Service Resentments!

Is the concept of a Home Group dying? What is a Home Group anyway? Talk about it here.

Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Lali » Wed May 27, 2015 6:31 pm

Tosh wrote:
Lali wrote: Should I just tell the group conscience I'm done?

Yes. I've done similar myself and explained to the group why I wouldn't continue to do the service positions I was doing (I was doing too many and I got resentful about it); I was also under orders from my sponsor to let go of some of these service positions.

Just be honest with your group about your situation and step down.

And I hope whatever is ailing you gets better.

Have a hug. **hug**


Thanks for the advice. I've been hearing that the rule of thumb for how long one holds a position is about 2 years. Is it the same for ya'll in the UK?

As for my health issues, nothing life threatening, just quite painful and the good news is, there is hope now that it may very well be treatable!
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Tosh » Wed May 27, 2015 11:51 pm

Lali wrote: I've been hearing that the rule of thumb for how long one holds a position is about 2 years. Is it the same for ya'll in the UK?

The only long term service positions we have in my homegroup would be the Group Service Representative and for the Treasurer (because changing names on bank accounts is a pain in the bum); otherwise the positions change whenever we decide at a Group Business Meeting, but normally around the 6 month mark.

Having the same chairperson for two years (for example) would get boring; a fresh-face every-six-months in the hot seat keeps it green. Tea and Coffee can get swapped around at any time and it's a great way for a n00b to start doing some service. This is my favourite service position, I like fussing around, having short chats with lots of folk. No pressure too. Unfortunately I don't have it.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Jimid » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:27 pm

Oh my stars.
I thought for sure you were writing about our downtown fellowship here.
Then I realized it was a different town with the same people . . lol. :wink:
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Lali » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:02 pm

Yeah, Jimid. We bus everyone around. The membership of AA is actually rather small. lol!
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby desypete » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:37 am

in our area the intergroup nearly folded a few years back, as people were just not interested in getting stuck in and having a go, in many home groups they were all and still are on the look out for members to join them and help them with the running of things

many meetings are run by 2 or maybe 3 people doing the work and yet the meetings end up full of aa member's who just come along drink the tea, have there 5 mins of fame to show off how different they are today and then they go home

for me service work really opened up the fellowship of aa for me, i no longer felt like an outsider looking in but i also took everyone else inventories for them and was rude enough to point it out for them, ie telling them face to face they talk a good talk but do nothing at all to help out

which of course started many a resentment but the thing is i was told the very same thing when i was an aa member who came along shared my stuff and went home, it was what made me look at myself and look past myself

today i have to look past the people in aa who talk the talk and dont walk it to well, i have to let go of any bad feeling i have and just focus on what help i can give

remember we dont give out help looking for a reward or a pat on the head, we do it for what it brings to us, its no surprise that when i look around in the rooms and i have seen a lot of people come to aa, get sober, then change into an expert on how its all done and then they go missing

the people i still see around the rooms of aa today are the same people who are still active in aa they are still out there just trying to help others, the experts have long gone, i guess its to belittling for them to be washing cups or making tea or putting chairs out ?

i know there is no shortage of people who want to become a group leader i knew one guy who went around the meetings he was a group leader of a meeting and when he was moved over as we rotate the jobs he would go and join another group and end up group leader there

that guy hung around aa for 5 years and sadly is no longer around any more and is back out in the old ways of things

the old timers in aa that i know in our area some almost 50 years sober are still giving service, they are still in home groups they still do there bit and of course they are the guys who pushed me into service work as they understood it would be so much help for me to grow and it did

anyway the point is just do what you can do and dont worry about the others who dont its your own path your taking and if it makes you feel good inside of yourself then treasure it. dont spoli that good feeling by focusing on others who dont, remember we are powerless over others we just do what we can
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby johnd » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:52 am

Sad that not too many folks want to pick up the ball in A.A. service the OP writer shared about the responsibility that is involved with service work. I have done my fair share of Group work through the years. I was told also to never say NO when your turn comes. I volunteered as Secretary of a group when I was 4 years sober.. Then I became a Treasure for another home group 2 years later. I always went on speaking commitments to other groups and facilities.Then when I was 10 years sober I volunteered to work the phones at the Boston A.A. Central Service. Another group that had been struggling for volunteers to open and set up the meeting had voted for me to handle the groups concerns when I was 25 years sober.... The group really struggled with attendance and other members who couldn't be reliable to make coffee or get the secretary reports in order... I tried to keep it going without the support of members.. I literally had sat in that room without any one showing up. Tried to remember the poor suffering alcoholic who may need a meeting. It even came to the point where we couldn't even collect enough for the rent.. ( I had put in some of my own money to balance it off at times.") The church also had asked us to leave due to the need of the space. But the sad part was I had announced that we (or should I say I) need to discontinue the group due to lack of support. There were a few protests yet it was in the best interest that this group should be discontinued. I have no regrets only because I am in a city where there are meetings 3 times a day all within a radius of 5 miles... Service work has always been the lifeline to A.A. yet somehow the incentive to do this work has somehow gone by the wayside. Some groups are bigger and more popular than others which I still can see lack of Service work in them. But as long as there is a meeting place I suppose they will eventually get it that without Service the chance for Recovery and Unity may falter as well.. Just my thought. Thanks John D.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Niagara » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:57 am

I fell into service right away. I was raised to leave a place as I found it, so pot washing was just something I did at every meeting. Soon became milk/tea/coffee/biscuits monitor and I'm currently chairing. Dare I say people are just lazy? There's no good reason to not help with the cleanup, yet it falls to the same 2 or 3 people every time.

There are of course the ones who wouldn't wash a cup if their lives depended on it (far too good for such menial labours) The 'I'm entitled to this for free and therefore don't have to give anything back'' air often trails behind them as they take what they want and leave the rest (see what I did there :lol: )

I'd be lying if I said it's never bothered me, especially when I heard one young man say 'not cleaning up, that's for b*tches to do'. Hey ho. He was nearly wearing the contents of the cups i was carrying :oops: Fact is, doing service work never hurt me, and did in fact help me. What the others choose to do is their business. Ultimately they'll be the ones who don't reap the rewards for it. My sobriety is my business, theirs is theirs.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby scottcw » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:14 pm

After Dr. Bob died it seems that AA really made some drastic changes, like changing from "an honest desire to stop drinking" to "a desire to stop drinking". Also, the groups used to use the "little red book", a Dr. Bob favorite, but after he died it was done away with and Bill Wilson published the 12x12. Historically it seems that AA has never looked the same. And its the attitude and behavior, heck, the attendance and recovery rates also that prove it. Now, the word axiom means a "general truth." It is not something written in stone. Other people can and often are wrong and at fault. If meetings and service work are that big of a deal and are causing resentments, then don't go to them. Or, go to some other meetings, and possibly some other fellowships. That's what I do anyhow. I like Adult Children of Alcaholics and CODA also. Meetings are OK, but they are NOT the program. The program is in the 164pgs.

If you search for it there is a speaker recording of AA #3 Bill Dotson speaking in North Canton, Ohio. He can say this better than I can so look it up and listen to what he has to say about meetings and service work is my suggestion.

I would stop going to meetings if it were causing me to be resentful. There are many many other avenues where recovery is available
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Brock » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:43 am

scottcw wrote: Now, the word axiom means a "general truth." It is not something written in stone. Other people can and often are wrong and at fault.

I agree that the meaning of some words have been ‘watered down’ a little bit, but believe that this was to make the program more universally acceptable. In that section on page 90 of the 12 & 12 it goes on to say that “justified anger should be left to those better qualified to handle it.” In certain matters I believe it would be pretty impossible not to get angry. In step ten where this ‘spiritual axiom’ is found, we are also to promptly apologize when we are wrong, Father Martin makes a joke of those who go too far with this and who might say “I’m sorry my nose got in the way of your fist.” In the good book they speak of the best of men, who kicked down the tables the tax collectors had set up, I would guess He was a little angry then, and there are occasions when even the best of us will lose our cool.

The Bill Dotson speech appears to be pretty famous, I can’t find anywhere that lets you hear it free, they all offer it for sale, which is a little disappointing given its age and how useful it might be. But keep in mind that this thread was about service resentments, this statement stands out.
I would stop going to meetings if it were causing me to be resentful. There are many many other avenues where recovery is available

We have often discussed ‘voting with our feet’ when certain meetings are rubbing us the wrong way, but certainly not to stop going altogether. What people are upset about is the lack of volunteers for certain positions, and we hold on to the least desirable jobs because nobody will take over, and this can lead to resentments.
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