Proposal 7: Add ‘several times a day’ to the greeter job description
Add “several times a day” to the greeter job description bullet about checking email.
The third bullet currently says
- Reads GROW mail daily.
The proposed language would say
- Reads GROW mail several times a day, checking in on a regular basis.
This more accurately reflects the job.
Summary of Comments on Proposal 7
I am resistant to changing this wording. My thoughts are making such a distinction would discourage women who work or lead very busy lives from attempting this service position. It is my opinion that each TS does the job to the best of their ability and within the boundaries of it being service work. These positions are not meant to become jobs. We are all adults and I personally don’t see the need to spell things out in small print. In my humble opinion
Some online TS positions require much more extensive time than others. Many volunteer for positions, not realizing/understanding the time requirements needed can be time consuming.
Our members come from various backgrounds and ages. I am an older widow, living alone and have lots of time available so I volunteer for positions where my time can be utilized.
We have young working mothers who wish to serve as a TS but have limited time available and there are positions available for them.
But if there are not proper guidelines given in the TS Descriptions, it becomes confusing to those volunteering.
I’d back up what Nancy says here. It’s more realistic to let new greeters know that the position requirements ask that you check in ‘several times a day’ rather than a ‘daily’. That way, members wanting to serve know what they’re committing to. Some other ts positions don’t require the same time commitment. They might, or might not, require a more intense period of commitment over a few days at a time, for example, but not an ongoing daily one.
This added phrase makes sense in light of what the greeting commitment entails.
I agree that adding this clarifies what the Greeter position entails. The greeter is working on a daily basis with a team of three others; in my experience as part of this team(both as a greeter and as a listkeeper) things work smoothly when all four are communicating on a regular basis. It also helps ensure that new ladies hear from us promptly, particularly since there will be different time zones among the greeters/listkeepers. I’ve never found it overly burdensome and I work full time and have a family. Others on the team are always willing to step in if someone needs to be away from Internet for a while, or even days. “Daily” isn’t an accurate reflection of what’s required for this position.
I agree Nancy. We should have all the information listed so informed decisions can be made.
Thank you for the ESH shared.
I feel they’ve given me an insight into how the proposal will help GROW grow and be effective in greeting our new members and ensuring they’re responded to efficiently by all those involved.
I’m glad to be guided in this way.
In love and fellowship
When I first saw the proposed new wording for Proposal 7.3, I thought it was kind of…. obnoxious. Like “duh, doesn’t everyone check their email several times a day?” Followed by, hmmm… maybe others don’t!?!
However, after reading others sharing about the level of commitment and time required, this new wording not only makes sense ~ it’s necessary!
As a newer member, and one who’s actively looking for a service position ~ I (we) definitely need a heads up.
Faith n Hope
I agree with changing to the new wording for Proposal 7.3. It explains the position a little better and reminds the TS of what their duties entail.
While I understand that checking e-mail more than once a day will help Greeters process requests more quickly, I question whether “more quickly” is really necessary.
What do we expect of our Trusted Servants? Is it reasonable?
Making “several times a day” a requirement automatically limits the number of people that will qualify … or be willing … to do the job. We are an online e-mail AA meeting, not first responders. Yes, I check my mail more than once a day, but I am retired and have that luxury. Is it fair or reasonable to ask this of working mothers? Will the proposal make Grow a more effective messenger?
My personal feeling is that this proposal asks too much of Grow members who want to serve our group as Greeters.
I’d like to address Danna’s statement that carrying out greeter duties ‘more quickly’ shouldn’t be a necessary requirement. I’d argue that it is, and this is based on many years serving on and off as both greeter and listkeeper.
As said before, both the listkeepers and greeters work very much as a team. This doesn’t happen to the same degree with the other TS positions, except perhaps these days with the temporary mentor liaising with the sponsor listkeeper. But even then the element of teamwork is not happening on a daily basis.
Neither is either position dependent in the same way or to the same extent on the cooperation of the other. On the other hand, this is a necessary element in the running smoothly of getting new women subscribed when the listkeepers/greeters work together.
A woman can’t be subscribed unless the listkeeper sends to the greeter who then sends out information to that new woman. When the latter sends back her intro, the greeter then sends it on for subbing to the listkeeper, after which she can then welcome the new woman into Grow. Each depends on the other totally working together as a team.
If this happens in a timely manner (just as, for example, the temporary mentor would want to reach out quickly to a new and distressed member, and not hang about for more than the few days stipulated in that job description), then the new member can be welcomed into GROW. Many of our new members speak of their desperation and need for help. Many of us who’ve held these positions feel that ‘when anyone anywhere reaches out for help’ we want ‘the hand of AA to be there’ and for that we are responsible.
And, yes, it will limit the number of people who can take on the position (but not to the degree that some of you seem to think). But isn’t that how service positions work in face to face meetings all across the globe? I’ve often heard it said ‘horses for courses’. Many members dont take up commitments of one type because the demands of it do not fit with their own lifestyle. Instead, they volunteer for another type. I myself have been in this position many times throughout sobriety. I’ve learnt to say no when something is not for me.
So, it is not about excluding women from the position of greeter. It’s about laying out that an element of it is checking mail a few times a day. A few of our greeters over the last years work fulltime and have younger children. When I first greeted, years back, I was a fulltime working mum, with a teenage boy who was starting to go off the rails. I still managed to check in a few times daily.
I think as you go on in this service role you realise how vital it is to work as a team and that involves being cognizant of time differences, the others’ work commitments to a degree where you know their patterns and would expect them to either be there or not at certain times.We’re a friendly bunch, who fill in at the drop of a hat for the other if they have something else they want to do, are on holiday etc.
Look, it depends on what GROW wants: a swift enough response to the suffering alcoholic (as it stands now), or a response that could take days from start to finish to complete. I certainly wouldn’t want it to take days. Sometimes, it can take a day or even two, but for the most part we try to get a woman subscribed within a 12-hour period from initial enquiry to being welcomed by the group. This isn’t always possible, given we have lives and do other things and may clash timewise with a listkeeper’s routine that day, but it’s an aim (not sure it’s part of the job description but I know it’s what our dearly loved Jean taught me years back).
There’s a danger if a greeter only checks in once a day that mails can be missed, and that the process could go on for longer than a couple of days. I’d hate for that to happen. Part of the role is building a rapport with your team mates which in turn allows you to work together better. And that entails keeping an eye on your mail.
In Tradition 9 ( the long form page 191 in the 12 x12) It starts with Each group needs the least possible organization. and ends with All such representatives are to be guided in the spirit of service. for true leaders in AA are but trusted and experienced servants of the whole. They derive no real authority from their titles, they do not govern. Universal respect is the key to their usefulness.
I know for myself that service was the way to sobriety. When I came into the rooms I was beat down and found many excuses to beat myself up. By changing to words from “Reads Grow Mail Daily” to “ Several times a day” is almost an automatic fail for me. If life gets busy, and I cannot complete my commitment as mandated. It breeds fear. Fear of not living up to the goal, fear of being turned in for not being on task. Fear of being called infront of the steering committee for not doing the job. ( which we just passed I might remind you )
I wish we could find a win win, maybe reword things a bit to .. Read Grow mail at least once a day…? I could live with that, If I can’t check in many times, I am still doing my job, If I can check in more, then I am going above and beyond and building my self esteem. Sobriety is a tricky thing, service work can be as well. I hope service work builds character, helps a new comer to grow themselves up, builds sobriety. I would be very disappointed if we placed such restrictions on members.
Yours as a member trudging along.
I think you have to give people a realistic view of what this important position entails. I don’t believe it expects too much from a person to check email several times a day (many do with their personal email accounts and social media these days, myself included). The position is about being of service to others and putting the program on the front burner. Women who are waiting for an answer to their email may be desperate and every minute seems like an hour or a day. Just my two cents,
I can hear a clear division in the discussions here on 7.3
We know our Traditions allow for all view points to be shared as we work towards a Group Conscience and I appreciate the views I’m hearing but struggle to know what’s actually going to best.
Our Biz Chair has also pointed out we are due to run out of time to resolve this by April 17th.
I’m just wondering if this might be better to be tabled as a Proposal for the next Biz Meeting?
It is entirely possible that there could be a shared common ground, a compromise in the language proposed that whilst highlighting that this role may involve responding to emails more than once a day, but is also working well with the language that exists?
My feeling is that this sounds, from my experience of discussions similar to these where we seem to have two camps poles apart, that we are some way from us reaching a shared view?
Perhaps the timing where our Biz Meeting Guidelines are that we close business by 17th is Tradition Two at work right now?
I propose we follow the guidelines and finish as per the guidelines on Day 17.
In love and fellowship
I think Sophie makes an excellent point. There does not seem to be a middle ground on this proposal and based on how strongly members feel, it deserves a process that is not rushed.
Proposal 7.3 will be tabled because we cannot finish the process by the 17th. It will be revisited in the October meeting.
I’ve been seeing the emails go back and forth on this and since I am a new greeter with only the JD of the position to guide me, I volunteered for the service position knowing I’d be able to check my email at least once a day. However, it does take more than that, as I see now and although I think I’m getting in a groove and adjusting, as a mom who still works full-time, it can be tricky wanting to be of service but not having a lot of time to give. If it is a MUST that emails must be checked multiple times, please put it in the JD. However, I think it’s possible without the MUST and an understanding of women waiting by their phone or PC waiting for a response from us and how much of a life line that can be. I don’t forget it but it’s still requiring some juggling. I appreciate everyones patience as I go through my training and I thank you for letting me be of service.
Thanks for your input, everyone. Especially you, Lisa! It’s valuable coming from someone just starting in the TS position.
I just want to point out that the word Nancy and I used is ‘several’ times a time. Not ‘multiple’ or ‘many’. That’s all. No big deal. But it makes a heck of a difference just going to several.
Since it seems that tabling the idea is where this is going, I would like to propose some ideas to think about.
The problem seems to be the time lag between when a list keeper gets a request at the Grow Owner account and sending the request on to the greeter. The greeter then sends info to the person requesting information to the group and then back to the listkeeper to be subbed.
SO My question then becomes Why does Grow do this in this fashion?
Can we Add the Greeters to the Grow Owner Mail account, and let them handle the “Greeting” directly, and once membership is qualified, then they can ask the Listkeeper to subscribe the new member into the group?
Or another solution I have been a part of is the Greeters and Listkeepers were a team, where all members of the team had ownership privileges of being able to subscribe and unsubscribe members.
The team consisted of between 4 and 6 women, who rotated weeks. For example, if there were 4 women the person ON DUTY would work one week out of four, and in that time frame all the members of the team would be CC’d all communications so everyone was caught up with conversations.
There are many different ways to skin the cat, These are just two examples that I can think of, I am sure there can be other ways of making life here simple.
Thanks for letting me share.
Thanks Laurie – this is a really good suggestion. I was greeter for a year and this was never an issue. Maybe the volume of the women looking to sub is Overwhelming for some? I’m not sure but the lag has never been more than 12 hrs and considering we are on different time zones all over the world and have different schedules, sleep work etc – that seems pretty reasonable. Anyway yes I think this is something best tabled till next meeting. A greeter position is a starting position in any meeting – face to face and in here – I think a bit of patience is needed. Everyone is getting responded to and it’s really splitting hairs on this “timeliness” matter- especially when it’s very non specific.
Proposal 7 was tabled because the process could not be finished before the business meeting closed. It will be revisited during the October meeting.