Working as a “Stepper” the last year or so has been incredibly rewarding. At its most fundamental level, going back to our founders, AA is about one alcoholic helping another and as a result, they both stay sober. And a key foundation of AA is service. Over many years of sobriety, I had developed many ways to enable me to have contact with AA newcomers. but when the pandemic hit, that became very difficult, until I connected with the Online Intergroup of AA and began corresponding with newcomer inquiries. I am retired and spent a considerable amount of time responding to clients in my career, so being a “Stepper” fits in well with my skill set. Although I only respond to ones that have been sent in the last ten hours (to spread the work around),I typically respond to, maybe, fifteen, e-mails a day. I have templates written for different countries and issues, but I usually customize the individual responses. For example I have templates for different countries with the contact information for Intergroups in that country and I also have a template focused on how to attend on-line meetings for people who are not familiar with that process. And I have a template that’s targeted to those who have been court-ordered including credentials for a meeting I belong to that does attendance verification as well as an explanation of why they can’t presume all meetings will do that.
I’ve even learned how to use Google Translate, since some of the inquiries come in languages other than English. All of this has been instrumental in helping me stay sober, help others, and keep a positive attitude, while only attending, usually, one person-to-person meeting a week.