City Paper is not for tourists
Today’s inaugural events are all about volunteerism. It seems like Obama’s trips to Sasha Bruce, Coolidge, and elsewhere are going off without a hitch. He’s inspirational! For probably all of the Presidential Inaugural Committee‘s thousands of volunteers, they joined up out of a belief in Obama and the skill in which he ran his campaign. It was afterall built on people just like them. But campaigns are one thing. Planning for a swearing-in and the parade, that’s another story. Confusion has spread among the PIC volunteer ranks.
These are the volunteers who slogged through the long lines and training seminars a few weeks ago at the Convention Center. These true believers sat through some four hours of training. According to my volunteer source, assignments, many assignments for what to do on Inauguration Day were not given out. Instead, that info would be forthcoming in an e-mail or text from their team leader.
This volunteer still doesn’t know their assignment. Parade or Inauguration? The volunteer isn’t sure. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth among the volunteers—-some of it hilarious, some of it infuriating. It has become clear that at least one team leader doesn’t know the District. Like how to get to places.
Right now volunteers are supposed to meet up at the Washington Monument tomorrow at 5 a.m. The volunteer just isn’t sure what would happen at 5 a.m.
The volunteer’s prediction: “There’s a 20 percent chance I don’t get down there at all. No, 10 percent chance. I’d say there’s a 25-20 percent chance that the organization takes shape when I get there and I actually hang out and do what they say. I’d say there’s a 60 percent chance that I’m just going to feel that I’m of no use…and just peel off and see the inauguration myself. I’ve tried to be patient. They were supposedly real selective about the people they chose….The upper management of this thing is just…I don’t want to be too mean.”
Volunteer’s best analogy: This may be a well-planned event on paper but it could result in a fumble: “They didn’t pass out the playbook to all the team members. This could be a broken play. That’s my concern.”
The one thing that’s boosting up this volunteer: Hope.