First, I'd like to put a cap on my marketing experiment for the week by thanking those who participated in it. I didn't get a lot of comments on this blog but I did on one of my other blogs and I received some email. Frankly, that's the best I could have hoped for. If you're unsure what I'm talking about, check this out.

Volunteer in Accra, Ghana
Volunteer Abroad UBELONG via Compfight

Back in April I wrote a post titled Can You Be Fired From A Volunteer Job? It was my telling of basically deciding to give up on a position I'd held for pretty much 12 of 16 years as the local chapter president of a larger national organization after basically being threatened with ouster. One of the strange things is that no one from the organization has ever officially mentioned it anywhere that I know of, as I continue getting regular mail and email from them; freaky right?

Actually, it turns out to not be a freaky, or even a common as it seems. Believe it or not, there are two other organizations where I felt like I wasn't wanted as a member, left both, yet decades later both organizations still send me monthly messages, first trying to get me back as a member, then trying to get me to advertise with them. Are they kidding?

I've never been one of those people who's stayed around when I knew folks didn't want me there... for the most part. When I was in high school, I wasn't the most popular person around. The reason was because I wasn't from the area; I started high school in a new city in my junior year. Almost all the friends I ended up getting were others who moved there around the same time and had the same problems breaking through.

At that time, traveling because I was a military kid and also an only child helped me a lot. I didn't need anyone else's approval to do whatever I wanted to do. I didn't care who might not have wanted me in a lot of places within the school as long as I wasn't doing anything wrong. So if other students didn't like it... tough.

As adults, sometimes those lines get blurred. Sometimes we have to weigh what we want or need from something versus someone else's apparent dislike of us or wish to dismiss us from whatever it happens to be.

I figure it this way.

First, if it has to do with my money I'd rather use it on something that's benefiting me more than someone else. That's why I've left some organizations... and probably why they continue reaching out to me for more, as the people at the top or in other spaces either don't know or don't care what's going on below them.

Second, if someone doesn't want you to the point of deciding to make your life miserable, why give them the satisfaction? That is, unless you have some authority you can use to not only stay but to affect things whether they like them or not. Most of the time I've left but I did have this one time when I decided to stay and go up against a clueless bully... and I eventually won that battle and didn't feel a bit of remorse, especially since he actually hurt himself and I'm just part of the group that reported him for it. Big lesson; if you decide to go after someone you don't like, don't make it too easy for them to crush you. 🙂

Third, sometimes you have to figure that maybe you've been doing something for so long that, even if it wasn't perfect, it was comfortable. That's why I left the group I first talked about immediately, and why I'm leaving another group come November after 13 years. I feel like someone new needs to come in and take my spot; at least it's my choice with the second one, so that feels a lot better.

Does this make me a quitter? No, I don't think so. If I wanted to fight I could, but sometimes you have to do what makes you feel better sooner than later. A few times I've been really irked and, being a fighter, thought about fighting. But why fight for something that, when you think about it, you've given more than you've gotten?

What's your feeling? What do you do when you feel someone doesn't want you around?

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