Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Years ago, I went to a job interview, the technical part lasted more than an hour. I thought I did very well, but I never got a call back. A month later, I called the person in charge of the project I had been interviewed for. I found out there was no project, just one that had been proposed. The reason I had been interviewed was that the guy I was talking to wanted to present not just a proposal, but a list of qualified applicants to demonstrate the viability of the project. The big shots turned down the proposal.

A few weeks ago I was at a senior citizens program and saw a notice that a teenage volunteer was looking for someone to play chess with. Great! I thought, this is the kind of thing I would want to do. Help someone, who is helping us seniors. Not quite. It turns out this agency wants to create a program in which seniors help teenagers play chess. I don't know how many bureaucrats are involved in this. I do know there is a social worker that has to interview me, to decide if I am a suitable volunteer. There is the person who will design the program. Yes, the same theme, no project, someone is working on a proposal. The two times I have been asked questions on the phone, I think no one associated with planning this knows anything about chess. Perhaps they've read about Renée M. Yarzig's program, Cross-Generation Chess, maybe they are familiar with the Chess in the Schools program. No telling. All I know is one old undistinguished chess player has the ability to help several people in a social service agency remain gainfully employed.

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