20 May 2014

Farewell, Friendly Visitor

Went down to the Friendly Visitor volunteers meeting last Wednesday afternoon and discovered that the wonderful program manager was no longer there. When i asked where she was, her replacement went into this riff about departmental reorganization that left the program with no further use for the former manager’s services, which was preposterous on the face of it since as best i could tell the former manager was the primary worker on the program, indefatigable, highly competent, genuinely kind, very knowledgeable about both her volunteers and her clients, and beloved of all the clients and volunteers. So i asked the new manager about the firing and got more blather.

When i pressed, she clammed up and refused to give me the reason.  My hackles rose, and the conversation became less and less productive until she became offended at my pressing for answers. The big boss was even more skilled at corporate doublespeak, and we ultimately agreed that neither of us wanted me in the Friendly Visitor program any longer.

Not of course that this will prevent me from continuing to see my former “client” in the role of a helpful friend rather than an official “visitor”, nor will it prevent the Friendly Visitor program from matching him up with another visitor. And that’s a good thing because my former client/new friend has only one friend besides myself who visits him, so another one would be a great benefit.

Me, i never was much of a company man since my loyalties have always been to persons rather than to organizations.  I started volunteering in the program only because i was grateful to the manager for helping me get on a waiting list for senior housing, so waving goodbye to the organization when it no longer includes her is easy.  Actually, in this case, it’s not so much waving goodbye as flipping the bird.

Here’s a little street art to brighten up the gloom.

street art off Polk

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