“I’ve got a wonderful opportunity for you,” said the overly cheery voice on my answering machine. I knew what that meant: it’s payback time. I’m being paid back for all those phone calls I made to volunteers – using a similar vocal inflection – while I was on the job.
That explains how I found myself riding a school bus for 90 minutes today with 40 shrieking eighth-grade girls and how I ended up earlier this month in front of a large group of Korean, Japanese and Spanish-speakers explaining the American health-care system and health insurance. I who am not accustomed to being around teenagers, and I who have been on the same health-care plan and used the same health-care provider for 40 years and know nothing about any others. My karma was clearly a result of asking two women (the two who roped me into these “opportunities”) to volunteer in the past. What terrifies me is what lies ahead. I worked with two parent committees, with at least 30 members between them, for three to four years . And together they put in hundreds of hours of volunteer work. Right now all 30 of them could be dreaming up new “opportunities” for me. I think I might scream! Oh well, if I do I’ll fit right in with the kids the next time someone asks me to ride a school bus.