I’ve signed up for another training course, this time one that’ll last six weeks (though sadly I won’t be staying in luxury accommodation this time). On paper, the first two weeks look to be more of the same, but hopefully a bit less intensive since they’ve got twice as many days to go over it. 😛 The four weeks that follow are what I’m really interested in, however… Read the rest of this entry »
I am now in my final week of conscription at Barnardos. And I know I’ll be sorely missed when I’m gone. That’s not just me thinking too highly of myself – somehow my a4e supervisor got the idea I wanted to work an extra month or more there, and showed up with a fully prepared extension form requiring nothing but my signature. I never agreed to that. Don’t get me wrong, I’d gladly do it if the alternative was returning to days of boredom and weeks of signing on, but I’ve actually got plans. Visiting relatives, followed by moving to Aberystwyth, soon followed by becoming a student again. At most I could stay an extra week, but apparently sorting out paperwork + increased jobseeker’s allowance for such a short amount of time is too much hassle. Plus I’ve got this huge anime backlog, and haven’t had a full week dedicated to anime for a long time now… But yeah, Barnardos has been fun. It’s increased my confidence, I know how to use a till (plus a few other random skills that I may never need again), and lastly it just gives me a reference and experience for my CV.
Now, some random stuff that I thought I’d mention in a post about Barnardos:
Weirdest things donated – A half empty tube of sour cream and onion Pringles, and a board game using chocolates as playing pieces and a best before end date of Jan 2000. Oh, and the sugar cubes were quite odd as well.
Most annoying things donated – Broken objects, filthy camping gear clearly dumped there after a weekend at some music festival or other, used underwear etc. Barnardos isn’t a rubbish dump, and wash stuff first please!
Weirdest request – “Do you have any tea towels?”
*brings down entire stock, mostly plain or striped/checkered*
“Oh, no, these won’t do. I was looking for one with a penguin on it”.
*struggles to keep a straight face*
Most annoying request – “May I look at that carpet? How big is it?”
*unwraps huge carpet, measures all sides, makes mess, leaves people waiting to be served*
“How much is it?”
*points to blatantly obvious price tag on outside*
“Oh, I can’t afford it”.
Most annoying customer habits – Putting coat hangers back on the rail the wrong way around. Or even worse, not bothering to re-hang clothes at all once finished looking at them/trying them on.
Making a mess of the bookshelves. How difficult is it to put them back in a free space, preferably where you found them?
Regular customers who always try to get reductions on perfectly fine items (it’s for charity FFS).
People who try to buy more than they are actually carrying with them (I know a lot of them are old, but WTF).
People who expect me to fold the clothes for them (not that they have any way of knowing I have dyspraxia and struggle with such a seemingly easy task, but it’s not like I don’t have enough to do working the till, removing coat hangers and passing them bags. All they’ve got to do is stand there and pass me money!)
My impact on Barnardos – I changed a few things on the shop front occasionally when bored. Moved things about a bit. Naughty, I know, but it can get very boring behind a till with no customers. Occasionally, this seemed to result in sales of the things I decided to focus on, though that may just be a coincidence. And there are plenty of examples of items I thought would sell and gave pride of place on a shelf, which are still there gathering dust now. The one change I made that I thought was the blatantly obvious thing to do, and that other staff members seemed to continue with while I wasn’t there, was sorting the VHS tapes so that 12-18 rated videos were on a high shelf, and Uc – PG videos were on a lower shelf. Also put sequels and related movies next to each other, in hopes that people would buy them together. I’d hoped they’d continue with these things, but arrived this morning after a short holiday to find the videos in a giant mess again. Nevermind…
At least that’s the conclusion Plas Tan y Bwlch has arrived at. Apparently I work too slowly, probably because I get into so many stinging fights with nettles and midges. And so as of yesterday I’m no longer working there, but if all goes according to plan I’ll be doing the full 25 hours A4e expect of me at Barnardos, starting next week. Which helps Plas because they can get back up to speed with all their tasks, and it helps Barnardos because they’re seriously understaffed.
From my own point of view, this change comes with advantages and disadvantages. I mean, I’d just gotten to like that weird, unnatural ball of light and heat that floats in the sky outside… yes, the potato… and now I’m having to stay inside again. But at least I won’t get eaten by insects. I’ll miss the variation of working in two places, but there’s plenty of variation in the work at Barnardos alone. I’ll have longer lunch breaks (1 hour out of my 5 a day is actually free time!), but it doesn’t take me that long to eat sandwiches and apples, so I read a lot during this time. More reading is good, but it also means more money spent on manga… Very much a case of swings and roundabouts, and I always preferred see-saws myself. One thing I won’t miss is having to bring my own milk in my lunch box for cups of tea, as on hotter days it always seems to go sour by the time lunch comes around.
Not much more to say other than that, I’ll just have to see how it goes next week!
It’s been over a fortnight since I last posted anything, and it wasn’t due to a lack of things happening. Instead, I found myself with considerably less free time, and anime will always be my main priority. The main cause of this is my A4E course finally kicking off, meaning I’m doing 5 days of volunteering, regardless of the weather. Only 5 hours a day (breaks included in that), but when you factor in the travel it’s more like 6. And it’s during the daytime when the internet is fastest, with early starts that stop me making the most of late night speeds as well. LAME.
Not that the conscription (I’ll be calling it that from now on since it’s no longer voluntary) itself is bad at all, I just wish it didn’t impact on my free time so much. Gardening is still fun, and my introduction to Barnardos charity shop on Monday proved to be just as good. Tasks included steaming, tagging and hanging clothing, fixing a couple of minor problems on their computer, helping to bag + load the recycling onto a van, and sorting out books. This latter job was the most difficult for me, as their definition of ‘good condition’ was very different to mine. Yellowed pages are only to be expected from books from the 1960’s, and wouldn’t put me off buying them if they were of interest to me, but apparently they’re not good enough. And books that aren’t good enough get recycled. Might as well light up the bonfire… But anyway, the people working there are nice, and there’s so many different things that need doing that I’d never get bored. I’ve got more to do on the computers when I go back tomorrow, and they plan on putting me on the till eventually too!
So that’s my new excuse for inactivity! Hopefully once I’m used to this routine I’ll get better at managing my time in the evenings and on weekends.