Our “Enquiries”, “Suggestions”, “Compliments” and “Volunteer” departments are open around the clock. Why? Because we are a volunteer-run organization and always need and welcome encouragement and support. We also recognize that the more our baseball family is informed about how things work, the better it can channel offers of help. And we thrive on praise.
Our “Complaints” department, however, is permanently closed. Why? Because enquiries, suggestions, compliments and volunteer offers are way better, and in fact are the only things we need. Complaining only serves to put our treasured volunteers in a subservient position to the complainer. Not fair, welcome or helpful. (Fortunately, at Glebe we have mostly doers and intend to keep it that way.)
The general procedure is to direct your enquiry, compliment, suggestion or offer of help at the level “closest to the ground” and to work your way up the line only if needed, i.e., in this general order:
Deal with “concerns” in an inquisitive, non-confrontational, constructive and encouraging way, e.g.,: “Can you tell me what/why/how/when?” — “Would you consider trying X, Y, Z?” — “How can I help?” — “Here, let me do A,B,C.” — “Thanks for doing X, Y, Z.” — “I prefer A, B, C.”
Important Definition: “What idiot decided X?” is NOT a question. It’s a complaint in interrogative clothing, and therefore neither helpful nor welcome.
Final Thought: When considering suggestions for already-overworked volunteers, remember: “What I can do is…” trumps “What you should do is…”