PolyDad (polydad) wrote,

Okay, got *some* things working

Iḿ on Liamś laptop at the moment, which has a non-working apostrophe key, so yáll will have to deal with that. Mine is having an issue in which the screen keeps going dead, and coming back either a split-second later, some random number of seconds later, or not at all, and when it does come back, maybe itś right where it left off, maybe weŕe at a screen saver, or maybe we just rebooted. Ive got a message in to my laptop-hardware expert friend, but I suspect itś go get a new laptop time.

I do have my phone working again; problem was just a loose charging jack. Still is, but I now know I need to elevate the bottom of the phone when I leave it to charge and itĺl work.

And Ive got four large beets and two potatos boiled, chunked, and in the crock pot, and now I need to brown some cabbage and mushrooms and toss ém in and chop in a leek or two. I think Iḿ out of carroway seeds, but thereś a lot to browse in the spice rack and I can probably figure out something thatĺl work. Will need to buy sour cream before serving. *Somewhere* in the kitchen is my wand-type food processor, but due to household anarchy no one knows where it is, and Ive looked everywhere I can think of.

I spoke at length with Tom Sincic, president of HCAO (Health Care for All Oregon) today about being Volunteer Coordinator for the organization. Tom does half of his job very well, is vaguely aware of the existence of the other half and is trying to do it, and seems to have the standard terror of not being omniscient about what heś doing. And I *do* know about the other half of his job, and need to figure out how to get him this information in some reasonably tactful manner. Heś trying to run it as if it were a profit-making business, and by a top-down management style. This is not likely to work well in a bottom-up, volunteer-based organization.

The salesman part of the job he is much better at than I am, which is part of why I dont really want his job. (He doesnt get paid either; the only one who does is Linda, the office manager, who is one of the organizations greatest handicaps at the moment.) A top-down organization is focused on defining duties, creating boxes and putting people into them so the people on top know which box to knock on when they need a specific piece of information or a specific task performed. And this is what most people, including Tom, think of when they hear the word ¨management¨.

Bottom-up organizations dont work that way. People do what they want to do, and the cat-herder tries to create a project out of what theyre interested in doing. *Persuading* people to do what you want done is a part of that, but just giving orders about it is likely to invoke first a very rude response and second the loss of a volunteer. Setting up structures to reward people for doing what you want to get done is a major element of this task.

There is also and separately a weeding function, of keeping people from doing something where youŕe trying to do something else. When the weeding function starts taking over the encouragement function, youve got problems, which is where HCAO is now -- they spend more time and effort *stopping their volunteers from doing things* than they do rewarding them for what theyve already done.

And I need to figure out how to get together a few hundred bucks for a new laptop. Perhaps *after* borscht.
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