I have rather exerted my influence over proceedings at the Oxfam bookshop in Petersfield – this will come as no surprise to people who know me.
This week, there have been several reminders of how that works.
Our manager was due holiday and that means we have to get extra cover and I was charming, as I thought, a fellow volunteer to do an extra shift when she said, but much more nicely, ‘OK just tell me what you want me to do.’
Then on Thursday, sweeping down to the shop from upstairs book-sorting, I saw that the display of Valentines cards were still there.
‘Let’s get rid of those, ‘ I said, and so swept them into the back room and replaced them with Comic Relief wristbands. ( I was busy sweeping as you can see.)
It was only a couple of days later the manager managed to retrieve them – they were Mothers’ Day cards.
We have a Syrian refugee volunteer and my best beloved can speak some Arabic so they come into the shop together on a Wednesday which is a day I am not normally in the shop – phew, say the Wednesday volunteers.
Anyway, this Wednesday I was in, and a relatively new volunteer was in too, as was my best beloved and the Syrian.
The latter two were talking in Arabic and the new volunteer and I were talking about how strange it was to listen to a language when you couldn’t catch anything familiar – if it was Italian or French or Greek or Spanish, you would pick up something but with Arabic , there was nothing.
Then the nice Syrian man looked at me and smiled and said, ‘No, no.’
The best beloved explained they had been searching through the dictionary for the best word for bossy.
The new volunteer was found giggling in the corner.