Volunteerism Decline Discussion

A forum for community conversation and deeper discussions about the cultural direction of Burning Man.
FreakShowWoody
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:11 pm
Burning Since: 2021

Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by FreakShowWoody » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm

Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29684
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by ygmir » Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:38 pm

FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
I wouldn't let the story of a bad interaction with "senior staff" dissuade you from volunteering. Some of it is theater, some is someone having a bad day, some is, some people are assholes.
But, there are many positions to volunteer for, you can change around till you find a spot you like, and or a "boss" that you like.
I volunteered, and volunteer (when I'm there) for 11 years. I ended up being on paid staff, and love it.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
lucky420
Posts: 9576
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am
Burning Since: 2021
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by lucky420 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:57 am

FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s a million more stories to volunteering at the burn then just the one you heard at Renegade. You should do it, it’s usually fun and a great way to meet people. Just Do It
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

Ano
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:04 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: Everlasting Fuck-you's

Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by Ano » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:31 am

It sounds like they are talking about Gate, specifically, and having volunteered with the department since 2013, it's pretty much on-the-money. The department has had a longstanding issue with there being a verifiable set of cool kids who get semi-preferential treatment. It was significantly worse when I started, and while it has incrementally improved, it's still amazingly frustrating to witness. Good luck if you end up on a shift with a bunch of the cool kids - you are probably going to have a bad time.

Senior team members being condescending is oddly normal in Gate, especially on certain shifts with certain shift leads. And I'm not talking about Burning Man condescending, where we're all laughing about it, but genuine real douchebaggery that makes you feel dirty. It makes you wonder, "why am I even here?"

I've had to talk so many first-year volunteers in Gate down from a ledge. It's fucking depressing to talk to people who have a light in their eyes about working for the event and contributing, who feel unwelcome in the theme camp bar for the department they work for, and unappreciated on shift when shift leads act like assholes because they can. I am jaded about this event to a degree that sucks and one of the few things that keeps me fire burning is running in to first year people, slack-jawed and wide-eyed, who remind me why I am here. And it just completely sucks that it is a normal thing to run in to one (or a few) people hanging out on shift or at the Black Hole who feel awful about being there. It happens every year. I helped some dude in 2019 figure out the names of shift leads who were being dicks to him on one of his first shifts. Like - what the fuck? First few shifts and you feel like you want to quit? That's a huge problem.

User avatar
lucky420
Posts: 9576
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am
Burning Since: 2021
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by lucky420 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:06 am

Ano wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:31 am
It sounds like they are talking about Gate, specifically, and having volunteered with the department since 2013, it's pretty much on-the-money. The department has had a longstanding issue with there being a verifiable set of cool kids who get semi-preferential treatment. It was significantly worse when I started, and while it has incrementally improved, it's still amazingly frustrating to witness. Good luck if you end up on a shift with a bunch of the cool kids - you are probably going to have a bad time.

Senior team members being condescending is oddly normal in Gate, especially on certain shifts with certain shift leads. And I'm not talking about Burning Man condescending, where we're all laughing about it, but genuine real douchebaggery that makes you feel dirty. It makes you wonder, "why am I even here?"

I've had to talk so many first-year volunteers in Gate down from a ledge. It's fucking depressing to talk to people who have a light in their eyes about working for the event and contributing, who feel unwelcome in the theme camp bar for the department they work for, and unappreciated on shift when shift leads act like assholes because they can. I am jaded about this event to a degree that sucks and one of the few things that keeps me fire burning is running in to first year people, slack-jawed and wide-eyed, who remind me why I am here. And it just completely sucks that it is a normal thing to run in to one (or a few) people hanging out on shift or at the Black Hole who feel awful about being there. It happens every year. I helped some dude in 2019 figure out the names of shift leads who were being dicks to him on one of his first shifts. Like - what the fuck? First few shifts and you feel like you want to quit? That's a huge problem.
Somebody being a flat out dick to me while I’m volunteering? Nope, im’a walk right out,byeeeee! Surprised it doesn’t happen more often :coffee:
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

User avatar
lucky420
Posts: 9576
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am
Burning Since: 2021
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: Volunteerism Decline Discussion

Post by lucky420 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:09 am

FreakShowWoody wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:38 pm
Renegade Burn '21 was my first visit to the Playa, so what do I know?

While there I met a couple from Reno. Great people. They gave me a ride in their art car and helped me find my camp Sunday night after I walked away from my camp without recording my coordinates and then it got dark. Yep, Noob.

I bumped into them a couple more times during the week, and one discussion focused on volunteering. They said they had volunteered before, in gate, or something, and they said what turned them off from volunteering was the way the senior team members were very condescending. I have considered volunteering many times, but a conversation like that makes me reconsider.

I think more people would volunteer, but "leaders" with attitudes can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of people, and when word gets around, no want wants to be abused.

My 1.5 cents, for what it's worth... keep the change.
There’s better/nicer groups you can volunteer with. I’ve volunteered with ICE for years, it’s a fun gig. You’re in the shade, we play loud music, people dancing, talking to happy people buying ice…
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

Post Reply

Return to “Black Rock City Cultural Direction”