#Help Through the Eyes of a Volunteer
- What is a volunteer?
- Why do we do this?
- Some advice for new volunteers (from a volunteer)
#Help is, as the name suggests, the official general help channel on Undernet. Here you can get help with IRC clients, operating systems, or even your computer hardware and software.
It is one of the most respected help channels on Undernet so you can be sure that you will get the right information and answers to your questions.
Since the name of this article is about and for volunteers, we have to understand that #help is a channel full of volunteers, and if someone thinks that we get paid or get other rewards for our work, they are wrong.
This is a free *service* given by ordinary people,in their free time. If you think that you have a right to help here, you are wrong again, consider it a privilege, so try to enjoy it.
2. What is a volunteer?
A volunteer is not like an employee, because the employee works for money and volunteer works for fun and a good cause.
In my opinion, volunteers should get from the users the same respect as they give the channel ops, after all an Op is a volunteer too.
3. Why do we do this?
Each volunteer helps for his own reasons or maybe just wants to spread his knowledge to other users.
So I've gathered some statements from "older" volunteers to see how and why they began to help:
- <c-wolf> "Well... I began on #help by leaving the chaos and opportunism of #cservice and join a decent and conservative community of helpful people, it seems to me that #help kept over all the years the real sense of Undernet and in the channel, I am impressed by the teamwork of OPs and volunteers, which I didn't find anywhere else."
- <YounGun> "I first joined #help approximately 2 years ago. I help on this channel, because we are faced with multiple problems, from various areas (windows, linux... etc.) and I like variety ;)"
- <tomMytee> "Well, I can say that I'm the *newest older* volunteer on #help. I joined #help 4 months (June, 2004) ago and since then I help in here. I join there almost day and I can say that is one of the best help channels that exists on Undernet."
Why? Well, they start to be rude to the users (just because you are a volunteer, this doesn't mean that you can be rude to other users, nobody forces *us* to do this so try to be respectful. Also, some help hoping that someone will give them access there (if you are there to help remember that asking for ops or access is not considered proper).
Helping in this channel is nice, but sometimes we get surprised after we help a user, although we answered his question he becomes rude to *us*.
ADVICE for the ones that get helped:
please remember that we do this for pleasure and we want to make your stay on the "IRC world" to be easier, sometimes a simple "Thank you" will do fine. If you Get respect please Give some respect in return.
4. Some advice for new volunteers (from a volunteer)
- The first advice and maybe the most important is to answer a question ONLY if you are 120% sure of the answer.
You won't get anywhere by giving wrong information.
- You must know the channel rules (No help with warez, bnc, mp3) and know how the channel works.
(example: If a user joins the channel, don't ask him if he needs help just say hi to him, and wait for his question; if he needs help be sure that he will ask for it.)
- Try to be patient, if someone doesn't understand what you told him, explain the answer to him again.
- Remember not to help in private.
If a user asks you something in private, ask him nicely to state his question in the main channel.
Helping in private is not allowed, since, if you give wrong information nobody will see it.
Maybe you don't know how to answer the question, but if the question is asked in the main channel we all can see the question and give the best answer.
- Don't use inappropriate language, bad words, or "l33t" words.
Don't use EXCESSIVE CAPS.
And use English ONLY; if a user doesn't understand, try to redirect him to a channel that uses the language that he speaks (Example: #turquaz -for Turkish help, #ajutor -for Romanian help, #ircayuda -for Spanish help, etc.)
- If someone makes a mistake, try to correct that mistake and don't start a fight with him, let the channel ops take care of any disputes in the channel.
- If a user joins the channel and starts to be rude to you, try not to fight with him, use /ignore .
Channel ops will handle this too.
- Don't advertise other channels or websites
- If a channel op gives you advice, it's wise to accept that advice and use it well, they want, like us, to give best help we can.
- if you don't know the answer to a question, do not attempt to answer it.
- If you are away, /part the channel for the moment and rejoin when you are at the keyboard (Idle, parking, aways are NOT allowed in #help)
In the end I want to thank you for your patience and for your interest in reading this article.
Also many thanks to :
- C-wolf: for the statement and for your efforts.
- YounGun: for the statement and for your efforts.
- #help Ops: for their confidence in the volunteers and for their care brought to the channel.
- Also many thanks to our other volunteers and keep up the good work guys.
tomMytee - #help volunteer