20 Aralık 2013 Cuma

Pitfalls and Advantages of Creating an Amateur Sleuth

The amateur sleuth belongs to that second category of amateur. With that designation come all of the pitfalls of being a volunteer, whether it’s a volunteer candy striper at a hospital or a volunteer crime solver. Those disadvantages are: First, you don’t get paid. To borrow from the comedian, you don’t get no respect. You get stuck with the dirty work nobody else wants to do. You feel a lot smarter than everybody seems to think you are. Not only do you not get paid, but you also don’t get much gratitude, except maybe once a year at an ‘‘Appreciation Awards Banquet.’’ The place wouldn’t easily run without you, but nobody acknowledges that. If management would hire enough pros, pay them well enough, and if those pros did their jobs well enough, they wouldn’t need you. You have to do it in your spare time. You have to buy your own silly uniforms. And, people are always patting you on your head (or worse) and telling you how cute you are, and why don’t you run along now while the real professionals take over? On the other hand, as a volunteer, you get a few perks that the real pros don’t, to wit: You don’t have to do it. You don’t have to do it by the rules. You don’t have to take it. You can talk back. You can quit. You can be late, or fail to show up, and they don’t dare reprimand you, because they know they need you a lot more than you need them. And all that stands between you and retirement is your own conscience, which, however, volunteers seem to possess out of proportion to the rest of the populace. Nancy Pickard

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