Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Please" and "Thank You" wonderful words in the genealogy world....

Ok, so I am sorry for the rant that is about to come BUT....

I am a volunteer with Find A Grave and I clearly state two things in my bio page

1. "remember kindness gets you farther than rudeness..."

2. " If I have a memorial, that is your family, I am willing to transfer or add to it, whichever you prefer. Mistakes happen, I'm only human, please help me by correcting me if you see one."

Remember is one of the most important things I tell anyone that I am helping to learn the genealogy trade.  One of the things I can be quoted as having said is "kill them with kindness".  It is my motto. Really! How hard is that.  Kindness really does get you farther than being snotty.

That being said, I am only human!! So there will be mistakes...I am sorry.  I try to prevent these but they are just a part of life.  I don't know anyone, inside or outside the genealogy world, that has gone their whole life without making a mistake or two.  But there is way of letting someone know that they have made a mistake without sending out a scathing email and then not even linking to the mistake in question. rude, then make me go hunting for the mistake in question.

This is what I came home to this evening.  Not just one but two very rude emails, demanding that I fix these mistakes.

And I am thinking this is the straw that broke the camel's back for me.  I have just had it with people treating me like it's my job! Or I owe it to them to keep going out of my way to find the information they want.  And then when I am unable to acquire said information getting mad at me because it's not available.  I don't offer to help so I can go to the museum and stand around and not give it my all.  That would be a waste of my time and not very satisfying. When I go down there, I really do everything I can to find what I am looking for.

"Please" and "Thank you" are not that hard to say.

And this is not the first time I have people that are a bit on the rude side.  I am a volunteer NOT a paid servant.

I do this because I absolutely LOVE to help people find their family.  I love being able to run to the museum or the cemetery and find the things that they can not come here to find for themselves.  If someone is nice in their request and pleasant to work with I will go beyond what they have asked for, especially if I know that there is more that I can find that is available to me here.

In my defense, in regards to the memorial in question this evening, I added information for another contributor to the memorial.  In seeing what was written, I should have double checked it and proof read it.  I sometimes go on faith when someone sends me information to add.  They usually have more information than I currently have.  And seeing as how they are contacting me, I guess I just figured that they have some investment in getting the memorial right.  Maybe that is my mistake...

I have two children that no matter what, come first in my life.  They come before any of my hobbies or obsessions.  That is my life, and I love it that way.  All I can say is maybe it was a night that my kids were needing some extra attention.  Honestly, I don't know.  I am not normally a lazy person when it comes to this work.  So I know it wasn't just because I didn't want to "deal" with it.  I truly love this work and would never intentionally be misleading or lazy, and I am not stupid either...I know how to work spell correct. 

NOW...all that being said.  There are times being a volunteer is so completely amazing.  I have had quite a few people that I have helped for months on end.  The more information I find for them, the more information they need.  They find new members of their family and then would like their information.  I love that.  I love knowing that I have helped someone get farther because of the little bit of time I spend in the archives for them.  When I get a reply from someone telling me how much it means to them and their family that I took a picture of a headstone that they can't visit, or find an obit that reminds them of the great life someone lived, it makes me happy.  I put up with all the mean people for those that are so excited by what I can bring them.  Makes it all worth it.  And really there are more people that are grateful than there are snotty.  So I will keep it up and do all I can do....because really that is all I can do, my best....

"KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS" really does work!!


  1. Kill 'em with Kindness is what I always say too! Keep up the Great Work that you do!!!!