By Lindsay P.
This might sound weird but I love processing meeting updates. Keeping our information current is HUGE and feels significant if it gets someone to a meeting for the first time.
How did you hear about the position and what made you decide to take it?
My sponsor really believes in service and encouraged me to find a service position. I looked on the Intergroup website and saw that there were volunteer positions available at the bookstore. I was brought in as a volunteer and later asked to be the Bookstore Manager. Belle was the Office Administrator and also functioning as the Bookstore Manager. When Belle was leaving to move to the Midwest she recommended me for the Office Administrator position. I didn’t have solid administrative skills, but I love organization and detail and was willing to learn. I started in March of 2022 in this position.
I’ve always been attracted to more unconventional work. Office or admin work always struck me as mundane and routine. Because this is an organization I believe in and the work is meaningful, it doesn’t feel like either. Belle was very supportive and a great mentor and helped with the transition to the new position.
What are the responsibilities of the position?
As Bookstore Manager, I manage the ordering and inventory of the books and chips. Volunteers are really a big help in the Bookstore, and my preference is to bring in volunteers full time to expand the Bookstore hours.
As Office Administrator, I have overall responsibility for managing finances, including group contributions, paying bills, meeting with the accountant and generating financial reports.
I do basic web maintenance tasks including updating meeting listings and posting events. Last week, I had 30 meeting changes for one fellowship. I think this is one of the most crucial tasks of the position: getting all our information correct so folks and newcomers can find meetings. It’s a challenge with an area that hosts over 1,000 meetings a week.
I also respond to calls, emails and texts from groups and members with questions on various things such as how to set up their finances or how to apply a tradition to a specific situation. I always keep group autonomy in mind and rely on the Guidelines on aa.org. I refer 12-step calls to the Helpline or Chatline.
What do you like most about it?
Bookstore visits. There are a bunch of members and Fellowships who come in regularly and I love the connections I’ve made. I meet new members every shift. This might sound weird but I love processing meeting updates. Keeping our information current is HUGE and feels significant if it gets someone to a meeting for the first time.
Have there been any surprises?
As a non-profit and according to A.A. Traditions, Intergroup operates on contributions from groups and members and income from the bookstore. As a result, we operate a very bare bones operation. With Covid, we became a more digital organization; I really appreciate the adaptability of A.A. Getting to know the organization as a special worker rather than a member is a wholly different perspective.
I’m continually impressed with how many people in service positions give so much of their time to keep Intergroup functioning. We can see the Traditions at work.
Have there been any opportunities for growth?
Everything I’ve been doing in this position since March has been a growth opportunity. I had to learn a lot of new skills, and Belle was a great guide. This was my first position as a sober person. I have new tools that give me room to do things differently. I get to attempt gratitude, graciousness, acceptance and tolerance.
Lindsay P’s home group is Monday, Noon at Rockridge Fellowship, in-person and outdoors.
To volunteer for the Bookstore, contact Lindsay at email@example.com