no, we are not overstretched.. just apathetic.
Nope, definitely overstretched. I wish I had time to be apathetic. Obviously I don't speak for everyone, but I'd say that most of the people reading and writing this thread are working their asses off.
Is it the rest of the community that's apathetic? Maybe. But when we're taking stuff on, we have to think about the time and resources we already have, not just what we project having if we could only make them less apathetic.
Private cliquey parties suck.
I don't know what cliquey parties you're talking about. Volunteer parties? These have been incredibly successful in the past 6 months to a year, especially in creating a sense of community amongst volunteers, which is what they're there for, in my opinion. Open parties with munters to be kicked out and things to be responsible don't work the same way.
For the past six months or so the Forest grime has really been getting to me. It's not particularly new, but I see it everytime a walk into the building: hand prints on walls, dirty couches, worn out furniture, moldy flowers in vases, dirty windows... I don't think any of it is new, but it does seem magnified. And I don't think paying someone a couple of hours/week to clean it would get rid of the problem either. Maybe it is magnified because there is just more space to deal with? I don't know.
It is hit and miss. I think it has always been hit and miss. If you want it to be less so, come and help in the kitchen so we can have more consistency. It's fucking difficult to train a new volunteer, clean up the mess from last night, do the orders and make sure the vollie making sandwiches isn't making them inedible - all at the same time. If I could always supervise food preparation, I think the consistency and quality would be really good. It is more or less good depending on the quality and consistency of the volunteers we have.
It is also a problem of equipment. We are working in a very small, ill-equipped space. Counter space is at a premium. We're making big vats of curry on hot plates, with dull knives, and rice sitting in its cooker half the day. I had better kitchen facilities last summer in the middle of a field.
Something really needs to be done with the display fridge. The temporary casing Chris made was great in the short term, but now it looks like hell, wastes loads of energy, only gives us half the amount of space, is difficult to clean inside and generally makes things look less appealing. This isn't going to stop the food from sucking, but I reckon the better things look and feel in the space, the more likely it is that quality things will happen.
With all that said, let's not forget the good stuff when we're evaluating things. Most days I am still amazed that we exist and that we are great for being here. It isn't all about being cool and new and more and hip. So long as we continue to exist and to provide an alternative and a home for so many people, I do not think we've failed. Yeah, let's discuss and evaluate, but let's not forget the work that everyone is putting in and all of the amazing things it is producing.
Pep talk over.