Thursday, October 18, 2012

Of volunteers and Vice Presidents

Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan made the mistake of washing some dishes in a soup kitchen the other day.

This led to quite the kerfuffle about photo-ops, clean and dirty dishes, and sanctimonious affronts taken by politicos who portray themselves to be a-political.


They're all missing the obvious; the root cause.  There is simply not enough regulation of volunteers and volunteerism.  Do you see the problems this has caused? 

Now if there were a certification program for volunteers, where you could train and effectively certify them in their rights and responsibilities as volunteers, as well as what they are and are not authorized to do, then this whole situation would never have happened. 

With Certified Volunteers (CVs), there would have been no un-authorized volunteers carelessly granting Vice Presidential candidates access to soup kitchens*, coordinated through campaign aides**; there would have been no repeating of second hand and jealous opinions from other volunteers by the volunteer head of a charitable organization, making him look like a publicity seeking political opportunist.***

Certification is the way to go.  Dirty dishes get cleaned, no questions asked, with CV VPCs.****

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I have a sneaking suspicion that volunteers are being taken advantage of by greedy heads of charitable organizations who are only looking to lower costs and raise profits.***** Shouldn’t organizations which exploit free labor at least offer a guarantee of future employment, health-care coverage and counseling services for those volunteers who give so much of their own time and talent?  Surely the volunteer time should be documented and accounted for as income at tax time.  If they weren't willing to pay the cost for the goods and services they provided, why should the American people have to fund the difference?  We cannot let these organizations get away with slave-labor!  What age are we living in?

If, in fact, the soup kitchen had simply used those to whom it had provided soup for clean up, they could have killed two birds with one stone.******  If you give those who eat at the soup kitchen a job cleaning up their own dishes, they won’t need to come to the soup kitchen anymore. 

Problem solved!

* To volunteer
** Who are often volunteers
*** Which is what he is
**** Certified Volunteer Vice Presidential Candidates
***** What is with this pervasive and insistent quest for profit?  Why can't things just operate at a loss forever, like Congress intends?
****** I know, killing birds isn't nice, and certainly inexcusable in the search for profits.  Or oil for that matter.

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