Every organization has its "A" team and "B" team -- or its first string and second string people. This isn't a subject to be whispered or discussed only behind closed doors. It's something that every volunteer and their managers should face up to in the open. Being on the first string is really a frame of mind, an attitude, and a high commitment to the team and its mission. It is not really a skill level. Many an expert doesn't have the team spirit just mentioned. The ability to progress to a higher skill level is based on a positive and proactive frame of mind. They like their job.
Unconcern about travel distances goes hand in hand with the bulletin on commitment. The overwhelming majority of experienced and committed volunteers give little thought to driving distances. This is because we gain satisfaction out of what we are traveling to and from. Too often, I'm afraid, managers measure distances by their own standards. Try a new practice -- don't!
How far is relative. Distance is measured by one's personal life style, experience and pocketbook. Driving five miles can be far for one person while a hundred miles is not really far for another. For these reasons I urge managers to never, ever assume that any distance is too far for a volunteer. Let the volunteer be the judge of how far is "far."
Adopted from industry, the following supervisors checklist for new workers can apply to government workers -- both paid and unpaid. It is suggested that particular attention be placed in applying these guidelines to the unpaid staff. They can only help improve your organization.
1. Get ready to receive the new worker:
____ Assure that the written application is complete, law enforcement check successfully accomplished, photographs taken and I.D. card processed.
____ Review his/her work experience, education, and training.
____ Have an up-to-date description of his/her job or a list of duties.
____ Have his/her workspace and supplies ready.
CA State OES began the Bulletins in the early 1950's to assist agencies and radio operators to become more familiar with RACES. They were issued periodically until 1985, at which time they began to be issued weekly over voice and digital radio systems of Amateur Radio and in print. Originally intended for California, increased demand, and a 1988 request by the ARRL for national distribution, led to their eventual worldwide distribution.