Somebody, nobody and Anybody in Volunteer Management
I recently came across a great poem by someone called Charles Osgood
“There was a most important job that needed to be done,
And no reason not to do it, there was absolutely none.
But in vital matters such as this, the thing you have to ask
Is who exactly will it be who'll carry out the task?
Anybody could have told you that everybody knew
That this was something somebody would surely have to do.
Nobody was unwilling; anybody had the ability.
But nobody believed that it was their responsibility.
It seemed to be a job that anybody could have done,
If anybody thought he was supposed to be the one.
But since everybody recognised that anybody could,
Everybody took for granted that somebody would.
But nobody told anybody that we are aware of,
That he would be in charge of seeing it was taken care of.
And nobody took it on himself to follow through,
And do what everybody thought that somebody would do.
When what everybody needed so did not get done at all,
Everybody was complaining that somebody dropped the ball.
Anybody then could see it was an awful crying shame,
And everybody looked around for somebody to blame.
Somebody should have done the job
And Everybody should have,
But in the end Nobody did
What Anybody could have.”
Funny enough, the poem reminded me a little of our sector in Volunteer Management. In particular it made me think of 2 upcoming momentous events for Volunteer Managers. Globally, International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMD) and in Australia the 2011 AAVA Volunteer Manager Award of Excellence. I’ve written about both on this blog before. I believe that both should be supported in Volunteer Management. I believe however that both concepts may fail if everybody thinks that somebody else should organise events to mark IVMD or anybody could nominate for the AAVA award but nobody does!
Many of you of course will be able to draw parallels with the following whose author is still unknown to me ( happy to attribute if you know who wrote it!)
“This is a story about four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.
Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did.
Somebody got angry (about that) because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody knew that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Somebody wouldn't do it. And It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody because Nobody actually asked Anybody.”