Monday, May 18, 2009

I can't even give it away

Apparently, even though the country is in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, companies are so flush with cash that they don't need any volunteer help.  

I have volunteered to work - for free - for 1) a new hedge fund with only one employee, 2) a small wealth management firm who is not faring well recently, 3) a private equity firm with about 8 employees, and 4) a non-profit who just rejected me for a job.  And they all said thanks but no thanks!  Am I on glue, or am I mistaken in thinking a company would love to have an MBA work for them, gratis?  I must be seriously retarded and/or naive, because I believed that companies would jump at the chance to get free help.  

Maybe here's what's happening: 

- They think that if I'm free, there must be something wrong with me, so they don't want to take a chance on someone who's no good?  Ok, but maybe they could try me out for a week and see if I am mentally defective before making that decision.   
- They don't want to have to spend a lot of time training someone.  Ok, again, I see the point, but the company would still save money as long as I volunteered for as long as it took to train me.  Internships work like this all the time - I don't see how this is different.  
- If I'm a volunteer, I'm less committed to the company than if I was an employee, and thus I may just not show up one day and let everyone down.  To this I say, why not try me out for a while and see what happens before deciding I'm not worth the risk.  Besides, a volunteer is there because they want to be and an employee is there because they have to be - now you tell me who sounds like they're more committed to the company?  

This is such utter BS I can't even stand it.  I don't know how anyone can justify turning away volunteers, but somehow companies (and non-profits) in the Bay Area have succeeded in doing it.  So since these places are so cash-rich that they don't need free assistance, I guess we can all stop donating money to charity since it's obvious it isn't needed.  We should all go here instead.  

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