Today I had a job interview in “the city.” The woman I talked to runs a gardening program at a local school. Now she has grant money to start a job training program for the local adults. She wants to train the adults by teaching them to garden (i.e. having them clean up her school garden). So I’m sitting there in the garden, trying to answer her interview questions, thinking, did these people ask for a job training program? What kind of jobs do these people have now? Do they want jobs mowing lawns? Who is helping who here? Is this woman really helping the kids at the school? Or is it that the kids are healing her from a judgment-filled life in the world of fine art?

I worked for several years on education programs that were funded through grants. Unfortunately, it’s often impossible to fulfill the objectives of these grants because most non-profits can’t afford to thoroughly think through the program before they write the grant. Once the grant is funded they feel obligated to follow through and do the things they said they would, no matter what the real results for the community.

So I’m talking to this woman and I realize, she’s just promised “the city” a job training program and she has no idea how to create a job training program, so she needs to hire someone to create one for her. The only problem…She has most likely vastly underestimated the amount of time and money it takes to create a job training program. Anyone she hires will be paid poorly for a part-time position while being faced with enough work for a full-time position and still not have the time or resources she needs to be successful.

This is why I need to write anonymously, I can’t stop critiquing.

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