by Zachary O-M

But the true benefit of doing this position is that I get to help those who may be too afraid to call and/or go to meetings or don’t have access to in-person meetings.

How did you hear about the position and what made you decide to take it?  

I heard about it from my grand sponsor, who told my sponsor, who “suggested” that I take the position. What made me decide to do it is that to receive the promises the book describes, it is necessary to do the work required. You must fulfill all three legs of the program: Recovery, Unity, and Service. This position fulfills the Service leg of A.A.

What are the responsibilities of the position?

The Chatline Chair recruits volunteers and trains them on the chatline app that we use (Slack). I am also responsible for ensuring that questions get answered in a timely manner, keeping the volunteer roster up to date, writing scripts for commonly asked questions, and finding ways to update/upgrade chatline services on both the frontend and backend. All of these contribute to how we interact with the public online.

What do you like most about it?

My favorite part about working as the Chatline Chair is that I get to  work not only with newcomers (to A.A. and to the website) but I get to also apply some of my technical ability to the position. Looking for new ways to track statistics and increase engagement, which fulfills the nerd side of me. But the true benefit of doing this position is that I get to help those who may be too afraid to call and/or go to meetings or don’t have access to in-person meetings.

Have there been any surprises?

What hasn’t been surprising are the questions that we hear—none of which I haven’t heard before from a newcomer in person. Such as: Do you need to pay to join A.A? What are the requirements to join A.A? How do I know if I’m an alcoholic?

Have there been any opportunities for growth?

Yes, just like how there are opportunities to grow when you work the 12 Steps. You can change your outlook on life when you take the action to change that outlook. That, to me, is the greatest growth I have had in this position. Being able to see what can be improved upon and then improving it. Seeing that positive change cascades into my daily life.

Zachary O-M’s home group is Bay Area PPG which meets online on  Tuesdays at  8pm. Zoom ID: 846 7056 8303 PC: 22654. To volunteer for the Chatline, contact Zach at Chatline@eastbayaa.org