I wasn’t able to sleep well knowing my plan wasn’t working. I wasn’t asking for much, and I just wanted so very badly to start gaining experiences that I would help lead me to a bigger and better opportunity. I figured instead of trying to figure out how to maneuver my way out of a bad situation, I would spend the time trying to find solutions. This was based on the advice from my wise grandfather.

It wasn’t hard to identify the issues that I had in my volunteering job. In the matter of seconds, I realized that I was free labor. I didn’t offer any skills. My value was the fact that I was free. And for me, this wasn’t such a bad deal, because I would be able to claim all of the experiences I had amassed as general experiences in my quest to become a equine specialist.

I never felt like my attitude was bad, but I will admit that it wasn’t great. More so because I thought I deserved more. Really, I just wanted more, but didn’t necessarily deserve it yet.

The remaining time I spent at the facility wasn’t so bad. I was assigned just about every cleaning tasks on the property, from horse stalls to bathrooms and even the office areas. Do this dirty work helped me understand the operations of the facility at a very intimate level. This helped me learned the lingo and buzz words, that would lead to my next opportunity, which was actually a paid deal.

clean horse stall

Before leaving the facility, I found replacements for all of my jobs. The replacements included two volunteers and a cleaning company called a cleaning service to take over the cleaning operations at the facility. I was proud knowing that my work had to be replaced by two people and a company. I did a lot for that place and to this day I’m unsure if they appreciated what I brought to the table. I do, without question appreciate what I learned there.

Lastly, we contacted to have our  forklift repaired by Equipment Maintenance Technicians. They provide equipment repair on all of the machines that we could not handle ourselves. It was great to have all of that completed, and leave knowing I put them in the best situation possible.

snowyBack to the story. This is a continuation from the last story I shared.

So, after months of doing this same work, it was obvious that I was being used only to do things no one else wanted to do. I scheduled a meeting with my boss one day, because I wanted to explain to him that I had interest to do more and that I thought I had proved myself to make that happen.

My boss was fine to schedule this meeting, and we decided to schedule the meeting the following week, on a day I typically didn’t volunteer. While I wasn’t excited about making the drive on a day off, I understood that this was something I had to do.

My meeting was scheduled to start at 8pm on a Wednesday. I woke up, nice and early at 6:30am, knowing I had plenty of time to go through my morning routine, and show up to the facility 15-20 minutes early. Well, lucky me, it snowed. And it snowed a lot. But I still had plenty of time to make it on time, or at worst, only a couple of minutes late.

Upon realizing that it snowed, which I learned from watching the news, I ran out to grab some boots from my car trunk. Walking to car, I was struck with a feeling… I don’t have my keys. So, I turned back towards my front door, when another feeling hit me, I had locked my bottom lock, out of habit. My stomach dropped. But, I had hoped that maybe I was over thinking it. I continued on to my front to learn that I was right… I locked myself out. No coat, just stuck.

Thankfully, the apartment office was opening up soon. I went and knocked on the door and was greeted by the friendly office manager. I told her my situation and asked if she could give me a key to my apartment. Seemingly embarrassed, she told me that the maintenance man was out with the master key, servicing another one of their buildings on the other side of town. Typically, waiting an hour wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but I had a big meeting with boss.

The office manager was kind enough to call and pay for a locksmith. They got the door open in the same amount of time it takes to turn the nob.  I got my keys and got out of there as quickly as possible. The roads were horrible. It took me 3 times the normal time and I was late. But despite how bad the roads were, and the time I lost waiting for my door to be open, I was less than 30 minutes late.

Upon entering the facility office, my boss quickly jumped out of his seat with a smirk on his face. I thought he was happy to see me and eager to start our meeting. But he approached me and told me that I was late and if I wanted to meet with him again, we can try for the next week. He was upset that I was late, and didn’t care about why.

I was devastated. I felt like I was wasting my time. I wasn’t above volunteering and working for free, which a larger goal in mind, but I was crushed that I just didn’t know if I was wasting my time or not.

There’s more to come on this story, which will come soon. Thank you for reading and I hope this is enjoyable for you. It’s very therapeutic for me.

Okay, so my first volunteering job wasn’t what I expected, but it did, as I hoped, lead to bigger and better opportunities.

There’s an Equine Center not far from home that hosts horses for training. This is a very large operation and there is a constant flow of new horses checking in and horses checking out. The operation is actually pretty smooth for customers, but it does require a lot of heavy lifting for staff.

Now, when I started there, I was hired on as a volunteer. In fact, I was the only volunteer they had ever had. There weren’t any opening jobs, so I was able to get in by requesting to work for free. My goal was to work 5-10 hours per week, and pick up another volunteer position with my other free time. And, I figured this job would be pretty easy, only having to ride horses to and from the stables during my shifts.

Well, when you’re the only volunteer in an operation, you get all of the work no one else wants to do. I never road a horse back and forth to the stable. Instead, I walked the path back and fort tho the stable with a shovel and bucket picking up droppings my entire shift.

That was bad, but it gets worst. when I was not at the facility, no one else did this job, instead, they saved it all for me. Filling up a bucket took no more than 10 minutes. Then I had to walk 10 minutes to empty the bucket, then 10 minutes back to resume my responsibility. They had a 4-wheeler, but of course volunteers couldn’t use due to insurance reasons.

It was hard for me to keep this up, as the level of “specialization I was obtaining was non-existent. But, I knew that this could lead to bigger and better opportunities at some point.

Next I’ll share a story with you about my boss’ expectations increasing and me needing to spend more time at the facility.

That’s all for now. More to come soon.

Not to long ago, I graduated from college with a Equine Science degree. I picked this major not fully understanding what job options I would have after college, but did so mostly based on my passion for horses, all aspects of horses.

When I first got out of school, I couldn’t find a job in the Equine services industry that could pay me enough to live on my own. All decent paying jobs required years of experience, or basically, being a specialist in some area.

Unfortunately I had to take the route of getting a job outside of my field of study and field of passion. I currently work at a call center, but I do, thankfully, have plenty of time to volunteer my time with several organizations. My goal is to identify and start working towards the development of specialized skills, that will make me more valuable in the Equine industry.

This will be an expensive journey, opportunity costs-wise, as I’ll have to forgo a lot of social interactions with my friends, and even ability to make more money. But my ultimate goal, to work in this field will be so worth it. This is my passion. I didn’t do get an Equine Science degree for nothing!

I will share my progress here. Typically I share these little stories with friends and family in person or through email. This will help me consolidate my progress over the years.