylStJohn said...

Well, you ARE a whippersnapper!

Anonymous said...

Hey Whippersnapper,

Just wanted to share that I, too, thought that tan or khaki pants made my butt look bigger, then I realized it was not the pants. It was the 3rd doughnut i had with my morning starbucks. Then I figured out if you have a 4th doughnut, your love handles will jettison out too look like built-in arm rests, therefore taking the attention away from you gargantuan rumbler of an ass.

Hope this helps!
Koontz D.

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