Saturday, 12 November 2016

Change at the CS

This week has been the Manager's last week at the CS, so I've done my usual 3 days again, hopefully the last time for a while, as it is just a little bit too much and too disruptive to family life.

Having said this I've almost got back on top of the washing and ironing.  I've got an empty ironing basket for the first time in months and just need to keep on top of it.

The rest of the house needs attention though.  Bedding needs changing, bathrooms need cleaning, well everything needs cleaning really and garden/allotment needs clearing.  Still lots of work to do, but it's getting done bit by bit.

Anyway, I digress, so this week has been the last with the current manager in charge and yesterday was my last day working with her.  The new manager came to the shop in the afternoon to get acquainted with it.

He's currently managing another shop in the London area, but one that is very different from this one, so it will be a bit of a change for him. He seems very personable, and quite calm and orderly, which is potentially a good thing.

Tonight, I'm heading back to the shop for the current manager's leaving. We're all meeting at the shop for wine and nibbles and a bit of a gathering.  She didn't want too much fuss and a meal wasn't really appropriate, as many of the volunteers are young and don't have the money to spend on meals out.

Some of the ladies who currently work there, have contacted past volunteers and invited them to come along, so there should be a good turnout and a collection has been taken with a good amount raised to provide a nice leaving gift.

It will be sad, but happy at the same time, as she will now be able to move on and try something new, with less stress.  The shop won't quite be the same without her, as she injected a lot of her strong personality into it, but I guess things will carry on as normal.

I'm not sure how many volunteers will be left when the new manager starts next week, as some may not come back and some have already left.

I am not, however, intending to single handedly breach the gap, as I need to get back to my two days per week after nearly 3 months of working 3 days, and get back on top of things at home.

Of course, if he is really stuck, I will try to help out where I can, but I feel I've put a lot of extra hours in over the last few months and I need to get some balance back. I've come to realise that these shops will eat up all of your time if you let them, as there are always things to do.

It will be interesting to see how the new manager approaches the shop and the working environment. I'm hoping he might improve it a little, if I'm honest, as it can get quite chaotic at times.  I guess it is partly the nature of the job and the limited space available, but it is also a matter of organisation too. We'll see.

Although I love working at the shop, there is a limit to what time I can comfortably give, and if too much pressure is brought to bear then I won't be hanging around for long, as life is too short.

I would then probably look for a volunteering opportunity closer to home with less travel involved, especially now the nights are drawing in and it is getting dark so early.  Hopefully, I won't need to, but I'm keeping an open mind for the moment.


  1. I hope the farewell was an enjoyable one for all.

    Sometimes a fresh new look improves a situation immensely. Just remember balance in home and work is extremely important. That is something I learned almost a bit too late.

    God bless.

    1. Thanks Jackie for your kind advice. You are completely right of course and I know I need to get the balance right at some point, but things are constantly changing at the shop and it's so hard to get into a regular rhythm of volunteering, unless I completely refuse to help out in staff shortage situations. Maybe that's what I need to do, as it shouldn't be this difficult to achieve.

  2. Remember that you are volunteering on your terms. The more you do the more people will let you do and you are the one not getting paid. It's the manager's job to get recruits. Just say how many days you can do and leave it at that otherwise all your time will be taken up. I love working at the CS but will only do extra if there is an emergence. All I do is one afternoon a week. It's the perfect playing shop time for me and I've still got the rest of the week free for other activities.

    1. You are completely right. I found it very difficult to be firm and say no to the previous manager, but am hoping to be firmer with the new manager or consider looking elsewhere for a volunteering opportunity, if they don't seem to want to consider my point of view.

      I am beginning to think that sometimes people don't have altogether realistic expectations of volunteers.

      I feel that surely it's better to have volunteers that are happy and reliable and come at the times they agree to, than overwrought, and slightly resentful volunteers who are expected to do more than they comfortably can.

      I definitely need to take another step back and stick to my guns about working only two days per week.

  3. Replies
    1. Me too, I'm working on getting the balance right, but sometimes find it so hard to assert myself and stick to what is a comfortable arrangement for my life.

      I'm hoping I'll eventually get it right. I don't want to keep boring you guys about it all.

    2. Someone once told me that "No" is a complete sentence and it's great advice.

      As soon as you say "No, because..." it gives the other person a chance to find a way around anything you say, if you just say no then they can't do that!

    3. I'll remember that, it sounds like very good advice and is very true, as it is like letting people get a food inside the door.