pic: 2007 Volunteer of the Year

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My nominee for 2007 Volunteer of the Year.

I'm not bitter or anything; All I'm sayin' is that a trip down Sesame Street could be helpful for some of the volunteers :wink:

Yea, I agree. Some volunteers seemd a little grumpy and didn’t do much.

However, the Count would be a great announcer, reading off team numbers would be a dream come true.

ahh ahh ahh!

Those volunteers put in the hours and do everything to keep things running smothly. But I too see your point they do need the vacation there to pick up there spirts.

While I understand that many volunteers can be cranky every now and then, I ask everyone to understand where they are comming from. Most volunteers are taking time off from work to come in and work longer hours than they do in a normal day. Everyone is getting the idea of being “on schedule” jammed down their throats over and over, because if you aren’t…alot of money and hastle is on the line. By the end of the day, your feet hurt, your voice is hoarse, you are dehydrated, worn down, and ready to get to bed and enjoy the 3 hours of sleep you get until you have to get up and do it all over again the next day.

While we have alot of fun doing it…it can get stressful, and yes…we can get snippy. In most cases, remember that we are cranky not because we are mean spirited, but because we are worn out and tired…just like any normal human being.

Great weekend to everyone!

Is “bitter” supposed to be a pun, since the nominee is a vampire? :rolleyes:

I do, of course, respect the work that volunteers do and the role they have in FIRST. I know, even, that just finding enough of them is an achievement unto itself.

That said, I was just commenting on some volunteers’ inability to count the balls being scored in their goal. Nothing more, nothing less. We scored 22 in a match and only 8 were counted, but I know the same thing happened to everyone else, too, and for all sorts of reasons.

Count von Count was just a running joke on our team this weekend. :slight_smile:

Q: When the automatic scoring fell on its face - who was it that saved the day, more yet the season, by standing there for hours clickers in hand?

Q: When the Hatch software lost the team list, failed to enter autonomous, failed to exit autonomous, got the two sides out of temporal sync, or just plain crashed - who was it that un-plugged then replugged the Cat-5, rebooted, re-counted, or just plain overrode that expletive deleted?

Q: When the teams failed to read the robot rules and mounted their bumpers a foot from the floor, used double sided tape to get a better grip with their shooter, powered their RC black/black, gained 13 pounds during eliminations, and so on and so forth - who was it that stopped them from gaining leverage, spewing sticky foam tape, reversing polarity and blowing their controller, gaining an unfair momentum and traction advantage, and so on?

Q: When the teams got in the wrong position, failed to plug in their OI, failed to turn on their robots - who was there to start them off right?

Q: Who was it that spent hundreds of dollars on air fare and hotel rooms only to have the privilege of being scrutinized for proper credentials as they scurried to grab a bite to eat?

Q: Who was it that got to pay ten dollars a day to park because FIRST took them for granted and just couldn’t part with a few entry fees.

Q: Who got the blame when something went wrong?

and finally

Q: Who won’t be volunteering at four regionals and the Champs next year, or thereafter?

Jack, I think that you might reconsider by next year. I know that I was totally exhausted after this year. Most of us help with kickoff events, Lego, vex, mentor teams and work. We also are passionate with all we do. This is a recipe for exhaustion. I have said that I too will be involved less next year (not to Jacks extent) but I know that when I see jobs that need to get done I will again be slowly sucked back in. This year I decided that the first week would be a observe only weekend in NJ. I ended up being field reset for one whole side of the field for most of the Friday and Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, I am not sorry that I could help. I will tell you that I did get a bit grumpy when other younger people were sitting watching me work and didn’t even get their jobs done. I also was a bit grumpy when team members had to be told over and over to follow the rules. I know that you get excited, so do I, but when asked to do something PLEASE honor the request. It may make no sense to you but there is a reason you were asked. The person asking may not know the reason either except that that was what they were told.

I have found that 99% of volunteers do it because they love the program and what it does for young people. They also want to be happy, not GRUMPY. If you show some respect for them I am sure that they will return the same or more. If however they are a bit out of sorts, smile at them and be extra nice as they have probably just gotten finished with a not so nice person.

Yes I think that all volunteers should get a holiday at some time. I am right now enjoying the warmth of Florida. Quite the change from the igloo back home in the Great White North.

I could be wrong, but I think this thread started with the intent on the issue of counting balls… not on how nice or worthwhile the volunteers are.

The issue of counting balls is that if an electronic system cant do it correctly, how on earth do you expect a human?? Thats like asking a human to do in his/her head at the same speed a math problem that you would only use matlab to solve. To be honest, I think the game/field should have been designed such that you NEVER had to rely on human counters. There is too much room for failure, laziness, or possibly even bias. Mostly the volunteers honestly tried hard (Im sure), but mistakes can be made. Thats frustrating for teams… but this thread should not take a turn towards whether or not volunteers did or didnt do a good job. They are volunteers. Thats like walking up and telling a mentor they did a bad job this year. Do you think they are going to want to come back?

I think it got off track when tetraman thought the count was a reference to grumpiness… last I checked that was eyeore or someone else… the count always seemed happy to me!

After volunteering at GTR (and several times in the past), I know volunteering is not an easy job. And I know at GTR there were many teams that thought I didnt like them because I told them 10 times to plug in their battery or turn their robot on… but it was worth it for the one or two rookie teams that we actually did save from not running in the match :slight_smile:

Lets all take a deep breath, volunteers, realize we love you and appreciate you :slight_smile: FIRST has a hard job as well… reliable sensor work is not easy when you dont have a lot of time to do it. The games are fun, challenging, and we are changing lives. That is what matters.

I can understand that the topic of the thread has shifted a bit. Apparently Madison deleted the pic from the starting post? Anyway, I don’t see it.

I can also understand Jack venting a little. This game was a lot of fun, but it was also very demanding on some of the volunteers. Especially those on the field and scoring side.

Steve’s advice re: smiling and being nice to volunteers, and treating them (and everyone else) with respect is the only practical way to deal with the frustrations that inevitably arise when we’re trying to do something new and complex using a system that still has a few bugs in it.

Hmmm… sounds like the biggest beefs of this year could be fixed by ditching Hatch Technology… I understand that the scoring system was very complex, but how hard is it to make an arena controller? (That is, if we had complete pin-outs on the competition ports or just used the radio for communication, and the competition port for power and disable/auto)