Arlene and two adopted dogs.

Just a blog from someone who loves to communicate with other dog owners

A new experience to-day

A couple of weeks ago I went into one of our Charity shops and I was pleasantly surprised to see that one f the ladies who run the Mah Jong group was helping. We got chatting about volunteering and she asked would I have a couple of hours to spare. I used to help in a super little Charity shop up a couple of years ago I loved it and was quite sad when it when it closed down. So i decided I would go along and offer my services. 

They took me up on it and soon put me to work after showing me how they conduct their business, as it was a much bigger concern than the one I had done before. 

Wow, it was really more like a business with all sorts of lists and tick boxes, whether they were ‘gift aiding’ or not which had to be noted and their number put on each item, The number of bags to be listed, sorted into sacks, large bags, small bags e.g. carriers, or single items. The when you fill a bag with rubbish it too has to be ticked off before being put into a specific cupboard. The quality of clothing was a bit better than I had been used to, with anything that didn’t come up to par discarded, not just any discard, but total rubbish, soft rubbish and hard rubbish. Anything to be sold sorted into , men/women/children/ summer /winter/designer/ jacket/trouser/top/undies/sleep/ you get the picture, but what struck me more than anything was the amount of stuff that gets discarded, and from there put into rubbish,  the stuff is perfectly good but just not good enough, Much of it goes to be sorted in the large clearing warehouses and sent to third world countries, which is good, but I can’t help but think that in this day and age, we don’t really know what poverty is in this country, we are very much a  ‘throw away to-day and get another next pay-day’ nation. Not just clothes, household goods, furniture and bric a brac.  To-day a table came in Ercol brand, priced new over £300 , it was put out for £185 nothing wrong with it. A printer, shiny and up to date, he didn’t know what was wrong with it, so bought a new one, and could we use this. !!

I grew up in Glasgow during the war and can recall seeing children coming to school with no shoes, and the backsides hanging out of their trousers, and shoes or boots  a couple of. sizes too big or small. Going to houses with no carpet on the floor , newspaper in place of a tablecloth and coats on the bed. I thank God that I was born into and brought up in a reasonably comfortably warm home and never knew what going without meant. Go work in a charity shop and then see if you believe when people say th ey are in poverty , recession or not.  RUBBISH.


  1. Hi there Wolfie Oh yes I do agree with you on the fact that they are sometimes almost as expensive as some private shops, Cashing in on people’s need for cheaper goods.
    You might be lucky wit a new printer if you keep haunting the shops, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for a new lappy with windows 8 LOL Not all shops will take electrical gods, this particular one does, Sue Ryder.
    Have a nice week end .

  2. I really enjoyed this post Arlene, I have often wondered what goes on behind the scenes in charity shops. I love these shops, I have got some really nice things in them, the last item I got was a teas made , mine had breathed its last and I objected to paying all that money for a new one, the one from the charity shop was £3.00 and is going strong ! ( I did actually pay £5.00 for it as I thought it well worth it).
    Hope you enjoy your work there, it is always nice to feel useful isn’t it ?

    Have a good weekend xx

    • Hi Marjie, hope you’re keeping Ok and appreciate you’re calling. If you get the time it’s worth volunteering for one of these shops, they’re always grateful for even a couple of hours. When I worked in the previous one I picked up many a good bargain,, it had to be on sale for 24 hrs before we could buy, but that was no problem. I’ve got two very nice tea sets, both perfect for under a fiver each.

  3. Did you decide to return to Charity shop work I wonder? I enjoyed five years of working in a Charity shop here in Cornwall. I met four lovely ladies we all got on very well, and had loads of laughs. Sometimes the customers would have a good old jolly also.
    Still plodding along with new computer so bare with.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Hugs Sheila x

    • Hi Sheila, friday was my first day but I shall probably turn up again next week. It can be a worth while experience as you obviously are aware. In the last one I worked we had some odd and often lovely characters.
      I will pass on ‘baring ‘ with you as the weather is so cold. LOL
      Love to all X

  4. Charity shops are a haven of highly expensive designer gear Arlene! A wonderful place to go shopping! I agree about people and poverty, though the price some charity shops charge for their goods it’s cheaper to go to a shop and purchase them brand new! But I forgot…we are in recession and everyone is poor and living in poverty…they only take battered old stuff to charity shops…. 😉
    I could have done with that printer you mentioned! Mine is determined to have dried out printer cartridges…brand new very expensive ones…jammed paper….no paper after last night! lol … did it come with paper? Printer paper is so expensive now…I need a new one but I also need a new laptop so I might as well wait and make sure I get one that will actually work with Windows 8…this one certainly won’t. It won’t work properly with Windows Vista let alone the latest operating system! 🙂

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