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Saturday, October 09, 2010

About the volunteering

I just got back to JB in the evening at around 5pm+ today. Was very tired and hence decided not to go out and meet up with LF they all even though i had originally wanted to.

So, about the volunteering work last night... well, it's a good idea that i didn't blog about it instantly and let the feeling of disillusion sink in so that i could be less emotional in my writing.

The event i volunteered for last night was organised by an organisation under UN. I am not going to disclose the name of the organisation here lest i get into another trouble like i did last time with the other organisation. Another reason for not mentioning the name of the organisation here is also because i do not want to undermine the effort that any UN organisations are putting in to better the world. After all, all these organisations do have good and noble causes. It has nothing to do with the organisation, as always, but the people who are in it.

I volunteered to help out in registration and usher for the gala event that was meant for charity. The main activity of the event was auction of arts pieces and expensive branded stuff. So needless to say, all the guests were filthy rich people of the high society.

On last Wednesday, i attended the volunteer briefing at the office of the organisation. I was there on time, without having my dinner, but it was late for almost an hour. By the time it was done and i got "home", it was already 10pm+.

And on that day, i came to know that they had engaged some other organisations for batch volunteers, and a few of these volunteers (all Indian young girls) from those organisations were there for the briefing as well. While we were waiting there, these girls were chit-chatting and i overheard them using the F word frequently in their conversation, just like the typical Westernised youngsters nowadays. I was thinking to myself, "great, these are the people representing UN on that day..."

On Friday, i took full-day leave, thinking that i wanted a good rest in the day for the night's event, as we were told that the event might last past mid-night. I had quite a number of days of leave to clear anyway and hence i didn't mind taking a day off too.

Well, i was actually quite excited to be part of the event, but it was such a disappointment to me as the worker (the guests may not know of all the mess behind it) that i left at 10pm+, before the event ended, since my work was already done.

Now, all i can say is just that i will not volunteer for such event for this organisation anymore. I would have written a long whinny post here if i had blogged about it last night or this morning. I would probably relate the entire story of what happened and what pissed me off. But as mentioned at the opening of this post, my frustration has eased off and hence i'll not tell the full story here. What i will do is that i'll just share some of my thoughts and lesson learnt here.

First of all, do not be misled by the halo of UN or any organisations that are affiliated with it. What i meant here is not to say that they are not good, but just that the people working for them are not necessarily all with high calibre or good personality as we might have thought they would be. And seriously, i've always believed in that an organisation is only as good as the people in it.

There were a few stuck-up people in the organisation, who exuded the kind of "i'm working for the UN and hence i'm better than you" kind of uppish attitude, and yet couldn't even handle some simple tasks well. And guess what, these people are of a certain race who is known to behave in such a way if they are rich or of certain career position or social status. If you do not know which race i'm referring too, then all i can say is that you have not had enough encounters with these people yet.

(Yes, i've made a remark on racial stereotype. Save me the lecture of what we are not supposed to pass such remarks and what craps. I know all these, and i don't care. This my rant on my blog, so don't even bother to tell me that you do not agree with my assertion about that race. I don't give a damn of what you think.)

One of the lessons i learnt from the event is that we must take care of even every minute details of the venue, such as what decors the hotel is gonna place on the dinner tables. For an event with performances and auctions on stage, it is really bad to have a vase of 50cm tall with plants of 100cm tall in it placed in the middle of each table. That blocks the view of the audience in seeing the stage, as well as the view of the hosts and auctioneer in seeing the bidders.

For the volunteers, well, perhaps it was precisely because it was volunteering and hence the organisation does not get to screen through the people like a recruitment process, there bound to be people who, instead of helping, may tarnish the image of the organisation by behaving inappropriately in a formal event.

There were also volunteers (or just people whom we may meet day-in, day-out) who would think that they were so experienced in organising events and hence you all who are "less experienced" should just listen to their commands. The ironic part is that they didn't even attended the briefing, and hence they were not aware of the flow of the program or even wore the wrong colors because they did not know there was a dress code. Yet, they still felt that they know it all and they are in-charge.

I also realised that not all volunteers are genuine about volunteering; their objectives of being there may not be to help out in a just cause. There may be people who are there for the free meal, for the free-flow wine (serious, i saw one volunteer drinking the champagne non-stop!), for the glamour, or for getting to know the rich and powerful.

Talk about free meal, here is the dinner that was provided last night for the volunteers:

Of course, it would be unfair to say that i did not get anything positive out of this. For one, i think i would never ever have the chance in my life to cross paths with those people of the high society. No, i didn't get to speak to any of them, but merely standing at the side watching them was already interesting enough. I was especially impressed by the female guests. They were all so beautiful, with expensive dresses and accessories, flawless makeups and arrogance elegance. All these people really have a different air about them that you could easily distinguish them as people of different class than us.

Lastly, i got to see how the people of this social class mingle and talk (all with accent!). I also saw in action how these people would not even frown or wink to bid for a painting or carpet with five digits figures (yes, yes, for the charity, i know). I had only seen it in TV drama before, you know, where the rich people raise the auction paddles and then the auctioneer would go "once, twice, and sold". It was interesting and an eye opener for me, but i guess it may probably be the last for me too.

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why did you skip your friends' outing? is it because of the food you ate in the event that you have no energy? you should spirit up and don't get yourself tired/down easily. maybe because of your unenergetic nature, it reflects to your life too. pinpin, stay strong!

eee, how wish if you blog about it when you were in full fire mood so can get to read what "exactly" had happened that made pinpin so so pissed. btw, that sounds the event organizer is really lousy and out of control, but at the end the guests and bidders didn't see it and complained, so it's still a success .... though the bad things have been swept under the carpet, aha. i guess many other organizers are like that too, as long guests don't see it, it's success. it's always the outcome that measures everything. anyway, it feeds lesson to you not to organize events the way they did-lor. isn't odd to consider positive when didn't get the chance to talk to and to know the high society "elites" but admired from far, and envious their dressings and spendings. if it was me, for sure i would have sense of inferiority, and go back home being more negative.

hopefully this event won't damper you for any future volunteering. maybe you should bring a friend next time, at least you have company to share the experience together. cheers :).

Haha! For being organised quite a no of events in my ex-co, I fully understand no matter how fully prepared we were, there will definitely some hiccup here & there, and there are definitely some people who supposed to do something fail their tasks and we'd to clear the mess for them. And no matter how succesful the event to the public, my superior also will manage to find some minor issue to shoot us one.
So don't let this damper your mood.
Sometimes we maybe are the one who are not so understanding as we really don't understand how can those people handle things in such an lousy ways. Maybe we are the minority? :p
However, this is really a rare experience what! Volunteers, I had never been one b4. Good for you.

i know which race u write abt, & no u r not racist, it's just tat race demonstrate such behaviour throughout the whole world.n they r filling up spore so much as well.

Share your cogitation

Saturday, October 09, 2010 @ 2:57 am: Volunteering
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 @ 12:17 pm: Waiting
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 @ 5:47 am: NTU ranking
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 @ 5:30 am: Thoughts
Monday, October 04, 2010 @ 5:09 am: Halloween Bearista 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010 @ 3:59 am: If Historical Events had Facebook Statuses
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 2:30 am: Just in the news
Friday, October 01, 2010 @ 2:44 am: New shoes
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 3:31 am: Working late
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 2:46 am: Must sleep early