Service of Apathy by Volunteers, Employees & Corporations

May 19th, 2022

Categories: Merchandising, Retail, Volunteers

Merchandise at Target to celebrate Memorial Day

A star volunteer just described a successful fundraising event she chaired with such enthusiasm and joy it was a delight to hear as well as a relief.

That’s because I’ve observed that many are dragging at their tasks lately. What once were teams of vigorous volunteers in chambers of commerce, industry associations, charities and parent teacher groups many appear, in the last few years, to have given up. They have lost their magic. Their behavior reminds me of a childhood game of hot potato only it’s adults are passing the responsibilities and tasks–not spuds–on to the next person to follow through. This person has no energy either. I suspect that many of the ones who gladly rolled up their sleeves became tired of carrying the ball for the chronically lethargic.

It’s not only happening for volunteers. Last week at a Manhattan branch of Target I noticed a vivid example. I was shocked to see favors, decorations and American flags to enhance Memorial Weekend celebrations tossed in a sloppy heap in a bin. There were no empty shelves to merchandise them properly although someone might have arranged them artfully, using the metal basket openings to hold the larger flags giving more room inside to neatly stack the wreaths, garlands and packages of small flags.

And what about the United States Postal Service? Yes, I still send bills and cards by mail. I feel constrained by the change that happened silently in my neighborhood. Where there were as many as 3 pickups at some postboxes, now there is only one at either 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM. The postman who delivers to my building told me his buddy’s job is to pick up the mail from these boxes and he has nothing to do all afternoon. As a customer, it’s more than irritating and I feel that the service is exhausted and doesn’t care. A 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM pickup would be better if there is only one.

Have you noticed apathy or enthusiasm lately in the way people are carrying out tasks whether as volunteers, corporations or employees?

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay


2 Responses to “Service of Apathy by Volunteers, Employees & Corporations”

  1. lucrezia Said:

    Interests change, and perhaps new ideas are not given the attention they deserve, so boredom sets in. Life is about change. We can ill afford to remain stagnant! It’s sad about the Memorial Day items. A severe complaint to management might work wonders.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I suspect the manager at this store has lost interest. I met a friend at a TJ Maxx outlet a few days ago. I saw one woman praise her colleague–maybe she was the boss–for picking items from the shelves to enhance a special summer/Memorial Day table near the front of the floor opposite stairs and elevator. You can tell that somebody cares about how the store looks in spite of little space, mediocre lighting and a far from glamorous stage for displaying goods.

    As for the examples of volunteer positions and energy, there have always been worker bees and hangers-on who want the contacts on a board or committee or kudos on resumes and expect to do nothing at all. It seems that the latter have taken most of the spots right now in many cases.

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