11233 posts since 18 Oct, 2003, from Berlin, Germany
After my last encounters with hospitals - I try to stay as far away from them as possible.
Even the smell is still sickening me.
Speaking of being PO'd:
I invested several months at the end of last year on a promising project: to concept/construct a small scale studio for a youth club down the street. But without much payment (actually, a pittance - less than 1,50bucks/day!) however. I helped in terms of finding gear at the lowest prices possible, I built their studio rig, I set up their gear, I helped(!) renovating and treating the room. All in all I think I spent 4-5 months on this.
Then for over half a year - radio silence. I recently found out (thanks to a peer helper), that the studio still didn't seem to be finished and is at a halted status (today I got to know that the studio is actually in a functional state! The state I left it to be precise!). One of the youth club leaders is on maternity leave, the other one wasn't happy with the outcome of the whole project "youth club" and left. So currently, there are two substitutes. One I haven't even seen yet, and the other one acting like a mix of a very angry sports teacher and bouncer (yet still can't keep the kids in check).
For the last two weeks I tried to get access to this studio, not only due to the fact that I lent them a couple of gear pieces until they got new funds to complete the studio. After I head that the was no further advancement whatsoever, I wanted to see the status of this studio. And half a year later, I slowly want my gear back of course - especially if the studio does not seem to be in use. Not to mention that I wasn't further involved either, even if otherwise promised. I wasn't stupid of course, I created a contract with them that clearly states "I lend you stuff for the time being, you get your own gear - you break mine, I get new stuff!.
So far, I was always dismissed of entering the rooms. I was constantly told "this needs to be cleared first", and I was also being shoved back verbally the further I entered the facilities. Always on a "friendly you" basis, rather than "thou" (Sie) - which pisses me off big time. I mean... I'm in my mid 30ies for funks sake, I built this darn thing - I'm not one of those street kids without manners that goes in and out there. I don't know these people, neither do they know me. A little bit of respect is in order, no?
Today, I finally snapped - couldn't hold back anymore. I said "you know what... if we want to play it this way, let's do this - I'm a neighbor (neighbors have some sort of say with certain projects in this area), I invested my spare time with this, I helped with the funding and promotion - I want to see the status of the premises!". I was once more told that I need "clearance first - ask the new headmaster, I told you that before!" and that "the key to the room isn't even here - I told you that as well". Seeing as I contacted the headmaster and never got an answer (that's two weeks by now), I went to the youth club directly to clear things. Later I was told, that they were in touch with the new headmaster after my visit - yet nothing happened. This outcome angered me even more.
I was even slightly threatened by this person, yet didn't respond accordingly - I only realized this later. Like "in order to get into the room, you have to kick in the door - and you have to go through me first!". Which I consider a clear threat!
Another comment I got today was "I don't know you, I don't even know what gear belongs to you!" but at the same breath "but if you want to leave the modules that you still have at this place - I'm sure to forward this". I mean... WTF?! Again, I don't know these people - he's a temporary substitute! I'm not stupid to leave expensive pieces of gear that I swore to keep save and maintained at a place where I can't even trust the new management - since I don't know them, and they don't want to get to know me either.
Furthermore, why the funk is the key to a project studio; that is a part of this youth club; whose finances were only cleared with the requirement that this premise will be available to the surrounding schools, day cares, cultural establishments and neighbors at any given time... not at the place where it should be? At the current local contacts. They are so paranoid at the youth club to even lock their bureau doors - something that wasn't the case before, and kids didn't steal sh*t! So why do I have to make appointments at a place that is several km away from this youth club and doesn't even know of local schedules?! Or can't even answer a mail with the request to please get in touch with me (apparently, this person isn't even on vacation - as mentioned above, they got in touch with each other after my first visit).
The only thing I got to see was, that the studio section was closed off (door), the missing window was built in, and they attached a curtain. So no chance to even take a peek. It could be a mess in this room, it could be cleaned up - I couldn't tell.
As pissed off as I was, I then said... "Okay, enough! I wasted another afternoon for this. I was not contacted by the headmaster so far. I am constantly being dismissed. I will now address this to the people who funded this project (info: it's funded by the neighborhood management, which in turn is funded by national funding and therefore our taxes!)! Consider this studio a failure and don't expect any future funding for either this or the youth club! Best wishes to the new headmaster!" and left.
What saddens me the most - or ticks me off - I can't decide on that...
This youth club wasn't great to begin with. The kids were mostly with migration background, nervous, aggressive. The club didn't do anything "positive" to get them off the streets or improve the reputation of this area. Barely any homework done under supervision, no sensible courses, nothing. The only thing they did there was hang around, be as loud and as rude as possible, hang around on the PC or play Playstation, beating themselves up, grabbing free food and that's it. Well, maybe the occasional boxing course that is also not held anymore due to lack of funding and appropriate rooms.
I come from an area, where such youth clubs took care of the kids, had fun projects, took them in, helped with problems of various kinds, offered courses and homework done under supervision without questioning. The complete opposite of this!
So I saw a chance to improve things, and offered my services since they asked for help in a local news paper.
I have to admit... The whole concept of this particular youth club in question was already funked up, but now it's even worse. I mean - the club is open from 3pm to 8pm, but most of these kids need to be home by 6pm, and school's out at 1pm latest. Then this thing isn't open every day either, only Tuesday to Friday, closed during school holidays (where kids might actually benefit from such clubs) with no contacts being available. Furthermore, it has an age limitation from 12 to 15 - yet the several times I walked by or actually went in there recently, these kids were ELDER than 15 (or at least looked like that - make up and clothing can definitely fool you)! And what did they do? Quarrel as loud as they could, and played on their smartphones at the same time.
This area could benefit from a well running youth club, but no...
No manners, no respect - not even an interest to improve on that.
I helped building this project studio in good hope that the cultural aspect in our area will be written higher again. That these kids can channel their anger with songs they can write themselves, or with supervision. Which was my main intention why I helped building this, getting some songs on the road, and maybe getting a slight bonus income in return if I invest a couple of hours ever other week (thought of 20-50 bucks/month - which is not much if you only invest 2x5 hours - that equals 5bucks/h without tax! Way less than I'd earn at a regular part-time job, or through freelance deals). Music is something that is being massively neglected in this town. But this outcome is more than disappointing - it was a waste of time on all ends.
And the neighborhood management is wearing blinders on this - not to mention that their opening times are even better - 2 days with 4 hours of "speak time" a week. And I can't start a similar project with my studio, since i'm a private individual and not an institution.
If anything, it teaches me one thing:
Never work on longer running honorary projects for free anymore!
And if you realize that the payment doesn't weight up to the involved work, stop instantly.
A good mentioned will is definitely exploited these days.
Lengthy post - channeled the remaining steam I had left after a phone call to my better half (who is also speechless). Time to call it a day.