3.034 meetings, working

Wednesday 01/05/2022

Spent the first part of the morning preparing to manage resident volunteers again. Late in the day came word that we now have 6 staff members quarantining at home. I reactivated my membership in Slottr.com, the sign-up sheet site we used in 2020. At 10, met with Marcia, and then at 10:30 the two of us with Rhonda, who brought in Gloria, the dining services manager, so we could find out what she needs.

It seems like what she needs mostly is for people to use the online ordering app to place their meal orders, or failing that, to phone their orders in. Following that meeting Marcia sent me her notes and I worked them up into a nice FAQ sheet, and started a separate sheet outlining “how to get fed online”.

Then it was 2pm and time for the Resident Association exec committee meet, one agenda item of which was a plan of mine. But that kind of died for a strange reason: my plan requires the RA to assume a cost obligation of $1200-$2000 per year depending on the options. However, the RA has no predictable income source. They don’t charge dues, and very likely any suggestion of dues would generate a backlash. They don’t get money from the administration.

The financial powerhouse is the Gift Shop. When a resident dies or moves permanently to the Lee center, their relatives have to clean out their apartment, and often they don’t want some (or any) of granny’s stuff. So they donate clothes and furniture and what-not to the Gift Shop. Gift Shop volunteers send what they can’t sell to Goodwill, but they sell the rest, often to staff members. So the Gift Shop has a bank account with what one assumes is a healthy balance.

By some historical accident, the Gift Shop is its own little organization, with no obligations to the RA. It makes generous gifts, money to the in-house Library for example. But they are under no requirement to fund the RA.

So although everybody liked, or at least didn’t disagree with, my proposal, nobody wanted to see the RA take on a financial commitment without an income. So it’s back to me to find funding.

After the meeting I completed my two-page terse & informative summary of how to order food online and sent it out. And quickly had to send it out again because I had screwed up the URL of the site. Well actually not me, I had copied it from an email from another resident who got it wrong, but it’s still my bad for not testing it.

At 5 I joined Marcia in the dining room to scope out what is likely to be the main volunteer job. Last year, we delivered meals direct to rooms. Now people order (online or by phone) and pick up their trays in the dining room. So there are 3 or 4 carts with trays of food and a ticket with the name of a person or couple on each tray. People come in, and we find their tray and hand it to them. It’s a demanding job, you have to recognize the person and find their tray among 20 or 40 other trays. This went smoothly enough tonight because there were three servers there and those guys knew most residents by sight. I know most by sight but not their names, in many cases. Marcia knew all the names at once of course.

Point being, on the weekend there will be no servers, due to staff shortages, and it will all be volunteers. Tomorrow I work on organizing that.

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