Now as I have possibly mentioned once or twice before, I have a somewhat addictive personality. Especially when it comes to books and /or sorting things.
I think I may have an issue here
You see, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to begin doing some volunteer work at one of the local second-hand stores. And I just happened to randomly select the one with nearly floor to ceiling bookshelves...randomly....ok it was the only one I went in but that is completely beside the point.
There were shelves of them softly whispering my name.
And they were saying: “Tidy me, sort me...love me”
How could I not offer my time after pleas like that?
So I signed up and got busy. And so far, it’s just like a Maccas commercial: I’m loving it! It hasn’t been all about the books though; not my choice initially, but I have since discovered that my organizational bent can be aimed in just about any direction to great enjoyment.
If my body would allow...I’d probably be there every day.
I'm even learning about clothes. After an initial conversation with our visual merchandiser for Western Australia, I was questioned on my knowledge of fashion clothing and top labels and such. Considering I have about as must grace and sophistication as your average bogan (if you’re not from Australasia...Google the term, it will provide hours of entertainment), I could not wax informative on that subject. I have enough trouble differentiating chain store brands let alone discussing the finer points of catwalk haute couture.
“Don’t worry, there’s a list” she said smiling comfortingly. Oh thank God for that. But I can’t say that I've ended up playing with the clothes much (or that I'm especially heartbroken about this). I've been a tad busy elsewhere reorganising the children’s section, lining the cups up in sets (you have no idea how satisfying that is), organising the linen and craftwares, and generally tidying and reorganizing to create more space.
Now the interesting thing that happens when you create more space is that you can fit more stuff in the shop without the store looking messy or overcrowded; which in turn translates to the customers having more choice; which in turn translates to higher sales figures.
Our store sold over $1000 the Saturday before last. This is the first time our store has done this.
I’m just casually putting that out there.
But that doesn't mean the other volunteers aren't doing a wonderful job as well...it’s just that you need enough of us to be able to make the real magic happen. A mad organiser can’t focus on getting the shop all ship shape and Bristol fashion if he/she has to stop every five minutes to serve a customer or sort an incoming donation. It’s a team thing; the bigger the team, the more you can get done. Especially if you play to the strengths of each team member. But, I have t say, there is also a ‘logic’ factor in it as well.
For me, for example, it was completely illogical to sell videos when we sell about one every six months but had shitloads of the damn things around the store. The way I saw it, in the same space we had a $1 video we could have had a $3-4 book or two $3 DVDs. It kinda did my head in. So now the videos are being sold off 3 for $1 (as are cassette tapes) and even now they are not exactly flying out the door, but removing them to the sale table has made room for all the DVDs that were hiding out the back. And they do sell so a much wiser use of space I believe. It’s tweaks like that, that can buy you a whole heaps of space to work wonders in. It and has been wonderful to reawaken my floor supervisor experience and put it to good use here.
But back to these books...
Once upon a time, Opportunity Shops (Op Shops), second-hand stores, thrift shops, whatever you wanted to call them...used be predominantly filled with crap: stained/damaged clothing, ancient crockery, grubby toys and tired old dog eared books.
Not so in today’s world. My store for example sells no stained/pilled/damaged clothing (this goes overseas to those in need or for rags/shredding [for furniture stuffing]), no stained/damaged crockery or linen and no books with yellowed pages or significant signs or wear.
Which means all the books (not on the sale table) are in good nick.
And relatively recent
And the type I would read.
The fact that I haven’t bought damn near all of them is testimony not only to my strong will...but also to my strong sense of self preservation and desire for pre-matrimonial harmony. The Kevman loves books too, just not on every wall of the house.
But every Tuesday and Friday I get to pat them and arrange them and read their blurbs. And sometimes I get to recommend them to potential book Mummies and Daddies and send them off to loving homes.
It’s a very satisfying part of the job. But even I have to admit, it’s not the most important.
What really matters is that I get to work for a wonderful cause that generates income for those in need. Now that is the best feeling of all.
Sometimes the best jobs you don’t get paid for in money
Have a great one!
P.S. Got some spare time? Why not volunteer! Help at a local second hand charity store or animal rescue organisation; help with kids' sport or youth/teen projects; visit elderly people; knit/crochet for Syrian refugee children; sew burial gowns from old wedding dresses for Angel Babies....the list is endless, get on the Internet and start looking!