Well, Wales DOES Have Dragons

, , , | Working | September 26, 2017

(At the shop where I work, I have a broader range of general knowledge than my coworkers, so they often ask me my opinion on weird or unusual donations, to the point where I’m known as the “official valuer” of stuff no one knows how to price. Usually it’s collectibles I look up on the internet on my phone, or technology, as I’m the youngest one there, but today it’s a little different.)

Manager: “Here, [Coworker], look at this ring. Do you think it’s silver?”

Coworker: *checks the ring* “I don’t think that’s a hallmark; it’s got some kind of weird writing on it, but I can’t make it out.”

Manager: “Oh, yeah, that is writing. It’s weird, though; it’s like Welsh, or something.”

Coworker: “Give it to [My Name]; she’s got good eyes.”

Me: “Yeah, the person with glasses has good eyes, okay.”

(I take the ring, look at it for a second, and then burst out laughing.)

Manager: “What? Does it say something stupid?”

Me: “It’s Elvish.”

Coworker: “What?”

Me: “Tolkien. Lord of the Rings?”

Manager: “Oh, never seen it.”

(I guess I can see why she didn’t recognise it, but why did she think it was Welsh?)

Charity Doesn’t Have To Start At Home

, , , | Hopeless | June 24, 2017

(A woman and her young son have come into the charity shop I volunteer with. She was in the previous week asking for us to hold a couple children’s VHS cassettes.)

Me: “Hi there. I’ve got everything right here.”

Woman: “Thank you. Could you please tell me how much it all costs? I’m afraid I can’t remember.”

Me: “£10.99.”

Woman: *sighs* “Do you mind if I take quick look at them first?”

(I had them over and she kneels on the ground so she is at eye level with her son.)

Woman: “Okay, [Son]. Mummy had to buy bulbs this week, so she can only buy one.”

(The son looks upset, but he chooses one. I’m honestly holding back tears as the woman looks at the other two and mumbles about “maybe next month.” I have an idea.)

Me: “Umm, [Son]. There’s some toys over there. Since you’ve been really grown up, I’ll let you take one.”

(The son’s eyes light up instantly and he runs off.)

Me: *whispering* “Look, I’ll pay for everything.”

Woman: “Oh. No, you don’t have to do that!”

Me: “I know I don’t, but I am. You shouldn’t have to decide between bulbs and your son’s happiness.”

(She tries to argue back, but I refuse. When she leaves though she does seem considerably more relaxed, and the son is ecstatic with his new Pikachu toy.)

Me: “[Boss], can you come and put through the sale. I’m paying for it.”

(He starts putting it through and I pay for it on my card.)

Boss: “You know, this is your first and only warning. I’ve seen plenty of do-gooders like you who think they can make poverty disappear with a few good deeds. I can guarantee that she will be spending that money on heroin the second she can offload her son. This is a charity shop. Our charity comes from the time we spend here, selling other people’s crap!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but if I have to lose my place here so I can help people so worse off that they can’t even spend TEN POUNDS, then please, by all means accept this as my resignation. Get stuffed!”

(As I left I bumped into the woman again, and we sat down for coffee. I now babysit her son free of charge, meaning she can work more hours so money isn’t as tight any more. She and her son are in a much better place. I also found another charity shop which a more compassionate staff.)

Cardigan And Again And Again

, , , | Right | June 19, 2017

(I work in my local Oxfam, mostly on one of the tills. The other day a customer comes in and tries on a woollen cardigan. After she’s tried it she comes up to me:)

Customer: “Excuse me, but I don’t think this item should be on display. I just tried it in on and it left hairs all over me.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll let the manager know about this and she’ll decide whether it’ll be taken of the rack.”

(The customer then goes back to browsing. The manager then comes down to let me take a break.)

Me: “I had a customer tell me that she didn’t think this cardigan should be on the rack. It left hairs all over her.”

Manager: “Okay.”

(She then puts the item back on the rack and takes over from while I go have a break. About 10 minutes later I come down from my break and take over the till again.)

Manager: “You didn’t tell me that she hadn’t left the shop.”

Me: “Oh, sorry.”

Manager: “It’s okay.”

(I get back to the till, a lack of customers paying for items leaves my eyes to inspect the store just as the manager comes down to put some stock out. At this point I notice something going on at the other till.)

Me: “I think that [Volunteer] might need your help with something.”

(The manager then goes down to the other till to check up on what’s going on. It gets sorted out, and she comes back and tells me what happened.)

Manager: “Funny story. That customer who you dealt with earlier came back, only this time she started looking for the cardigan, just so that she could complain about it still being out.”

Needs To Donate An Explanation

| USA | Working | January 4, 2017

Me: *via phone* “Hello, how late do you accept donations today?”

Employee: “We’re open until six pm today.”

(I clear out the car, load it up, and drive over, arriving about 15 minutes later.)

Me: “Hi, where should I unload this?”

Employee: “I’m sorry; we can’t accept any more donations today due to the volume we’ve received already.”

Me: “What? I spoke to you on the phone not fifteen minutes ago and you said you were accepting donations. You’re telling me I loaded all these clothes up and you won’t even take them for free?”

Employee: “There’s another donation center 10 minutes away…”

Me: “But they’re not open today. That’s why I came here. Look, I’m just going to unload these here, and you can throw them away if you want.”

(I unloaded the car with the employee staring at me like I had run over his dog the whole time. Their whole business model revolves around reselling stuff that people give them for free. How can they stop accepting donations, especially for something like kids’ clothes?)

Ethel And Her Big Balls

| Folkestone, Kent, UK | Working | December 18, 2016

(My mum spots a bag of Christmas baubles in the window of a charity shop that she likes, so goes inside to buy them. She takes the bag to the till. It says on the bag that there are 15 baubles inside and that they cost £1. The shop is being manned by two old ladies, one at the till and the other in the stockroom.)

Mum: “Just these, please.”

(The old lady at the till studies the bag.)

Old Lady #1: *shouting REALLY loudly* “Ethel! How much is this bag of balls?”

Old Lady #2: “What was that?”

Old Lady #1: “This big bag of balls! How much are they?”

Mum: “It said they were £1 here.”

Old Lady #1: *picks up the bag* “Oh yes, £1. How many are there?” *shouting again* “Ethel! How many balls am I holding?”

(Mum and the other customers were trying really hard not to laugh at this point. Old Lady #2 came out of the stockroom to help Old Lady #1, and to stop her from shouting about “big bags of balls”!)

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