Wednesday, July 6, 2016


I am just a little bit OCD, OK, maybe my husband, and some close friends, perhaps a few colleagues and some acquaintances will argue that point, some might say I am more than a little bit OCD. Here's the thing, I can't abide waste of time and I get horribly stressed if I even think I might be procrastinating, and if I observe others doing so, I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut.

I guess all that makes me an ideal candidate for the job - what job? any job you care to mention that requires someone to volunteer to take it on, usually one no one else wants. My hand is stuck in the up position. I learned early on to count to 10 before shouting 'me', and as I get older, I pause a little bit longer before raising my hand, just to see if someone else is going to step forward, but if no one does,

I need to get on with it, stop wasting time, there it is, up goes my hand. At some point this becomes less than efficient as I run the risk of taking on more than I can handle.

Any research I do regarding this phenomenon, references volunteering to do good, to help those less fortunate; it doesn't deal with the case that generally applies to me, it is not that I don't do good - but the volunteering I am dealing with here is work related.

I seem to take on a lot of the dirty work, the work no one else will take on. And I do it because I can't stand to see things left undone. But I am only one person, there is a limit to how much I can undertake and still stay sane... well, as sane as I am ever likely to be, at some point I have to stop volunteering. Seems the more you volunteer, the more you are expected to do. Eventually that will introduce inefficiency.

This article gives 12 reasons by people volunteer.  Only some apply to what I am discussing here.

1 .There is a personal tie to the cause
It is not that I have any personal tie to the specific work that I have undertaken but I do have a personal tie to seeing things get done on time and with the most efficiency.
2. Volunteering is a great way to build a resume
I have to admit this one is somewhat relevant. Taking on the tasks that no one else wants to do does frequently give you something to add to your resume, and often opens up opportunities to learn new skills.
3. It's a good way to bridge the gap between yourself and others who may perceive you as different
Hmm m.  Well, I know what the article refers to here, but no matter what way you look at it, in the environment I am talking about, others are just relieved they didn't get landed with the task, and many see me as different anyway, especially as I have now undertaken yet another task no one in their right mind would want to do.
4. Volunteering sets a good example for others
Definitely it should, but I am certain that 3. above, is relevant in that everyone is just relieved they didn't get landed with the task.
5. Meeting like-minded, motivated, positive people is super easy
Nope, doesn't count here. Most of the tasks I have undertaken have been done alone, such as compiling reports and statistics. I am landed with them because there are no like-minded people around.
6. Volunteering can offer unique and exciting opportunities
Unique maybe, exciting, not in my case.
7. Doing good is important
I agree, it is. And doing a job well is important, however the volunteering I do at work, is just to get the job done, I guess the good I am doing is saving everyone else the pain of having to do it.
8. Volunteering creates empowerment
No, it doesn't. That has not been my experience.
9. Volunteering has never been easier
It has always been easy. Stick your hand up and say 'me'. Then immediately regret it.
10. Volunteering can help you get or stay healthy
Well, the jobs I have undertaken in the name of volunteering have probably helped to keep my brain exercised, so I suppose yes.
11. Volunteering gives greater perspective and self-awareness
Hmm m. I am still thinking about this one. I am aware that I am a sucker.
12. Volunteering is good for you
It might be good for me, in so far as it gives me something to write in my self assessment for that dreaded annual review, and I even managed to get a bit of blogging out of it.

Here is where writing it all down acts like a virtual psychotherapy session - now I have a horrible feeling that my need to volunteer stems from a need to please, and if that is the case, I need to get over that fast! Because I know that the only people it pleases are those who have dodged the bullet.

Is it too late to retrain myself to sit on my hands and keep my mouth shut or turn my face to the wall?

See previous blogs referenced above:
I may be neurotic or maybe it is OCD
Annual Performance Reviews 
Writing as a Therapy
Blogging, why do I do it
This blog is not for you