[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - continued from previous post]
The training is three weeks long . . . and it is 5-8pm each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during those three weeks. Monday-Thursday evenings from 3:30pm to 8:00pm are my heaviest teaching times. If I took the training, I would forfeit about 75% of my income for those three weeks. There is no way my finances could tolerate that heavy of a hit.
And, it’s not like I could reschedule those lessons because I already have them packed in as tight as I can . . . those after-school students can’t come during the day because they are in school . . . and I wouldn’t have time anyway because I already keep a very full schedule . . . I couldn’t physically handle doing that many hours of CASA training along with my usual teaching load . . . I’d be exhausted.
When I asked why the training was scheduled for a time of day different from when the volunteering would mostly occur . . . I mean, if someone is available during the workday, they very likely wouldn’t be available in the evenings for the training . . . why would it not be in a similar window of time?
I was told that it was because the staff who do the training are busy during the day . . . that didn’t really make sense to me (they could teach in the day and do office work at night, right?), but they seemed to believe it make perfect sense . . . whatever . . .
At the end of the meeting, I waited until everyone else had left, then I had a conversation with the two staff members leading the meeting . . .
I found Sabeena to have a "can do" attitude about things . . . an open mind . . . I felt like I could talk to her in terms of alternative possibilities. However, the other lady, who is a case supervisor, was pretty closed-minded. Whatever questions I asked, her answers were very finite and rather stodgy. So, I started directing my questions more toward Sabeena . . .
I asked if there was any flexibility in the training program . . . like would it maybe be offered on the weekends at some point . . . I was told that no, it has always been offered this way and it would not be changing.
When I explained my scheduling issue, the supervisor told me that there is no way they could allow me to miss that much of my teaching and to take that big of a financial loss . . . and she suggested that I look at volunteering in another county. I explained that it would be very difficult to volunteer in another county because so much of my life, including my mother who would be needing more care in the not-too-distant future, is in this county.
(My little town actually sits on the border of two counties . . . half of the town is in one county and the other half is in a different county . . . so, I really would have the option of volunteering in either county if it weren’t for the fact the “big city” in the other county is an hour’s drive from the other “big city” where much of my life is centered . . . )
Since the supervisor’s energy was so negative, I spoke directly to Sabeena . . . I said . . .
My business is four years old; I need one more year to finish pulling some administrative things together, then I’ll be in a position to do this. I am available mostly during business hours, I don’t have a family I need to worry about, I have the professional background and skills-set that supports this . . . this would be really perfect for me and I really want to do this.
The only thing is the training . . . I cannot do the training as you have it set up right now. So, let me issue you a challenge . . . you would have one year to meet this challenge, if you care to take it on . . .
My challenge to you is for you to create a training program with a schedule that would work for me. I don’t care if it requires more hours for me than it does for other people . . . maybe I could watch a video recording of all the training, and maybe I go meet with the guest speakers on my own . . .
Editorial note: There is a guest speaker at almost every evening of training, such as a magistrate or an attorney or a psychotherapist . . .
Or, maybe I do the training in another county . . .
The supervisor interjected that if I did my training in another county, they wouldn’t get to know me, which is a key part of the training. So, I suggested that maybe I could spend some time in their office . . . maybe stuffing envelopes or doing filing or cleaning bathrooms . . . or maybe we could eat some lunches together . . . just something to allow us to get to know each other. I told her that I can’t believe there’s not a way around this.
I suggested that maybe, in the next year, they would run into a couple of other potential volunteers who have a similar issue and maybe that would be enough of a motivation to offer the training on a different schedule . . .
I turned back towards Sabeena and said, “I’ll check back with you in a year from now and we’ll talk then. But that’s my challenge for you . . . “
Sabeena laughed in a thoughtful way and said, “Okay, you’ve given me a challenge! I promise I’ll give it some thought.”
So, while she didn’t commit to finding a way, she did commit to looking into it and thinking about it . . . and I really think she will think about it because she has positive can-do attitude (the supervisor, not so much).
Anyway, I’m just putting it out there . . I’m going to allow the universe to handle it. Maybe something will happen at my end that will cause me to be more available (like winning the lottery) . . . I don’t know.
At any rate, I have this really calm sense that I just need to let the next year unfold and that it will go as it is supposed to go. I have a sense that, when the time is right, it will all come together and I don’t need to worry about it. I just need to do what I need to do to get ready and the rest will fall in place.
This whole thing feels really great to me. I’m really excited . . . this is such a perfect fit for my skills.