The church we attend has two big screens at the front where the congregation can easily use these to view hymn lyrics, scripture, videos, sermon bullet points, etc. This past Sunday the screen on the right must have been experiencing a bit of technical difficulty as it did some flickering. Since we were sitting in the balcony, we had a first-hand view of one of the tech guy’s attempts to press buttons, jiggle a wire or two, and then just stare at the projector thingee. I guess the staring worked. The flickering stopped.
Watching the tech guy reminded me of the time I volunteered in the 5th/6th grade “children’s church” (not for the light-hearted, probably why I only made it one year), and the leader had a high school student work the overhead, where he was supposed to click through a PowerPoint slideshow or play selected videos. I would find myself getting annoyed when it seemed the kid wouldn’t be paying attention or maybe didn’t know what to click or whatever. I suppose the technical challenges in this scenario made the hour drag on even longer. I seriously thought about suggesting to the leader that I work the technical part of the hour. I mean, I do have a technical background. I do know how to program the VCR, oh I mean DVR
after my boys taught me. And I do sit at a computer Monday through Friday, pounding away at the keys producing some sort of something.
But then I started realizing why this slideshow assignment may not be the best for a personality like mine.
I can trace it back to my kindergarten graduation. The class was on stage and we each had a part to speak. I don’t remember what exactly. It was kindergarten remember, please cut me some slack. Anyway, I felt obliged to gently nudge every single one of my classmates when it was their turn to speak. I’m not sure how loud/obvious I was, but I suppose I would whisper each of their names, saying something like, “It’s your turn, Mary!” What can I say? I’ve always been such a helper! Well, my time came, and guess what happened. There were chuckles from the parents and then the announcement from the teacher, “Karen, it’s your turn.” I was so focused on what everybody else should be doing and the next steps in the process that I totally missed my part.
But you were only 5 years old you say! Oh, but friends, the trend has continued. The church’s women’s Sunday school class, which I still attend occasionally, used to volunteer for this annual tea room function. One year I felt
obligated the desire to sign up. I was tasked with taking drink orders. Tea or water, those were the choices. How could I screw this up, right? I was so distracted looking around me, watching the other ladies in the kitchen, looking at the prepared food, thinking long and hard about how if I was in charge of the menu, it would be much healthier fare, and lower sodium, and I would… Karen? Hmm? Oh what? Did you get the drink order for the group in the corner? Oh no. Scramble scramble. Who wanted what? Oh, you wanted the tea? How many waters?
I was then relinquished to dessert cart. How could Karen possibly screw up taking the little cart around, right? It wasn’t my fault. This cart didn’t have enough room to move freely, and at one point there were cords on the ground I had to sort of “speed bump” over. I couldn’t even get to at least a quarter of the tables. I thought about how if I was in charge, I would’ve ensured a smaller cart. And I would ensure there was at least one gluten free dessert choice. Yeah, so I wasn’t doing too well with the desserts either
I was then switched to “bread” duty. All I had to do was give each diner two breadsticks each. I believe I found my tea room calling at that point. Although I admit I had a little trouble remembering who already got bread, and who still needed some.
I’ve tried several more volunteer attempts, always with the same results. I’m pretty sure I’m just not cut out for “interactive” or “time-sensitive” volunteering. Now if someone ever needs a volunteer for editing, or some other non-face-to-face, I’m betting I can handle that. Maybe I’m more of a “take your time” kind of gal, who works best behind the scenes.
Kristine from Mum Revised has talked about her awesome experience working with Habitat for Humanity. Sure, I could volunteer, but I’m pretty sure it would have to be something like stuffing envelopes. I’m positive no one would assign me to hammer duty. I’d end up being too distracted with… whatever.
So long story short, I let the whole teen / overhead thing go.