Or What’s In It For Me (WIIFM?)
Have you ever heard of the “Hey You” roster? It’s often employed by someone in authority who needs something done but may not have anyone specific to do it. Someone who is unwittingly in view of the taskmaster may become the target of this induction process. Walking down the hall, sitting in your room, standing in one place for more than an instant can render you a deer in the headlights when you get selected.
The Armed Forces is big on Hey You rosters. So too was Dwight Barnett, the president of the Great Lakes Chapter of ASHI from ‘92-’93. I happened to attend a GLC board meeting one day. It was the first time I’d been to one and there was standing room only so I had to sit on the floor. Dwight mentioned that, because our chapter was so big and his memory was so small, he couldn’t always
remember the names of a lot of chapter members.
He felt it would be good to publish a photo directory of all the chapter members with information about them such as phone numbers, years of experience, areas of expertise and even a little about their family life. When completed, the directory would be handed out to every chapter member, who would then be able to find other inspectors they didn’t know, look at their areas of expertise and give them a call about an inspection question. To expedite his idea, Dwight decided to use the tried-and-true Hey You roster. I happened to be within his eyesight so I became the photo directory chairman. In hindsight, he may have had second thoughts. But for me, the opportunity led to a very rewarding enterprise.
Although I did not technically volunteer for the job (I could have turned it down), the photo directory taught me how to organize, develop and distribute a valuable product all of our members could use. The fact that I got to know hundreds of inspectors and they got to know me benefited me immensely.
The point of telling you this is to emphasize the value of volunteering. From a personal development standpoint, it’s just plain rewarding. Although everyone won’t agree, I think giving really is better than receiving.
In addition, from a purely financial standpoint, volunteering is profitable. While the time away from work may seem a financial burden, in my experience, as well as most other volunteers I’ve spoken to, the dividends really do make up the initial loss of income. Look at the past leaders of ASHI and you’d be hard pressed to find any who’d say they are financially strapped.
That’s where the subtitle of this story fits in. What’s In It For Me, was the chance to serve my buddies and to receive their gratitude. So I’m asking those of you who’d like a chance to pay back, or to pay
forward, please go to the Members section of the ASHI website and type in “volunteer” and it will take you to a volunteer application form.
This month I’d like to introduce you to ASHI’s newest staff member, Beverly Canham. Bev worked for 10 years in the billing department of another not-for-profit community center in Chicago. She is doing a great job at ASHI and even won the HQ Halloween Costume Prize this year. Welcome to the team, Beverly!Frank Lesh, Executive Director, American Society of Home Inspectors, 847-954-3182, www.ashi.org, Frankl@ashi.org