Yesterday was my regular day at the Rescue. My office closed early, so I figured I would take care of one room by myself and leave the others for the rest of the team, which would arrive between 4 and 5pm. I asked the Karen, Volunteer Director how we were staffed for Thanksgiving Day. She said that she would be there with one other person, Brett, who is a regular Thursday volunteer.
Back in the old days, two people could manage the daily chores. Sort of. If I remember the math correctly, we figured that one person could feed, water and clean the cages in 7 hours. So two would be there for 3 1/2 hours. Now the place is bigger and there are more birds. I would say three people is really the minimum. Four is decent. Five is good.
Most of the time, though, if one extra person can put in an hour it helps a lot. So I said I could put in an hour. Which generally means I will be there for 1 1/2 hours or maybe two. When I arrived at nine this morning, Karen said that Pat, Jose, Susanna and Bijan were all coming in addition to Brett. Word got around, it seems.
So I opened all of the rooms. Uncovering all of the cages, I now know, takes 20 minutes. The morning meds were already done. I pulled out all of the dirty water dishes, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. I snuggled the killer lovebird in a towel so that Susanna could clean out her cage. At some point I looked up and I had been there 90 minutes. Four of the five other volunteers had arrived and were working at a pretty quick clip.
It’s nice that no one had to be exhausted before hanging out with their families.