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Rumblings of Time Ahead

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55 minutes ago, skeptic said:

And that may be the end of your honeymoon, even as he goes on one.  Unless the spouse is already aware of the awful schedule and constant pressure, and they can keep the family income ahead of the game, you will lose him.  I have seen many divorces over the years of struggling and really potentially excellent DE's.  It destroys their marriages and often destroys their love of Scouting that led them there in the first place.  Some do come back, and those areas are fortunate to get them as volunteers; but many simply disappear and even if they have kids eligible, do not have them in the program.  Sad, but far too true.  Or so it seems to me.

 

SO.VERY.TRUE. A fellow pro told me the divorce rate is extremely high. One coworker was on wife #3 when I started, and was in the process of going through a divorce with her when I left. Another DE's wife stayed with him long enough to complete law school, and then filed for divorce as soon as she passed the bar. 

My own wife knew what she was getting into as we dated while I was a DE. She didn't realize the full physical, mental, and emotional stress the job causes until we got married and she moved in with me.  After 6 weeks of marriage, she gave me an ultimatum: her or the job.

And she could not understand why I continued to volunteer after I left, until our oldest got involved. She can handle the unit level, but anything on the district and council, forget  about it.

 

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So, I have to wonder why we feed into this as volunteers. 

I've made it a personal rule to never call our DE at night or on the weekends.  I would almost never ask a DE to come to a unit meeting in the evening.  I'm fine with the DE coming to a camporee or other event for a portion of the weekend.  No way would I ask a DE to camp at camporee.

I would never ask a DE to pick something up at the council store or make me photocopies at the office.  I ask my DE for advice on how to get something done, I don't ask them to do it for me.

A good DE is an amazing resource and they do a lot to help us.  It's of almost no consequence to me to do these things myself.

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@ParkMan ,

 

Our DFS required DEs to camp at camporeed. Heck one guy just got out of the hospital and on light duties was told he better be at camporee or start looking for a new job.

As for picking up supplies, yes that was an expected duty by the DFS. I vividly remember driving two hours round trip to drop off bb guns because the DFS was furious that I told someone they could pick them up whenever they could. 

I could go on, but I don't have the time. As you can see, different councils have different expectations. 

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27 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

@ParkMan ,

 

Our DFS required DEs to camp at camporeed. Heck one guy just got out of the hospital and on light duties was told he better be at camporee or start looking for a new job.

As for picking up supplies, yes that was an expected duty by the DFS. I vividly remember driving two hours round trip to drop off bb guns because the DFS was furious that I told someone they could pick them up whenever they could. 

I could go on, but I don't have the time. As you can see, different councils have different expectations. 

Gotcha.  That's too bad.

I think it would be smart for the BSA to look at the job responsibilities of the DE role and ask - how much of this do we really think adds value?  How much can we reasonably expect someone to do in  40 hours a week?  

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35 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Gotcha.  That's too bad.

I think it would be smart for the BSA to look at the job responsibilities of the DE role and ask - how much of this do we really think adds value?  How much can we reasonably expect someone to do in  40 hours a week?  

Key word; "reasonably".  That too often is the disconnect it seems.  I often wonder at what point the memory of the reality of the lower levels disappears for those that move up.  Not just in Scouting, but in my experience in retail management.

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26 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Gotcha.  That's too bad.

I think it would be smart for the BSA to look at the job responsibilities of the DE role and ask - how much of this do we really think adds value?  How much can we reasonably expect someone to do in  40 hours a week?  

I think you are looking at it wrong. As you’ve said many times, if the volunteers did the tasks they are supposed to do, the units would be running quality programs. But that comes down to training and guidance from district volunteers. Districts aren’t  doing their tasks correctly because Council (DE) aren’t recruiting the right talent and/or training the volunteers. DEs aren’t doing their tasks correctly because Council (DFE) isn’t training or directing them correctly. I don’t think the DEs job was designed to require more than 40 hours, but their bosses are doing it wrong. Find and Fix the problem, not the symptom. 

Barry

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48 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Gotcha.  That's too bad.

I think it would be smart for the BSA to look at the job responsibilities of the DE role and ask - how much of this do we really think adds value?  How much can we reasonably expect someone to do in  40 hours a week?  

I'm fairly sure it would be unreasonable to expect that job to be a 40-hour a week job.  I'd expect it to start at about 55.

Expectations like that are one of the reasons why I've never been willing to accept a cell phone paid for by my employer. 

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30 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I think you are looking at it wrong. As you’ve said many times, if the volunteers did the tasks they are supposed to do, the units would be running quality programs. But that comes down to training and guidance from district volunteers. Districts aren’t  doing their tasks correctly because Council (DE) aren’t recruiting the right talent and/or training the volunteers. DEs aren’t doing their tasks correctly because Council (DFE) isn’t training or directing them correctly. I don’t think the DEs job was designed to require more than 40 hours, but their bosses are doing it wrong. Find and Fix the problem, not the symptom. 

Barry

Well said.  The job is fine, the management of those in the job is wrong.  Yes - I see your point and fully agree.   

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When I was a scout, one of my mentors was a DE.  Outstanding gentleman, scouter, humorist.  He was waterfront director each summer, attended camporees, involved with every OA function, and well thought of by all.  He got things done.  Though he never said anything, I also noticed (even as a lunkhead teenager) what his job entailed.  Many long hours, mostly performing duties that were a long way from the campfire.  I also noticed that the SE was not very scout-like toward the DE.  Again, nothing was ever said by the DE to us scouts, but I saw the SE/DE dynamic as a multi-year camp staffer and lodge VP.  When the DE got married, he resigned from scouting.

So that was 40+ years ago.  Nothing has changed.  Unfortunately, I'd say the DE's lot in life has gotten worse.  And it won't change, barring wholesale updates in council structure.  After all, so the warped tradition goes, today's SEs (and above) ran the gauntlet and ate a lot of crow.  The SEs' empathy level for reshaping DE duties probably isn't very high.   Instead, they'll ensure the DE's apprenticeship will be equally as miserable as theirs.

Edited by desertrat77
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3 hours ago, elitts said:

I'm fairly sure it would be unreasonable to expect that job to be a 40-hour a week job.  I'd expect it to start at about 55.

Expectations like that are one of the reasons why I've never been willing to accept a cell phone paid for by my employer. 

According to Linkedin the average salary for a DE is $40,000.  At 55 hours a week that's under $14 an hour, which is a tad more than my kid gets at Best Buy part time.

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2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

According to Linkedin the average salary for a DE is $40,000.  At 55 hours a week that's under $14 an hour, which is a tad more than my kid gets at Best Buy part time.

It is also a little bit more than the average salary of a Catholic school teacher ($38,460).  If you calculate my hours, I make less than my state's minimum wage of $15 per hour.  A lot of people make less.  Anyone who has a steady job with benefits is lucky.  If they also enjoy their work as much as I do, they are very lucky.

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A DE’s Lot   (with apologies to Msrs. Gilbert and Sullivan)

When a DE’s not engaged in his employment (his employment)

or planning to go camping with his Troop (with his Troop)

his capacity for innocent enjoyment  (-cent enjoyment)

Can easily be knocked off for a loop (for a loop)

Our feelings we with difficulty smother (-culty smother)

When a DE duty’s to be done (to be done)

Ah, take one consideration with another, (with another)

A DE’s  lot is not a happy one.

 

Ooooohhhhh…

When a DE’s duty’s to be done, to be done,

Then a  DE’s  lot is not a happy one.

 

When the  helicopter parent is  not  hov’ring (is not a hov’ring)

When the Scout is not a-cutting off their thumb  (-off their thumb)

He loves to hear the  bug-a-ler a-bugling  (bugler bugling)

And enjoy his tea while sitting  on his bum (on his bum)

 

When the  District  has finally decided  (has decided)

Where the Camporee  should sit on  weekends  yet to come (yet to come)

Ah, take one consideration with another (with another)

A DE’s  lot is  not a happy one.

 

Ooooooohhhhh,

When  a DE’s   duty’s to be done, to be done, ,

His duty , sure,  is often not a happy one.  (happy one).

 

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20 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I think you are looking at it wrong. As you’ve said many times, if the volunteers did the tasks they are supposed to do, the units would be running quality programs. But that comes down to training and guidance from district volunteers. Districts aren’t  doing their tasks correctly because Council (DE) aren’t recruiting the right talent and/or training the volunteers. DEs aren’t doing their tasks correctly because Council (DFE) isn’t training or directing them correctly. I don’t think the DEs job was designed to require more than 40 hours, but their bosses are doing it wrong. Find and Fix the problem, not the symptom. 

Barry

Why do you think we made an outside hire for the Chief Scout Executive? Mosby can have the tough conversations about what roles need to go. 

I remember speaking to Mike Surbaugh at DOB (in person pro training). I truly believe he wanted to help streamline and simplify the role of the DE, but as a lifelong Pro, he ran into the problem of not being able to get rid of Sacred Cows. 

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If the professionals would actually trust the volunteers (they aren't bonded or we might get sued if something went wrong) to do the "mundane" tasks maybe the DE could focus on the important stuff.

Is the job title "executive" even mean anything or is it a "feel good" title?   Like the companies that have more VPs than workers.   The definition of an executive is  senior managerial responsibility in a business organization.

carebear told us in another post that the professionals don't really get any training on the people (volunteers) they are supposed to have managerial responsibility for or any real customer service training.

40 hours a week for an executive is wishful thinking....I have been an executive in many organizations most way more than any DE including the new CSE (or whatever) and thousands of employees.  Never saw a 40 hour or even a 60 hour week. 

JMHO

 

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