Sunday, 23 July 2017

A Bit of a Catch Up

Well, it's Sunday and I don't feel like I've done hardly anything today.  I was working Friday and yesterday, so I guess I've been recovering from the physical exertion of that.  I did walk the dog this morning, do a class at the gym, complete the weekly shop and then cook a roast, but otherwise, I've not done a whole lot.  I guess I am entitled to days like that, but a few boxes in my bullet journal didn't get ticked.  Never mind.

I thought I'd do a bit of a catch up with regard to my new job. It's going okay. I am finding the people management side of it tricky, as most of the volunteers/interns are quite young and it is quite difficult sometimes to keep them on task.  I'm working on it.

The current manager in post, has suggested a new system of giving some of them more responsibility on a day to day basis. They are management interns and are there to learn how to manage, so they need to be given the opportunity to take charge of different aspects of the shop and I along with the manager, will then oversee their efforts, helping them as is necessary.  This sounds like a much better approach, as they will get much more from their time in the shop, the more they engage. We'll see what happens.

I am enjoying the work.  Everyone has put in a lot of effort over the past couple of weeks to get on top of the back log and the sorting room is now looking so much better and less overwhelming.  It should make life much easier going forward. The manager himself has been driving this reorganisation and it is beginning to pay dividends.

Friday last week was a bit stressful, as a couple of situations arose in the absence of the manager, so most of my day was taken up trying to resolve them satisfactorily, albeit temporarily. In comparison, Saturday was a dream, as there were only a few long term volunteers and both of us paid managers on duty and we were able to do a whole lot of work without many distractions. It was bliss.

I'm gradually building up the stamina to deal with the physical nature of the work.  It's taken a few weeks, but I am finding it easier physically as the weeks go by.  Having said this, the day after I've worked, I am often not capable of doing much at home, possibly through tiredness. I'm so pleased that I didn't offer to work full time, as it would definitely have been too much.

I enjoy the bus journey to and from work though, much more than catching the train.  Instead of having to jostle for a seat in a crowded train carriage, I have a whole bus seat to myself all of the way in to work and can open a window and take a breath of fresh air if I wish (although the buses are air conditioned), listen to the radio on my earphones, people watch or just peacefully prepare for or decompress from the day's work. It takes a little longer and I often miss a bus, as I lock my bike up, which is eternally frustrating, but the whole travel situation is much less stressful. I actually enjoy getting the bus.

I'm working three consecutive days this week before we go away on Saturday for a week.  We are housesitting for relatives, looking after their animals while they go on holiday, so it should be a pretty relaxing week. I'm not sure what I'll come back to, but I'm trying not to think about that for the moment.


  1. It's such a tiring job. My first experience of working at a charity shop was as a manager and I was in no way prepared for the physical nature of the role.

    I think people management is the hardest and least enjoyable part of any job. At least with interns you really can direct them as they're there to learn (your charity sounds so professional having interns!) with volunteers it can be a bit more like turning and oil tanker. We have some volunteers who have been with the charity for over 20 years, they will no do anything other than what they want to do. Very frustrating to a manager that wants everyone to pull together.

  2. Yes, that can be the case sometimes. Here in London, many of the CS rely on interns to help staff them, because it is so expensive to live here and many people can't afford to volunteer and offer their time for free.

    Most of the interns are European students wanting to improve their English, which can make communication a bit tricky at times, but they are generally really great to work with and it's nice to see them really enjoy their time here in London and not really want to go home.