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A Nation Of No Donation

, , , | Right | November 18, 2020

Due to the current health situation, charity shops have to quarantine bags of donated goods for two days before they can unpack them, and since the shop where I volunteer is very small, we fill our quota of donations for the day very quickly. We always put signs outside the shop informing people that we can’t accept any more donations, but this doesn’t stop people from asking whether we’re still taking donations — usually while they’re standing right next to the signs.

After a shift where I have had this situation happen more than a dozen times, I head home feeling a bit tired and discouraged… until I walk past another charity shop which has a large sign board outside saying, “NO MORE DONATIONS TODAY”.

The shop manager comes outside to take the board indoors, we greet each other, and this happens.

Me: “I have a silly question for you. Do you ever get people standing right next to that board and asking you whether you’re taking donations?”

Manager: “All the time. People round here can’t read.”

Made me smile just knowing it happened to other people, as well!

There… Are… Four… Customers!

, , , , , | Right | November 6, 2020

I’m an assistant manager at a charity shop that I volunteer at. Since returning from lockdown, anybody working on the shop floor has to also keep a track of how many people are in — our limit is four — and also make sure they’re wearing masks.

I’ve just finished putting more stock on the rails and I’m taking a breather behind the counter when a lady comes in.

Me: “Excuse me, madam, sorry, but we already have four people inside. Could you wait outside, please?”

Customer: “The sign outside says that four customers is preferred.”

Me: “Um, madam, that sign says that card payments are preferred and that our customer limit is four. It shouldn’t be long before you can come in; please wait outside, and you’ll need to wear a mask too.”

The customer suddenly sees that another customer is a friend.

Customer: “Oh, hi!” *Starts chatting away*

Me: “Excuse me, madam, but you need to wait outside, please.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah, sure. In a minute.” *Keeps chatting*

Me: “No, not in a minute. You need to go outside now.”

At this point, she and her friend ignore me, so I repeat myself, raising my voice each time. After I’ve done this a few times, she walks over to the plexiglass and taps the sign.

Customer: “This sign says four customers preferred!”

Me: *Pointing at each word* “Card payments preferred. There isn’t even a four on this sign.”

She looks at me, and her gaze goes down to the charity-branded mask that I’m wearing.

Customer: “You really shouldn’t be wearing that; it’s going to do you no good.”

Me: “Okay, that’s enough. You do not come into my place of work and tell me to not wear a mask. It is the law to wear a mask. I wear a mask to protect other people. If I get sick, more than likely my mum will catch it from me, and at her age, she will die. I’ve asked you politely to wait outside, but now I just want you to leave. Get out.”

Customer: *Mouth drops open* “You can’t ask me to leave!”

Me: “Yes, I can. I’m the assistant manager here, and this is private property. Get out!”

Customer: “Hmph! Well, I’ll leave, but only because you’re clearly getting so distressed.”

Me: “Get out!”

She finally left the shop, and I shouted upstairs for the manager so that I could go and take a breather, as I was agitated and shaking. I’m lucky enough to work with a great manager who doesn’t take any nonsense from customers, which gave me the confidence to deal with this customer, but this was the first time I’ve had to actually kick someone out, so it was very stressful.

In Thrift Stores, That Is Not A “New” Attitude

, , , , | Right | November 6, 2020

I’m working as a volunteer in a charity shop that sells donated furniture at a fraction of what it would cost brand new. A woman comes in and spends a long time inspecting a sofa. It’s in very good condition. After a while, she approaches me, so I naturally assume she’s interested in buying. Instead, the following exchange takes place.

Woman: “Is this new?”

Me: “No, madam, all of our sofas are donated. However, as you can see, this one is in excel—”

Woman: “Ugh. No way I’m buying second-hand.”

Without another word, she flounced out of the door. As she was leaving, I was unable to stifle a laugh, though I don’t know if she heard me. I was thinking, “Good luck finding anything of that quality new for less than four times our price!”

The Price Is Right, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | October 16, 2020

I work in an independent charity shop benefitting a local charity. A lady has come in to donate some beautiful ornaments from a well-known and expensive designer.

Lady: “Please don’t sell these cheaply; they are very valuable.”

Me: “They are lovely. I’ll pop a note on for our manager; she will make sure they have the right price on them.”

Lady: “I just want to make sure you don’t sell them for next to nothing.”

Me: “Our manager will research them and put the right price on; please don’t worry. Thank you so much for donating them.”

As we’re speaking, a customer comes up with a pair of brand-new shoes, still with the original labels and price tags on, that we have priced at a third of the original price.

Customer: “These are really expensive. Why are they so dear?”

Me: “They are brand new; they’re actually at a huge discount.”

Customer: “But you’re a charity shop. This stuff is all donated; you get it for free! You should be selling it cheaply, not for prices like this!”

The lady does not even look at the customer but speaks up VERY loudly and clearly.

Lady: “I’m so glad you’re going to put a proper price on these ornaments. I spent a lot of money on them and I am so pleased they are going to make your charity a lot of money. I would be devastated if I came in and saw them with a silly low price on. I would rather sell them myself and just donate the money to you. Thank you for all the work your charity does; you deserve every penny people spend in this shop.”

She then turns round, looks at the customer, and glances at the shoes.

Lady: “Either pay the price or put them back. You should be ashamed.”

The very red-faced customer paid the full price without a word. You go, lady! I wish I could say exactly what you said.

The Price Is Right

Who Screws Over A Charity Shop?!

, , , , , | Working | August 31, 2020

As a student, I lived in a flat above an antique shop and volunteered at a charity shop across the road.  

One day, someone donated some rather beautiful, old-seeming china plates to the shop. Thinking they might be worth something, we asked my landlord, the antique shop owner, if he would mind having a look at them for us and letting us know what they might be worth. He appraised them and told us we’d be lucky to get £20 for the four of them. We laughed at our wishful thinking, put them up for sale at around the price advised, and carried on with our lives.

A few weeks later, I noticed while passing the antique shop that there were four very familiar-looking plates in the window, with their total cost almost ten times more than he’d told us they were worth — certainly more than a normal mark-up. A staff member who hadn’t been there at the appraisal had sold them to him a few days after he had essentially named his price for some slightly valuable plates. Sadly, he had no comeuppance for the sleazy move he pulled, but he never went back to the charity shop after that and we never asked him for any more “help.”