scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Volunteers vs. Professionals
Fri Jun 23 2000 - 11:48:23 CDT
regarding strife between volunteers and professionals.
My first comment here is that all conflicts between people are individual
(unless of course we have open warfare between nations). Which is the same
thing as saying that conflict is between 1 volunteer and 1 professional.
That being said the next question is how do you avoid this?
Quite frankly my approach is Machivellian and manipulative- but it works.
The approach: cultivate the professional like you would cultivate a field.
You get out of him/her what you put into him/her. When they come into the
council, take them out and buy them lunch. Offer to help them with whatever
problem they have that you can solve (I'm a tax attorney, I always offer to
talk to them about their tax problems in moving to a new state). Don't
charge them for what you do. Call them up and ask them how they are getting
along. Smile at them. Invite them to join your club (Elks, whatever). Be a
friend, and 9 times out of 10 they will be a friend to you. Now suddenly the
strife between volunteers and professionals will be a problem for the other
guy and you will smile and say things like "Gee I don't understand why you
are having so much trouble- Bill always is nice to me"
Of course you have to do this each time a new professional comes in. But if
you are a real Scouter (committed to the program on a long term basis) it is
well worth the investment of time, etc. If you are a short time volunteer
(when my son makes Eagle next month, I'm outa here) I wouldn't bother. Just
put up with the problem and be gone.
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet
Troop 156, Glenview, IL