ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

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No.3
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ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by No.3 »

Alot of AAs are still sick, a few are scheming and conning in the rooms much the same way they did when they were using. fwiw, in NA we call that sh*tbag behavior.

In one of my regular meetings, this older woman routinely contacts any fit young men to help her (moving furniture, 3-4hrs per man) "charity" - she even has a great "service work" speech, covering what it is: self-seeking purpose and selfish benefit.

In the past, she has regularly approached my sponsees for her free labor projects. She was sneaky then; it did create a brouhaha once, which turned into a godsend: I fired 2 sponsees as the result. I then addressed it in the most general of terms next meeting. Apparently, this wasn't news to anyone either. But no one warned me she'd done this before!

It didn't bother me afterwards, the matter dropped. Unfortunately, she's just called me with the same old ploy. I suppose that's at least the respect of 'going thru the sponsor' this time lol! She will undoubtedly try to rope in my sponsees after next meeting, and I will have to address it w/ her& them.

How do you deal with that sort of predatory misbehavior in your f2f AA groups?
"The Group demands total loyalty to the inner group. Some have had to leave the movement because of the Groups' demands which conflict with truth or duty." The Oxford Groups by Herbert H. Henson, 1933, pages 73-74.

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whipping post
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by whipping post »

Most of our bunch behaves pretty well. When I was fresh I did see a sponsor have a sponsee clean out her garage. I wondered at the time if that was normal. Thank god it wasn't.

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avaneesh912
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by avaneesh912 »

Fit young men
I am reminded of Eurythics song "Here comes the rain again". Some people want to abuse and some want to be abused. 13th stepping in AA is very common just like it happens in other organizations. We just have to make people aware of this. But again we don't run the world.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Spirit Flower
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by Spirit Flower »

I've helped people move and they've helped me move.
We give each other rides to medical appointments. And help after surgery.
If an older single woman needs help, it is provided.
This is fellowship to us.
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No.3
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Re: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by No.3 »

Thank you SpiritFlower!
In selecting my own sponsor, I'd been informed that for over five years once a week he'd driven over to a retirement home to pick up an elderly AA (& his wheelchair) and bring him to his homegroup. Until the infirm member's death. That kind of extraordinary service work and Fellowship suggested he was the man for me!

otoh, a manipulative and opportunistic imposition really wouldn't be the same thing to me, but maybe your implication (?) is that it's all "in the mind of the beholder"? Hmm, that's a different perspective to consider.

Does Altruism have no limits? If so, I can easily imagine how that 'Responsibility Pledge' might get misused and over-interpreted as well. I'm not comfortable with "outside issues" thrown at me (or naive newcomers) as either expectations or responsibilities. I know LOTS of people with lots of (other) needs, and conniving narcissists aren't rare in the rooms either. If AA isn't a bank nor employment agency, it's likewise not a free moving service. (And what 'friends do with friends' is their own business, obviously.)

I support this discussion of appropriate boundaries - it's most useful, in fact. Thanks!
"The Group demands total loyalty to the inner group. Some have had to leave the movement because of the Groups' demands which conflict with truth or duty." The Oxford Groups by Herbert H. Henson, 1933, pages 73-74.

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Players only love you when they're playin'

Post by No.3 »

avaneesh912 wrote:I am reminded of Eurythics song "Here comes the rain again". Some people want to abuse and some want to be abused. 13th stepping in AA is very common...
I'm old enough to remember the correct title is "Sweet dreams (are made of this)" and maybe suggest a more apt classic-rock rain lyric? From "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac.

In an older pop cult reference from theatre/film, Blanche Dubois (in A Streetcar Named Desire) appears as a Borderline Personality Disorder/Histrionic Personality Disorder alcoholic case. I think that was the playwright's intent, anyway. No surprise she shows up in a meeting, from time to time...
"The Group demands total loyalty to the inner group. Some have had to leave the movement because of the Groups' demands which conflict with truth or duty." The Oxford Groups by Herbert H. Henson, 1933, pages 73-74.

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Tosh
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Re: Players only love you when they're playin'

Post by Tosh »

No.3 wrote:No surprise she shows up in a meeting, from time to time...
So she just takes, never gives?

Somewhere in the world there's a tree that's tirelessly producing oxygen for this lady to breathe.

That lady owes that tree an apology.
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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clouds
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by clouds »

There was a lady like that in a group I attended for years, eventually she got sober! :)
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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Niagara
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Re: Players only love you when they're playin'

Post by Niagara »

Tosh wrote:
Somewhere in the world there's a tree that's tirelessly producing oxygen for this lady to breathe.

That lady owes that tree an apology.
:lol: you kill me Tosh.

Reading this with interest. It's GOOD to get into service and do stuff for others...and I invariably find it goes one of two ways. I either get out of my own head and enjoy the opportunity, get a lot out of it...or I find myself getting resentful and feeling put upon. I think both depend on my perspective on that particular day, if I were to be honest, and on the situation. If someone is in genuine need of help, I'm all over it. If they're swinging the lead, not so much. I try not to do for others what they're perfectly capable of doing for themselves.

Would I use a sponsee as free labour? Absolutely not. My motives would be far less than pure if I were to do that. I'd be more likely to encourage em to take up service in AA, rather than for me personally. If they were to offer, perhaps. Depending on the situation. Since I had a very bad habit of being over dependent on others for much of my life, I'm very reluctant to relinquish my independence these days. Does me good to solve my own problems.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by Lali »

I do love stories of AAs helping other AAs. We had an AA member who was about to be evicted from her home. She was an extreme hoarder who slept in a tent in her driveway because there was nowhere in the house to sleep. Her sponsor asked for volunteers and the cleanup got done. The thing was she asked people for help, didn't demand it. Those who volunteered where people who genuinely wanted to help.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by kdub720 »

I like this topic. I am in recent recovery as of July. I attend an early morning meeting, and all was well. Until some regulars started turning me away. I like the stories and experiences you can learn from an older AA member, yet pressure to do anything is not good for recovery. I have a guy who has the best intentions, but is constantly asking me if i am working the steps? If I have found a sponsor? or if I am taking my recovery seriously?
This type attitude pushes me away. I think some of the expectations and aspects of traditional AA may be out dated.

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avaneesh912
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

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This type attitude pushes me away. I think some of the expectations and aspects of traditional AA may be out dated.
Really? So, do you really understand what powerlessness means?
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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PaigeB
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by PaigeB »

The Steps saved my sobriety and therefore my life. I did them with a sponsor. I will always ask newcomers if they have a sponsor and are working the Steps.

Keep coming back kdub! It works if you WORK it!
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Tosh
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by Tosh »

kdub720 wrote: This type attitude pushes me away. I think some of the expectations and aspects of traditional AA may be out dated.
I think if we blow too hard, at the wrong times, our prospects pull their coats in tighter.

The only requirement to be a member of A.A. is to have the desire to stop drinking. If someone's annoying you, there's nothing wrong with being honest with them about it.

And just keep coming back, mate.
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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avaneesh912
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Re: ACCOUNTABILITY: "Service Work" vs. Using the Newcomer

Post by avaneesh912 »

aspects of traditional AA may be out dated.
Thats so funny. You are in recovery just few months and you are judging the traditions. Thats the nature of our mind. Its job is to criticize, defend, attack other idea which impacts its survival. Perhaps the gentleman as a responsible member of the fellowship want to sincerely help you understand the true concepts of powerlessness.

One lady in our group went to 90 in 90 and faded out and few months later at a convention, someone called her a pussy for not drinking. Immediately her mind said "no one calls you a pussy, show them who you are" and she took a drink, drank for next few months. Luckily she didn't go dying. Now she is a sober member of alcoholics anonymous and she lost her father in terrible accident but because of the power she tapped into, she was able to survive the tragedy.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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