By Paul S.

Paul S. served as Hotline Committee Chair from 1/1/20 – 3/31/21.

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

I heard about the position from attending the Intergroup meetings. I had been filling a hotline shift for 14 years and saw what the chairperson did, and though difficult, saw it was a rewarding and essential service. So I stepped up.  

What are the responsibilities of the position?

The Hotline is one of the first places that newcomers and even members come to get questions answered. The main responsibility is to make sure that each and every shift is staffed. This includes ensuring continuity between shifts, keeping track of open shifts that need filling, and covering shifts when no one else steps up. (My wife Miriam handles the heavy lifting on this last item and I would like to say, “Thank you, Miriam “.)

Other responsibilities include: Counseling Hotline volunteers on calls they receive, routing 12th step calls to 12th step volunteers, handling tech issues from volunteers that are not tech savvy (mostly regarding accessing Zoom meetings), and fulfilling the duties as a Board member (this would fill another article for another time).

What do you like most about it?

I like that it takes me out of my own head. I get to either directly help people get to their meetings or I help our volunteers to do the same. I have developed friendships with past chairpersons, volunteers, newcomers, fellow members, and sponsees that never would have happened if I hadn’t been doing service for the Hotline.

Have there been any surprises?

I did not know just how much time I would need to spend in my duties as a Board member. In all honesty, if I had known how much time those responsibilities would require, I would have seriously reconsidered my decision.

Have there been any opportunities for growth?

When I think of growth, I remember an embroidered sign that hung at my parents’ house. The first thing you saw as you entered their home, the sign read, “The biggest room in the house is the room for Improvement “.

I originally took a Hotline shift because I hated talking to people on the phone. I figured talking to people calling the Hotline would get me through that defect and it has.  

Before the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Hotline did not cover the phones 24/7; Central Office answered the phone during business hours. When it was decided last year that Central Office needed to move, I suggested the Hotline could step up to 24/7 service—at least until a new location. was found. That has turned into a permanent service.

Anything else you’d like to add?

In closing I would like to say thank you to all of you who have helped me, and served on the Hotline. I could not have done any of this on my own. I also thank my H.P. who is constantly putting opportunities in my path that force me to grow. I look forward to more growth going forward.

 

If you are interested in volunteering for the A.A. Central Office Hotline, contact phonechair@eastbayaa.org for more information.