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Man goes to Skegness and finds nothing

So alas T found nothing on his metal collecting trip to dear old Skeggie but the sharp whistle of a Siberian breeze, enough bottle tops to keep a Diageo production line busy for a few years and ultimately the call back to the bright lights and bargains of no. 25-29 Derby Road, Nottingham.

You can take the man out of the charity shop but you can’t take the charity shop out of the man.

Before we go any further reference must be made to the dreadful mistake I made in letting my girlfriend read this blog for the first time on Thursday, this was the worst idea since George W turned to Dick Cheney and said “hey Dicky baby, did Daddy ever get round to finishing off that nasty Saddam Insane man?”

Within fifteen seconds she’d already found two basic grammatical errors and decided I was having some sort of completely implausible affair with Madonna.

I will therefore not make any comments regarding the above singer and will be caking great tear
to make sure they are no further fish steaks in this blog.

It is worth adding, reading this as she undoubtedly will be, that she is the most beautiful, intelligent and wonderful (no need to read the end of this particular sentence honey) pedant I have ever had the fortune to have my linguistical laxities criticised by.

Anyway despite the failure of any of us to strike gold in the last week it’s clear these are exciting times at STC Nottingham.

P has yet another new ‘wack’ outfit and is this week’s international man of mystery, explaining to me “that he’s going driving” without actually telling me where he is going. He then explains he fancies getting down to Barcelona in time for the Grand Prix, a fitting challenge for a man of the world but as with all journeys from Nottingham his success will be dependent on the state of the M1 around Leicester.

T on the other hand is buzzing with the news that the PM is coming to our shop. This is of some surprise to me as I thought Mr Brown was too busy producing hilarious YouTube videos and having his premiership undermined by angry TV actresses with an obsession for protecting pickled cucumbers.

Why does Joanna Lumley care so much about saving gherkins anyway? If I’d known protecting them was such a big deal I would have been safely storing the two and a half tonnes of gherkin slices that I’ve had to painstakingly remove from Big Macs in the last 24 years.

It transpires though that it is not our man in 10 Downing Street, but a prominent member of the Save The Children Retail department or as we mere shop plebians are honoured to address them as “Our Dear Leaders”.

You will be pleased I hope to hear that it wasn’t because Head Office didn’t appreciate mine and T’s efforts to exact our own form of social justice on shoppers who don’t spend at least £5 a trip (you’d be surprised how far medieval catapults can hurl people) and that they were going to send the
Save the Children heavies in to throw me out the door faster than a football manager on a one match losing streak.

On the contrary, it in fact it seems a few people have actually been reading the blog and dare I say enjoying it, although what Head Office of course don’t realise is I took the week off work last week just to click the refresh button on www.savethechildren.org/blogs.

Clearly the excitement of it all got to me, I charged a man for what I only perceived to be one jumper when he quite rightly pointed out that it was in fact two items that had become inter-twinned like two nylon lovers fluttering in a errr charity shop.

If you will leave basic counting tasks like that in the hands of someone who used to spend his Maths lessons considering whether Bryan Roy or Ian Woan would be best suited to occupying the left midfield position in a Nottingham Forest nineteen-nineties dream team. The flying Dutchman by a whisker you’ll be completely disinterested to here.

Another customer has ‘sex’ tatooed on his hand, could potentially be quite embarrasing if he ever needs to shake hands with the Queen but I suppose it’s better than having it tatooed on your face.

With exemplary punctuality the Retail Manager arrives and we go down stairs for a chat.

Like all permanent staff they are enthusiastic, highly knowledgeable, professional and painted from head to foot in signature Save The Children red. Well maybe not the last bit.

Any how they tell me how they’d like to take the blog forward and their ambitious and impressive plans for shop volunteering.

And ambition seems to unite all who are involved in this organisation, whether it’s the drive to produce the best website in the entire charity sector challenging itself to raise to raise £2.5 million for the children of Sri Lanka or the Retail Department launching its biggest ever appeal for stock.

You can have no doubt that this charity’s capacity to set itself daunting targets, knock them down and build them up higher and higher each year provides precisely the right sort inspiration to get me off my backside every Saturday.

On that note I’ll end by saying here’s to a vibrant volunteering future and let’s believe Save the Children shop volunteering can be made a craze of the credit crunch and beyond. And if T isn’t as famous as Madonna by the end of this year I’ll paint myself all the colours of the Save the Children marketing pallete.

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