Life at the CS has been steadily improving over the last few weeks. As a consequence, and you can probably tell this from the variety and number of posts I've been publishing lately, I've found myself with free time to actually get on and do jobs at home, that I've neglected for a long time. This has been very satisfying on many levels and has allowed me to strike a much better balance.
The main reason for the improvements, has been that the new manager has started a volunteer recruitment campaign and we've had quite a few people through the door enquiring about volunteering. I've been pleasantly surprised by how many people are actually happy to volunteer, as we've never had a recruitment push since I've volunteered there.
Anyway, a few new volunteers have already started, which has reduced the pressure on long standing volunteers to fill the gaps in shifts. The manager is looking for people who can give a longer term commitment, rather than be able to stay for just a couple of months. I can see his logic, as quite a lot of time and effort goes into training people, so the longer they are willing to stay the better. Although there are no guarantees with any volunteer, making clear the minimum amount of commitment you are looking for in the outset will help to make the staffing of the shop easier and more sustainable in the long term.
Next week, the manager is on holiday, so I'm expecting to work a few extra hours, mainly to stay and help cash up of an evening, as the afternoons tend to have less volunteers than mornings. I don't mind too much, as everyone needs a holiday and new volunteers don't necessarily have the experience to take on some responsibilities. Having said this, I haven't done this very often, as I usually leave before the shop closes, so it's good experience for me too.
I may volunteer to go in on the Saturday, as a one off, which I haven't done before, as the manager was struggling to fill this particular shift. Both myself and another long term volunteer are away from the shop in a few weeks time for a week, so I feel it's the least I can do before I go.
The nice weather makes such a difference to the commute too. London is like a completely different place when the sun shines. People's moods seem to be lifted and they appear much happier going about their daily business. People sit out in bars and cafes and enjoy the warm weather and the whole atmosphere is a little more congenial.