Towards the end of last year I began to ‘work’ one day a week in a local op-shop (thrift/charity shop). It’s a rather nice one, quite small in size by some of the other ‘chains’ standards: however it isn’t part of a national chain but supports a local charity which means it receives lots of good quality donations as well as other bits and pieces. Unlike some of the shops garments and bric a brac must be in good condition or it doesn’t go out for sale.
Anyway during this time not one person I have known has come into the shop – until the other day.
I was adding some newly priced garments to one of the ladies’ racks and I heard this voice say, ‘Oh Hello. How nice to see you. It must be years since the last time’
And on and on it went.
‘Are you looking for something special?’ she asked. ‘I’ve just come in to look for something for a friend, it’s not really the sort of place I frequent’
I recognised the voice instantly having worked with her many years previously but when I looked around it wasn’t me she was addressing. So I carried on rearranging and tidying. When she turned way from the shopper she was talking to and almost bumped into me I saw her look , trying to place me in her mind. Do I know this person or not?
So I thought I’d put her out of her misery, said Hello, and told her I volunteered there on a weekly basis. Well once she heard that she excused herself (Nice to see you, must go) and was out the door in a shot!
One of the other volunteers came over and asked me if I knew her, seems my ‘old friend’ usually came in on another day of the week and always seemed to find fault with the merchandise. Bought clothes regularly but was never happy as they weren’t the sort of thing she was used to but as she put it – Needs must!
It’s a shame that pride and embarrassment make us ashamed of what we have become (if that’s what it was) I certainly would not have been one to judge her.
Have you ever been in a situation like that? How would you have reacted?