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Oh, right. I have a job now.

Posted 01-06-2013 at 12:25 PM by Wings of Fire
Well, I say job. I have work now.

After seven months of looking for a job with no luck, the British Heart Foundation decided to open up a secondhand furniture and electrical store, like, ten minutes from my house. I volunteered and I now work there unpaid for twenty hours a week.

Work is fun and very fulfilling. Much better than sitting on my arse all day watching Annie May. The volunteers are a mixed bunch (Mostly young just out of secondary education, though there's one recent graduate like me, and one retired sports center manager who decided he just wanted to keep active) but they're very friendly people. The paid staff are a little... not my kind of people, but really, why should they be? Oh, and the manager is a really really cool polite guy who respects his employees and volunteers and I have a lot of respect for him.

I actually started back in the middle of December, but since the opening was on the 3rd of January, the work being done mostly consisted of shifting stock (Which I'm not able to do because disability) and cleaning shit (Which I was more than happy to do). We had a fair few pretty pointless 'training' sessions where the regional volunteer supporter trilled endlessly for hours and laughed at her own jokes. The staff (Especially the assistant manager) dislike her because she earns more than they do by trilling spiel at volunteers and generally gets in the way, but she's alright as long as you ignore the fact she's extremely fucking annoying. Also the regional manager supervised our opening. He was a grumpy Scottish bastard who yelled a lot and commanded respect.

So, we had a grand opening on Thursday and holy shit was it grand. The Mayor and Mayoress were there to cut the ribbon as well as the town crier (Who apparently used to drive my minibus in nursery) and a huge flood of people queuing outside a secondhand shop at 10am. All the volunteers were given areas to patrol with clipboards where we took the details of people interested on delivery dockets, smacked 'Sold' stickers on items and escorted them to the tills manned by managers and assistant managers of neighboring stores who came to help with the rush. We made about 8.5K on opening day alone (Of which ~85% goes straight to heart research, and I personally sold ~900 worth of stock. I also babysat two little children for about ten minutes while their gran left them to go run to her car to get her card. She bought about 400 worth of stuff alone, while I chaperoned her and her grandchildren for about half an hour. By the end, when they were leaving, the youngest waved at me and said 'Byebye Joe!'. It was very sweet.

Also I shaved off (the majority of) my (seven month) mane and my two month beard before opening day, so now I look like a twenty/twenty one year old young professional again instead of a twenty six year old hobo. Big improvement.

So having work means I need to keep a regular sleeping pattern, build up stamina (I have a naturally weak constitution) and fill my CV full of tasty employability. Actually sleeping 11-7 every night is still a way away (I still have insomnia, and I often go in on four/five hours sleep with only energy drinks to back me up) but I'm at least succeeding at the latter two. I promised myself I'd treat this as a proper job, and my managers have definitely noticed.

So 2013 looks like a good year for Joe so far! Let's hope I can keep it up.
Total Comments 15


Wings of Fire's Avatar
Oh, right, and stock regenerates at an absolutely insane pace. On any one day, we sell items measuring at about 1/20 of the shop floor (In area, not value or amount) and replace it with the huge warehouse of donated stock we have upstairs.

We also get about about three to four vanloads of new shit coming in on any one day. To keep costs down, all the staff amenities are furniture we wouldn't be able to sell (Sofas with the fire warning tab pulled off, chairs that aren't nearly as bad as they look, the cheapest kettle we have in and a tv that was brought in without the remote.

It's a very fun exciting atmosphere to work in, and I always feel pretty challenged.
Posted 01-06-2013 at 12:41 PM by Wings of Fire Wings of Fire is offline

Varrok's Avatar
*is lying on the bed and doesn't have to do anything*

You're gonna sooooo miss it
Posted 01-06-2013 at 12:46 PM by Varrok Varrok is offline

Jordan's Avatar
That's awesome, I'm really happy for you. Your CV will be full to the brim with that kind of work~
Posted 01-06-2013 at 12:49 PM by Jordan Jordan is offline

DarkHoodness's Avatar
It's a very reputable thing to do, and yeah, your CV will benefit. Bonus points if it's something you enjoy doing, too - Apparently that's rare in this day and age. Congrats!
Posted 01-06-2013 at 01:42 PM by DarkHoodness DarkHoodness is offline

STM's Avatar
That's fucking great! I wish I had some solid work that got me off my arse. I've been out of writing for weeks and weeks now. Glad you found something you enjoy doing! =)
Posted 01-06-2013 at 01:46 PM by STM STM is offline

MeechMunchie's Avatar
I'm going to Sea Life Birmingham to clean up seal shit~

Possibly. Early days.
Posted 01-06-2013 at 02:12 PM by MeechMunchie MeechMunchie is offline

Mac Sirloin's Avatar
Volunteer work at places like that always rules. The paid staff are, in my experience, a bit of a snobby bunch who can't fucking deal with the fact that I ate their cookies One time, ONE TIME AGNES, AND I REPLACED THEM YOU FAT CUNT but I think you'll warm up to them. Do you have one of those big-ass conveyor belts in the middle of the store for bringing things to and from the loading dock? Those are the best.
Posted 01-06-2013 at 02:22 PM by Mac Sirloin Mac Sirloin is offline

Crashpunk's Avatar
That's funny, My mate is doing the exact same thing as you. I should really go do some volunteer work...
Posted 01-06-2013 at 02:23 PM by Crashpunk Crashpunk is offline

Wings of Fire's Avatar
The paid staff are, in my experience, a bit of a snobby bunch who can't fucking deal with the fact that I ate their cookies One time, ONE TIME AGNES, AND I REPLACED THEM YOU FAT CUNT but I think you'll warm up to them.
When I say not my kind of people I mean more like three big guys in their mid twenties who talk with thick local accents (Holy shit I was born and raised here and can hardly understand them) and are very very down to earth. I sort of don't want to use the term 'Salt of the earth' because that makes me sound every bit the kind of educated snob I don't want to be, but I can't think of a better term. They're still really nice people though and very friendly. They're just naturally intimidating. One of them actually reminds me of a less nerdy you, and I don't mean that in a bad way.

Do you have one of those big-ass conveyor belts in the middle of the store for bringing things to and from the loading dock? Those are the best.
Haha no. We (As in the we that does not include me) carry beds and cabinets and sofas and shit down two flights of metal stairs. Breaking just about every health and safety rule in the book.
Posted 01-06-2013 at 02:43 PM by Wings of Fire Wings of Fire is offline

MA's Avatar
good on you. i've been volunteering on and off at different places since about 08/09. still volunteering now, nature conservation/wildlife management every Friday.

only volunteered in a charity shop once though, and it was either with Cancer Research or British Heart, i can't remember now. i applied at Oxfam before that but the stupid stuck up old crones treated me like a potential criminal waiting to get his paws in the till, so i told them to stick it and went with Cancer Research/British Heart. fuck Oxfam. seriously. look into their shit, something's fishy.
Posted 01-06-2013 at 04:51 PM by MA MA is offline

Steamer_KING's Avatar
Posted 01-07-2013 at 06:43 PM by Steamer_KING Steamer_KING is offline

Steamer_KING's Avatar
Seriously though, congrats. On this economy, getting a job you really like it it's very rare.
Posted 01-07-2013 at 06:49 PM by Steamer_KING Steamer_KING is offline

Wings of Fire's Avatar
Thanks for not reading my blog!
Posted 01-08-2013 at 01:31 AM by Wings of Fire Wings of Fire is offline

MeechMunchie's Avatar
You're welcome.
Posted 01-08-2013 at 08:04 AM by MeechMunchie MeechMunchie is offline

Phylum's Avatar
Volunteer work is excellent. Good job.
Posted 01-08-2013 at 02:49 PM by Phylum Phylum is offline


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