Or how to win friends and influence people.
There is trouble brewing at the charity shop.
The manager received an email from the person in charge of the shops informing her that it costs the charity however much per year to pay for cups of tea and coffee for the volunteers, so this money can't come from petty cash any longer as the charity won't pay for it.
The manager broke the news to us and as you can probably guess it didn't go down too well. She did speak up for us and sent an email back saying that we weren't happy about this to which the reply came that she, and the charity must not be "held to ransom" by volunteers (their words, not mine).
Held to ransom. Seriously?
Surely a cup of tea is literally the least they can do for volunteers. I understand that if we want biscuits maybe we should take it in turns to buy them, or the manager should pay for them, the manager has always paid for biscuits out of pocket everywhere else I've been, including when I was a manager myself. But a cuppa I think is different, am I wrong? I know that many workplaces have a tea and coffee fund, but they're also paid positions, we don't get paid, we all have our reasons for volunteering but obviously we care at least a little bit about the charity without being paid to take an interest.
The manager is coming to the shop next week to discuss all matters financial and here's my problem, because if course it's when I'm going to be there. The manager has said we can defend our position should we so choose, but I see a problem, the area manager is going to tell my manager that emails are confidential and she is to implement new policies, not have a consultation period with volunteers, so anything volunteers say will come back to my manager as her speaking out of turn, if you see what I mean.
I have always had a lot of time for this particular charity and while it doesn't really impact me personally as I take my own milk or fruit tea with me, what does irk me is the attitude. Using the phrase "held to ransom" doesn't exactly sound as though this person sees volunteers as valuable or people whose views should be respected. There are ways of saying things and had the reply said "these are tough times and we are asking everyone to do their bit to help us through" or similar that would have been a very different matter. I think it's very telling, the way someone speaks about people when they don't think they're going to hear says a lot about what they think in my opinion.