My First Volunteer Opportunity Wasn’t What I thought it Would Be

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.