Friday, May 20, 2011

Curse of the Momunteer

Some Moms love to help. I'm one of them. I've volunteered at the school, at charity events, and at the rink, and sometimes I'll witness what I call the Momunteer. Momunteers come in a few flavors, so we'll go over a few types that you might happen to catch in the wild.

Unskilled Momunteer: This type is the most common. She is eager to help, ready to go, glad to be there, friendly as hell, but she can't do shit. Seriously. No skills. At all. Unskilled Momunteer arrives on the scene, fresh and smiling and says, "What can I do?"
Well, can you do this?
"Oh, no, I don't know how."
What about that?
"I'm not really comfortable doing that."
This other thing?
"You'll have to teach me..."
Don't have time for that, so what about that?
"I can't stay that long."
"But I want to help!"
So, because she's so damn nice, you don't want to send Unskilled Momunteer away, so you find something trivial and petty that she can do, which she usually bungles and you have to fix later.

Power Trip Momunteer: Put this Momunteer in charge of anything and suddenly she's ruling with an iron fist. You told her that there was to be no food in the dressing rooms, and suddenly she's confiscated Muffy's Good Luck Gummy Bears that her Daddy gave her and she's bawling on the floor while Power Trip rails to anyone handy about the lack of discipline in Other People's Kids. Tell her to sew costumes and suddenly no one can sew costumes but her, and anyone who tries is dead meat. Tell her to fill soap buckets for the car wash, and if you dare put an extra drop of Dawn in that damn bucket she will have your ugly head. Be careful of Power Trip Momunteer, because she can often hypnotize other Momunteers with her delusions of The Situation. Because she seems so "in charge," others will go to her with questions about other stuff, so she may virulently spread misinformation.

MIA Momunteer: This Momunteer signed up, but she's not here. What the hell. She didn't call, she didn't send a note, and we're afraid to get mad because what if someone died and we end up looking like assholes for complaining? This Momunteer will drop off the map for awhile, typically showing up a week later with some great excuse like, "The cat went into the vaccuum and I spent the entire day cleaning with a cat in the dustbag. Gawd, it was such a disaster. Belieeeeeve me, I would have muuuuch rather have been here!"

Ghost Momunteer: This Momunteer brought her young kids. Her young kids that need constant supervision because they're all up into the task she's supposed to be doing. "No, no, Justin, Mommy needs to paint the other children's faces, you can't paint yours. No, no, Justin, don't play in the paints. No, no, Justin, don't eat the paintbrushes, we have to paint the other children's faces. Justin, why don't you take the other children's tickets? No, no, Justin, don't eat the tickets. Can you paint faces while I take Justin to the potty? And to get some water? And a snack? And then we have to go..." Her involvement usually isn't worth much because she's really just watching her younger kids. We won't go into Momunteers who bring their yappy little dogs.

UR DOIN IT RONG Momunteer:  This Momunteer will gum up everything by micromanaging small tasks done by others. "Are you overfilling those juice cups? I think those are too full, most of the juice will get thrown away. Well, you may think it's fine, but I think it's a waste. No, no, do whatever you want to do, I don't care. It's not my event. But if it were, I'd tell you those juice cups were too full." UR DOING IT RONG will infect other volunteers with terrifying insecurity, if not murderous rage, so if you find her, give her an individual task. She will usually prove herself to be our next Momunteer Type.

Clueless Momunteer: This Momunteer has no idea what's going on. She doesn't know who is in charge, what she or anyone else is doing, where anyone or anything is, how anything works, or where she is. Ask her a question and get a blank look. Give her a task and watch her pale in terror. Tell her to stand and direct traffic, and everyone winds up in the wrong place. Put her in charge of kids, and chaos erupts, even though she has three kids at home and you'd think this would be a snap for her. Tell her to sort paper slips by color, and somehow she does it wrong. How is this even possible? For god's sake, weed this woman out and keep her away from money!

Clueless Momunteer and PowerTrip Momunteer are a deadly combination. Keep them as far apart as possible.


  1. Hahahahaha, this was toooo funny and sadly to true!

  2. You forgot Corporate Momunteer: This one has a high powered executive job, and shows up in a power suit and briefcase, but somehow cannot complete a single task, like opening a door the correct way (Jale-Empuje, anyone?)

    Gotta a give a shout-out, however, to the amazing volunteers who get it right. They really make everything work, like for instance, lighting a show so you can actually see everyone.

  3. I have to admit I was a useless volunteer at the competition at my rink lol!

    I didn't really know what I as supposed to be doing (plus I was competing early on when people were finding out what to do). then I went AWOL to watch for a while. But I did stick around til the very end, giving out water, blade towels and certificates. so I sort of helped...

  4. Turnip, if you were handing stuff out, you were not Useless! Useless would lose the certificates, and think someone else was handling the water, then cry.

    Xan, I was calling my spot Donnie Darko by end of run. I swear that thing was eating 500Watts.