First day

5 Jun 2020
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I decided I want to get some routine and routine in my life and to help others, so I decided to volunteer at local charity shop.

It is a long process after ten pages, two referees and many chats I was allowed to work my first day.

For past 14 years I ran my own business so have not had to follow someone else’s instructions, but I thought how hard could that be.

I was hoping I could sort the books but too many people want to do that.

I was put in the clothes section which required sorting, folding, hanging, clothes. The first lady who was showing me the ropes was quite laid back and said there was no right or wrong way. Then an hour later a woman shouted at me because I had put a top on the rack which to me was a warm winter top but, I was told it was a summer top.

 

When I was given a thirty minute lesson on which hanger for which clothes. I was feeling quite ignorant by now.  Anyone  who has read my blogs know that tidiness, organisation and domestic skill are not in my repertoire of skills.

I will try to learn more about clothes and be more patient when people give me feedback.

I found changing from being in charge to volunteering and following instructions hard. I wonder how others have coped with a change in their work or personal life or both. 

Please share your thoughts in coping with change. 

Leah

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Comments

Molly

June 6, 2020, 1:04 a.m.

Hi Leah I still get emotional when I think about what happened in your life and I admire you so much for trying to get on with things. I really do. I have experienced myself how hard it is to get a voluntary job these days. Then you get one and have to cope with people who maybe on some power trip? There is usually always one! I read from your blog that you are blaming yourself and I don’t think you should be at all. I cannot help wondering why you are putting yourself under unnecessary pressure. If you don’t like the job, then you don’t have to do it. There are many angles for me relating to this. Too many to say really. So in general terms, I have been my ‘own boss’ in the past, that was going to be hard to beat. Not like you owning a shop, but I had an important role, as you did. I have also volunteered and quite frankly it was a disaster. Due to bitchy women wanting to rule the roost. So much more I could say about that and other experiences. It might get better in the shop. It might not. If it doesn’t, you can walk away at any time. There will always be something else. Molly xx

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 7:31 a.m.

Molly, thanks for sharing your experience and your kind words. Yes I can walk away.

The Gardener

June 6, 2020, 8:58 a.m.

Molly, I think Leah and I suffer the same problem - feeling we have something to offer and want to help. Then you are defeated either by apathy of insurmountable obstacles..

Molly

June 6, 2020, 1:29 p.m.

Story of my life Gardener!

the room above the garage

June 6, 2020, 4:59 a.m.

Goodness me Leah, I think I might have told them where to stuff their position. I’m a fairly patient person but really...there’s no way clothes will have very much order or way to be in a charity shop because there’s only one of each thing! I’m glad you’ve taken a step to find structure and I hope it brings that. Perhaps a teddy will find you there. Love ratg xx. (p.s. thank you to those who left me kind words the other day, I didn’t reply on the thread but your words were hugely appreciated xx)

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 7:39 a.m.

Ratg Thanks for your email. Leah

Cathy

June 6, 2020, 6:09 a.m.

Leah, i too volunteered to work in a charity shop but the lady who recruited me after a conversation at the till then disappeared to look after her brother who sadly died. I turned up early full of enthusiasm but couldn’t get in as the door was shut and the woman who was already there didn’t open up for me as she didn’t know me so I had to wait. Eventually I was told I’d be looking after the books which suited me enormously but then I found out about the strict pecking order and the “Queen Bee” who took it on herself to train me. She told me to tidy up the bookshelves and to sort out the books in the back room with minimal training and was usually extremely critical. She wasn’t in charge as she was only a volunteer like everyone else but she definitely wanted all of us to think she was. After a while I decided that the place was really badly run and itched to reorganise the whole hierarchy but was obviously unable to do that from my lowly position. Eventually I decided that it wasn’t a good ‘fit’ for me and left after three weeks. I admire you for sticking it out and I hope it works out for you and that you don’t find it too frustrating. Best of luck Cathy.

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 7:42 a.m.

Cathy I am sorry the volunteer work did not work for you. I think I will be ok if I stick with it.

Sally

June 6, 2020, 6:29 a.m.

Hi Leah. Good to see you here. How awful this job sounds and my first reaction was what a waste of your skills. I hate working under the conditions you describe with people who undermine you. Could you not find a small independent bookshop with likeminded people who’d appreciate the skills you have? And where you are rewarded for doing what you do, because a bad fit is soul destroying .And I’m not talking jumpers here, haha! Yes, my last job was a bad fit. For reasons I won’t go into now, I walked. I’d never done that before but it was a matter of integrity. Ten years on I do not regret the decision. I was worth more. Even if it entailed a substantial financial loss. Good luck, Leah.

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 7:44 a.m.

Sally, Thanks fir your post. I think sometimes it takes a while for the fit to suit us and at times it never dies.

Jul

June 6, 2020, 6:49 a.m.

Hello Leah. Sadly in my experience voluntary jobs attract bossy types who want to be and eventually are in charge. I've never stayed long in any voluntary job for all the reasons you experienced,with one exception. Although I'm not religious, I worked in the church shop once a week for years. The church building was beautiful with lots of pale stone inside and a very peaceful place to spend an hour or two. I was often on my own with the Verger having his lunch in the vestry. He didn't really want to be disturbed during his lunch hour but was happy to chat if I wanted to. We had many tourists come in and I sometimes had to sell tickets for the church tower and show them where the entrance was. No one ever bothered me and if I put an item back in the wrong place or couldn't work the till for some reason and it jammed, or the takings didn't match the till receipts, it didn't matter. The verger said they were a caring employer!! I left after many years as I wanted to go to a singing group which was on at the same time I worked in the church. I had wanted to join the singing for a year or so but felt loyalty to the church shop but in the end the verger retired and it all changed so I seized the opportunity and left. I do hope your volunteering experience improves. Don't put up with being told off. Just walk away. Books are your love in life so don't pretend to love second hand clothes. Well done for starting to try to adapt to a new life. It's good to see your name here. Jul xx

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 7:47 a.m.

Jul thanks for your kind words. Volunteering can be hard but I need to be less sensitive and more patient.

Jul

June 6, 2020, 7:59 a.m.

Who says you need to be less sensitive and more patient??? jul xx

Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:40 a.m.

I think I over react at times jul and I am impatient.

Jul

June 6, 2020, 9:53 a.m.

I'm the same actually. Love Jul xx

the room above the garage

June 6, 2020, 11:02 a.m.

I agree Jul and they should be more sensitive to you Leah! Xx

Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:39 p.m.

Thanks ratg and jul, I am always being told I am too sensitive that I am not the only one with problems. People have told me this for years.

Daisy

June 6, 2020, 7:04 a.m.

Dear Leah- I can only admire the steps you are taking. It does seem that the clothes rules are officious and overbearing- but who am I to say when my wardrobe has a liberated system which means it is somewhat difficult to find things. Small people who are clinging to power by being condescending- if you thought it was a winter top then others would. There is no law that defines winter vs summer. Hopefully the big goal of finding a good path forward is happening and your creativity will flourish in more fertile pastures. Take care x

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 7:58 a.m.

Daisy Thanks. I guess people need rules

Kate

June 6, 2020, 7:13 a.m.

Dear Leah, My heart went out to you reading your post and at the same time, I felt quite angry at the way you were treated. How insensitive and totally lacking any respect or compassion for you! It reminded me of my elderly mother in her 80's at the time volunteering at the local charity shop, and saying she felt really keen to learn how to use the till, and be able to chat with customers and help them. So a frail and underweight lady was asked to put heavy clothes on the clothes rail, and it exhausted her. Looks like the dreaded clothes rail is a job that no-one likes doing, so the newbies get it! Find something that you have that interest in, like you mention, books. You want to be somewhere where you are truely appreciated and not the subject of jealousy for your skills! And at the end of the day, you want to be able to enjoy the job, and for it to give you a good feeling for doing it - Bless you!

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 8:01 a.m.

Kate, sorry about your mum. I may have over reacted as there are nice people working there,

Valerie

June 6, 2020, 7:35 a.m.

Hello Leah, This will have many people laughing/grimacing with recognition.I have nearly always been freelance/self-employed,and work better that way.I am not a team person,I like to be left alone to get on with things. When I was a volunteer and trustee of a charity,I was also for a time the line manager for the 5 shops we had.The paid manager let some of her volunteers have her jumping through hoops to accommodate their whims and demands.I asked her once why a particular shop had closed one day.It was because the only two people available that day had fallen out,and refused to ever work the same shifts together.Little cliques form,someone becomes the "baby clothes" expert,and gets huffy if another invades her turf. I hate to say this,but we women can be the worse when it comes to such pettiness.The needs of the good cause take second place to their Queen Bee complex. xx

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 8:05 a.m.

Valerie, I think people whether male or female can be bossy and petty and controlling,

Oli

June 6, 2020, 9:52 a.m.

Val, like you when you look at what I've done and how I work it definitely looks like I'm not a team person but I genuinely think it's not teams as such, it's more the issue of getting a team I fit with -- but it has happened! Like Leah I don't think any gender has a predisposition towards pettiness. Personal experience colours a lot here I guess.

Valerie

June 6, 2020, 11:47 a.m.

You generally get more female volunteers in this part of the country Oli,the only exception is my reading to the blind,where the ***** are fairly equal.I have found something rather bitchy and hormonal seems to kick in with a lot of women together.I know all too well that many men can be a pain,but overall the saying "The female of the species is deadlier than the male" rings true for me.xx.

Molly

June 6, 2020, 2:21 p.m.

I definitely agree Val. Women can be petty and bitchy and jealous and cliquey. I much prefer male company. They are straightforward and women are complicated! I’m thinking of my experiences and I cannot imagine men acting the way some women do ***

Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:37 p.m.

Valerie and Molly, I suppose we base our opinions on our experiences. For me personally I have found unpleasantness in both ***** but maybe a tad more bullies in men and a tad more bossiness in women, Thanks for your posts .

Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:41 p.m.

Oli I am. It a joining group person. I try to join groups then I try to avoid going. Does that make sense. .?

Molly

June 6, 2020, 10:52 p.m.

Oh yes, no denying that men can be this and that and the other. I hate stereotyping but a lot of women are catty and men just are not that way inclined. Men call a spade a spade or don’t see the spade. Women keep digging with the spade xx

Leah

June 7, 2020, 9:28 p.m.

In Australia we use a shovel!, I think some people we go straight to the point once while others remind you of your faults all the time in a work environment. I also think if I appear unsure and vulnerable people pick up in that, so now I will be brave on out on emotional armour. Thanks Molly.

Molly

June 7, 2020, 10:38 p.m.

Stand tall with confidence and reap the benefits. I was told to do that once and it actually worked. I was also told to have a more bouncy voice, not easy when you don’t have a bouncy voice. But now I pick up the phone and say ‘oh hello there!! thank you for calling!! How are you!!!’ ‘Oh that’s wonderful!! Me? Yes I’m absolutely fine!!‘

Dido

June 6, 2020, 8:04 a.m.

H Leah, What a stalwart! I would be out the door! It's good to read Valrie's post. People can be pettyand it reminds me of Victoria Wood's 'Housewife 49' on TV. I have volunteered but it was a quiet experience stroking and playing with cats to get them ready for rehoming. Much fun and pleasure

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:39 a.m.

Fido thanks for your post. I usually give things a go.

Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:41 a.m.

Sorry Dido. Auto correct

Molly

June 6, 2020, 2:28 p.m.

What a great job Dido!! Xx

Liz

June 6, 2020, 8:23 a.m.

Hi Leah, oh I read your blog and felt an inward groan and a flutter of anger. As a self employed person totally in control of my professional world since April 2014, we came up here at the end of 2016. 2018 was a true low point career wise. Housekeeping in a large hotel up here on minimum wage working with people who just pick pick picked at everything you did - initially you were the new one and able to be shaped and thought wonderful compared to the others but then the veneer drops. Saw lots of things that I didn't like, some I couldn't believe and the most dreadful bullying. My experience of volunteering in the past however has been different and actually led me to like it much more than paid employment. But perhaps I was lucky in that respect alone. Just before I started my course to become a celebrant, I worked in two truly dreadful jobs, a contract in a social services department, totally overworked and off sick with stress twice and the other was a dreadful cleaning company. Cleaning and housekeeping seems to attract a cerrtain sort of nitpicky mindset and also on the flipside, colleagues that don't pull their weight but because they are "in" with the right person, they get favours. Perhaps it's like those charity shops. I should have known better about the cleaning but because of lack of work and not being known in the industry up here after we moved, I had to take three separate housekeeping jobs - pretty much all disastrous in their own way - but what annoyed me was I was good, at least I thought so... but just never enough... not quite quick enough, not quite ever enough. Because I had been a lone wolf and managed my own business successfully (especially down South) my mental health took a bit of a battering and because no one saw me, (catch 22) I didn't get asked to take services. I do think there is a lot of jealousy and it's hidden, but comes out in odd ways because the people feel threatened. At no point have I ever wanted to come home from a day's work thinking "good, I've mentally dismantled that person"... but it seems that with power comes a hunger to do so. But it isn't really power, it's only in their head. I also think that if you have to go through too many hoops to get something quite straightforward, that's quite telling too. You know what you can manage and what just isn't worth it and you can walk away if you choose to do so, knowing that you did your best. Sad thing is that often the complete tw*ts stay and the good ones go. You have been through so much and have so much more to give, sometimes it's not just worth the effort for those chasing something that we ourselves would never want - that so-called power. We are worth so much more. They will never change but we can, and we already have. Wishing you much strength, love and hugs from the Highlands to do what is right for you xx and sorry for the ramble...

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:42 a.m.

Thanks for sharing your experience as going from self employed to working for others is hard.

Liz

June 6, 2020, 5:19 p.m.

No worries Leah. It definitely is! x

Benjamin

June 6, 2020, 8:39 a.m.

Leah; I want to bring a different focus - being who I am - to discuss... used clothes. I spent quite a few years wearing a uniform (yes, military) and other than that, since many years before, it was jeans and t-shirt or sweatshirt. Now, I'm in a position that I wanted to do differently - jacket and tie - and I made my life more complicated by losing 30 lbs or so. I bought a few sports coats on sale and had a few dress shirts and slacks, a couple odd ties... but assembling clothing each day that didn't demonstrate that lack was challenging. Then I discovered vintage and found that I could, with serious patience and quite a bit of learning, even scholarship, find items which required some tailoring to fit perfectly, even my frame - and would have cost a thousand, more for a jacket, more for shoes, at 10% of the price. The added benefit is that if something looks like you've owned it a while, and communicates that you are comfortable in it - even better. Now I have nearly 20 jackets, two dozen ties, several pairs of Northampton shoes, all of the highest quality. Quality I wouldn't have really recognized or understood a year ago. But this takes a tremendous amount of, as I said, scholarship. Learning. Separating the wheat from the chaff and understanding how value is contextual. Understanding what can and should be tailored. Leather care. Things that the average customer in a thrift shop might not understand but could benefit from. I guess some of that was triggered by your comment about hangers. I've learned that having 20" wide shoulders, I require hangers which are that wide as well - and have greater span, to not deform or damage the jackets. Who knew? But you might - and people can benefit from your esoteric knowledge, if you choose to acquire it. All of this doesn't necessarily assist with the interpersonal dynamics of the shop. I'm sure others will point out ideas and support you there. But vintage clothing can be a fascinating, practically important, and difficult area of expertise. Books - of course - are a life of study on their own.

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:44 a.m.

Benjamin what a fascinating perspective you have on clothes.

The Gardener

June 6, 2020, 9:07 a.m.

Leah, don't give up, but you will need a thick skin. I did Samaritans duties for 5 years - logistics prevented you 'choosing' your team mate - not recommended anyway, gossip and forget the clients. I gave up just for your reason - the 'Queen Bee' syndrome. I am not being catty, but we were in a very wealthy area, with loads of bored women. We were 'vetted' for Sams, of course. But two ladies started to think they knew more than the clients advisers, and were acting against their best interests, and against Sams doctrine. You listen, give information, never advise or criticize. Cont

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:45 a.m.

I have thi k skin but from eating chocolate.

Sue

June 6, 2020, 9:08 a.m.

Hi Leah, I too left a fairly senior position (redundancy) and volunteer in a charity shop. I still do part-time where I am in control. I actually enjoy not having the responsibility in the shop and just walk in and say 'where do you want me'? Most of the staff are lovely although like you say there are people who do specific jobs but generally that is fine. We put jewellery aside for one lady who loves mending and remaking bits, someone else does all the stamps etc. We also have one who acts like a boss although she is a new recruit., she has upset several people including me, but largely we can ignore her! Hope it works out for you leah, I've been there 13 years and still love it.

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:47 a.m.

Sue, thanks for your positive outlook.I will try to keep on with the shop as people are friendly.

The Gardener

June 6, 2020, 9:14 a.m.

France does not have charity shops, although lots empty property here. Back to Sams, our duties were 3/4 hours, and nights for those who could. We'd dress comfortably - when I started, it was a converted site hut. But the 'Queen Bees' would come dressed for a cocktail party - give a cursory look at the log, then regale their co-volunteer of their social life. Perhaps I am being catty? Looking back, they just had to be 'top of the heap' in any circle, however lowly. Most volunteers super, often, by hints, you found they had been in very 'low places' themselves, and wanted to give something back. Good luck, Leah. xx

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:49 a.m.

TG thanks for your post. Yes every. volunteer has a story.

Susannah

June 6, 2020, 9:42 a.m.

Hi Leah It seems that your blog has touched a seam that many have delved in. When I left full time employment and went self employed I made a conscious decision to allow time for volunteering. I started at the local hospice, helping with the admin in the volunteers office. It didn't suit me at all. The hours were strict: Tuesday morning 9:30-12:30. One woman in the office wasn't the brightest and told me off if I moved electronic files directly from one folder to another, not using the long winded process she had learned years ago. Rather than learning from me (an IT professional for 27 years) she insisted I used her method. The atmosphere felt like I was permanently walking on egg shells, so I left. I then volunteered at a local theatre company, whose work I love. They hadn't had an office volunteer before, so it was the matter of working out which of my skills were useful to them. I still go there regularly (more since I retired, though, of course, nothing right now). I do so many interesting things - researching for coming productions, writing contracts, lots of IT stuff, bar stock taking, making poster displays, dressing the christmas tree... and quite a lot of envelope stuffing. They are so welcoming and really make me feel part of the team, including inviting me to the company and cast xmas meal. I guess it comes down to some people are nice, and they create a welcoming atmosphere, and others aren't so nice, or are so insecure that they take it out on others. Remember that there are so many ways to volunteer, so if that shop isn't a pleasant place to be, choose another way to spread the love. Most arts and sports organisations welcome volunteers with open arms. Nobody has the right to shout at you. Perhaps if she does that again, point out that you are all volunteers together and not to raise her voice at you again. If pushed, tell her that she is displaying an unprofessional attitude to her fellow shop workers. I doubt that she likes to take criticism as much as she is keen to dish it out. Hang in there if you feel it is worth it, else find somewhere else who will embrace your skills and enthusiasm.

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:50 a.m.

Susannah thanks. I will hang in there.

Oli

June 6, 2020, 9:43 a.m.

My heart goes to you Leah. I don’t enjoy following the daft rules of other people — jeez, I have enough daft rules in my own mind and learning how to subvert those rules has been really good for me — and I like helping clients spot and subvert theirs. But the workplace is different because the people there generally don’t appreciate you subverting their rules. The way I coped with this problem was to work autonomously as soon as I could; to work part-time; and work for myself the rest of the time. (Of course I’m not saying all rules are daft btw.) For me, knowing that my discomfort is with pointless rules is helpful. I’m okay with change cos it can often be for the better therefore change is not necessarily the problem. But people are riddled with, governed by, and run by their own rules. So when you work with people, that’s what you sometimes have to deal with. Personally I don’t cope with that stuff very well so I usually leave if there’s too much of it going on.

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:51 a.m.

Thanks Oli you always give me something to think about, Sure my mind too is full of daft rules!

Bearofliddlebrain

June 6, 2020, 12:40 p.m.

Hi Leah, Well, what a kind thing for you to go and do. Such selflessness, you are a beacon! I would have been quite taken aback by someone shouting at me for putting a winter/summer top on the rails...who cares? Silly, silly woman. I suppose she might have been having a bad day!! But really? In the grand scheme of things it didn’t actually matter. I do hope you start really enjoying the work there and are able to ignore Silly Woman. After all, the first person was laid back and that’s how everyone should be...it’s a charity shop! There to help people 8)) Maybe if they get to know you, you might get promoted to books...!! I do hope so. You’re doing a very kind and worthwhile thing for others as well as doing something for your own peace of mind and to give you structure in the day. Sorry I haven’t been in touch...been a busy Bear. Take care and don’t let the bug3*s get you down!! Bear hugs ***

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:45 p.m.

Bear, thanks for your post. I think I may have over emphasised my first day but I had built it up so much. Some days it takes little to upset me. later I realise the other person was reasonable.

Orangeblossom

June 6, 2020, 1 p.m.

Hi Leah, thanks for your blog. Sounds like a rather undermining & discouraging experience at your first day volunteering in the charity shop. I thought I was able to adapt to change & didn’t really mind it. However supporting students remotely isn’t a bag of laughs. It seems as though I’m sliding into retirement with it's own extreme changes. At least, I suppose working remotely is easing me towards retirement. This will be in about 7 weeks.

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:47 p.m.

Orangeblossom , if you plan well fo your retirement you should be ok. My retirement was forced on me.

dancing hippo

June 6, 2020, 1:22 p.m.

Hi Leah , I am actually tempted to see what time is it on the other side of the world at the moment and i suspect that you are asleep - middle of the night ? - and here in london the weather changed from hot hot sunny to rainy - more typical - and headachy . Wow ! I admire your courage , perseverance , selflessness ..... congratulations , well done . Where I come from charity is is a derogative word and voluntary work involves groups of people e.g. dancing or children - scouts etc. Charity shops , like charity events puzzled me when I arrived in uk and i never understood the point of spending more money on cake ingredients than collecting from sale of this cake and explained to myself that people need excuses to come together here as it would be so much easier to come up to somebody and give them the money ..... There are so many things that i want to do but i never craved any kind of work and working for nothing ? no , not me , my time is precious

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The Gardener

June 6, 2020, 3:23 p.m.

DH, it is a cruel irony that people will spend more on attending a charity event than the charity receives. I am a frightful cynic, pictures in 'Gala' etc of all these 'names' in dresses costing £1,000's when that money could keep a child in India for 10 years.

dancing hippo

June 6, 2020, 4:14 p.m.

TG - most charities are a con , excuse or hand washing on the part of responsible bodies like kids company or all these charities with hospital names and NHS charities AS IF ... some are genuine and try to fill gaps still it is a business on par with big pharma ...It was so fashionable to start charities at some point . I was reading about a charity run by Andrew ? or/and his former wife ( royals ) . Handbags made in India - a big con as hardly any handbags made or sold here and many morea

Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:51 p.m.

Dh I just wanted some routine in my life and to what I like doing. I like being in charity shops. I can’t work for money anymore as there are so many out of work now and a woman of my age would have no hope of getting a paid job, Thanks for your comment.

Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:53 p.m.

Gardener, yes those big gala. Harity events are just a time to be seen and wear designer frocks,!

dancing hippo

June 6, 2020, 1:46 p.m.

my time and freedom are too precious , for me , to commit , on regular basis , to working, for no money. Charity shops , for me , mostly , are places to grab a bargain and run , for all sorts of reasons. It is usually smell . Either the condition of the building - old and damp so moldy - old things , even books have a particular smell when old ; and a custom of covering bad smells with air fresheners - one of the things that i am very allergic to . For a while i worked in Orpington and it is easy to check that there are mostly charity shops on the high street there - the biggest number in the country , apparently , so i would do a tour at lunch and spend a lot of money bying a lot of stuff i did not really need but i am a sucker for a bargain . I used to wear a mask long before covid , lol, to be able to indulge my addictive habit plus love of books always drew me to those places .

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:55 p.m.

As I said in previous. Moment paid work is not an apt ion. I love charity shop and the one I volunteer at ihas lots of variety of items and is clean and ordered.

dancing hippo

June 6, 2020, 1:56 p.m.

on a plus side i have almost everything somewhere so i do not have to go to the shops - really dangerous undertaking - aggressive , non compliant shoppers ... I do hope that your experiences , Leah , in that place will prove a great material for some blogs - I missed your blogs a lot ! thank you for writing - and will be a stepping stone towards a brighter future . I so admire your courage for trying , getting in and having these experiences that i never will because i had decided long ago , in my head , that it is not for me , but who knows ? maybe one day , i am trying to stop saying never , always and such .... sending virtual hugs all the way around the world .xoxoxo

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 9:57 p.m.

DH thanks for your supportive comments.

Molly

June 6, 2020, 5:07 p.m.

Leah, just another take on volunteering, I had volunteers work for me (I wasn’t the boss but it was down to me to train them/look after them). I was no way shouty, bossy, etc, quite the opposite, but I found it really hard at times. If they did something that needed correcting, how to approach it, when they were offering their services for free. It had to be done sometimes, as it wasn’t petty stuff, it was things like not being able to find papers in the filing and I remember once typing out ‘tips for filing’ because I didn’t have the guts to approach it verbally! There was also someone who opened the post but got it in a muddle and I didn’t know what belonged with what. When I suggested using paper clips or a stapler they were quite offended! So whilst there are many ‘Queen Bees’ out there, I was just reminded of that xx

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 10:01 p.m.

Molly thanks for showing the other side, you were a caring person to volunteers. I now know if clothes are on wrong hangers they will fall on the floor and be a potential hazard for others. I once helped in the school library where. Okunteers covered books. I couldn’t do that so was given other tasks. It was a running joke with the librarian a volunteer that didn’t cover books,

Molly

June 6, 2020, 10:08 p.m.

Gosh I remember covering school books with wallpaper. Still have a couple!

Molly

June 6, 2020, 10:27 p.m.

Hangers always makes me smile. When husband moved in I didn’t have enough, after having far too many. How can you run out of hangers! He didn’t hardly have any clothes. Wasn’t the easiest thing to get hold of either. Quite funny really as now I have too many again, and I don’t buy many clothes!

Paula

June 6, 2020, 9:23 p.m.

Hi Like others who have commented I had a go at volunteering . Initially it was with an NGO I wont name. I felt that they had no idea what to do with me and it was a depressing experience, I stopped it because I wasn't enjoying it or feeling very useful. A few years later I decided to help out with reading at the local primary school. That was fun and once it is safe I hope to go back there. My advice would be walk away if It isn’t right for you, and do so without guilt. Find an environment that is supportive and helps your mental health, not one that puts it at risk.... all the best x

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Leah

June 6, 2020, 10:02 p.m.

Thanks Paula. I am ok and will stick with it and if I feel tired I can go home early.

Leah

June 6, 2020, 10:29 p.m.

In Australia we call charity shops op shops as in opportunity shops. I knew people would not understand op shops. Thanks for all your kind words and it is never too late to reply. I like reading others experiences as I learn from them. I am ok and worked with the books on Saturday. I will keep going as I like the routine but have the option to leave if I don’t. Coping with change takes time and determination..

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Molly

June 6, 2020, 11:01 p.m.

In Germany I remember them being called thrift shops. Glad you got to work with the books. Although no doubt you found that hard as well, bringing back memories etc. Maybe not see it as a change, more like something different. Everything life throws at us is an experience. Lots of love xx

Leah

June 7, 2020, 9:25 p.m.

Molly I think we compare experiences instead of embracing the difference, life is different fir us all. Thanks.xx

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