Tuesday, 29 March 2011

How Can These People Sleep At Night?

Over the last 3 weeks I haven't been able to dedicate my Fridays to working in the Save The Children shop where I volunteer. I feel really guilty.

I know it's not my fault as I had the Friday of Mini Cheddars 2nd birthday already booked off and the other 2 I only managed 2 hours work before she took really ill and then I picked up the norovirus too.

However, what I can do is blog about it which will ease my guilt.  It won't make me feel any better with what I have to blog about today though.

When I popped into the shop a couple of weeks ago to escape the horrors of my daughters puking episodes volunteer a couple of hours all was a normal day. The other 3 volunteers and myself were hard at work. Customers were coming into the shop thick and fast - all so friendly and lovely as always and varying greatly in age.

I'd heard the odd rumour about charity shop theft before but didn't think much about it. I was told that you could usually tell a theft had taken place as the large wooden hangers would be left empty on the rail.

Our shop is split into two rooms and when you're on the till in the front room you can't see the back room. This is where the fitting room is and wooden hangers would often be left in there too I'd been told. Shocking.

It was pushing 4pm - closing time - and customers in the shop were starting to become few and far between. I'd been upstairs sorting some stock and then went to help cash up and sort the books at the till downstairs. As I went downstairs I noticed a slim, well dressed woman in her 40's in the front part of the shop, she was holding a really lovely sleeveless top on it's wooden hanger. She went into the back room as we were on the till cashing up in the front.

About 5 minutes later she passed by us (you have to go right past the the till to exit the shop), smiled and said goodbye. We didn't think anything of it. Then one of the other volunteers said "I saw her with that cream sleeveless top before, she went to try it on I think, did she leave it in the changing room? I hope she did as I didn't see her put it back".

My heart sank. Surely this pleasant and polite woman wouldn't have stolen it? I went into the changing room. No top, but no hanger either. She must have put it back on the rail and we'd just not seen her. My faith in humankind restored.

As I walked out of the fitting room, there staring back at me was a large wooden hanger with a size 8 clip on it, empty and discarded in the 'bargain bucket'.

Photo credit: africa
Words fail me.

This top was no more than £3.00 to purchase.

£3.00.

Yes, £3.00.

£3.00 can provide 8 children with treatment for life-threatening diarrhea.

How can these people sleep at night?

I know a lot of people are feeling the pinch under this new government but seriously, stealing from a charity shop? That's some new kind of low.



If you would like to read my other blog posts about Save The Children and volunteer work, you can view them here:
Charity Doesn't Always Begin At Home
Born To Volunteer





10 comments:

Liska said...

That's terrible.
Shoplifters come in all guises. I know that from my years in retail.
xx

Lauren said...

That is absolutely disgusting.
I used to get wound up at finding empty dummy packaging hidden around the shops. Normally those who had taken them would then pop next door and BUY cigarettes!

To steal a £3 top with money going to charity is just horrid.

Liska said...

Thanks for your support and message.
He took 30 ml of it at 2:15 this afternoon though and I'm sure it's helped a little.
Liska xxx

Sheffy said...

That is dreadful. no wonder she was "well dressed"! However, I do honestly believe that for every one person like her, there are a hundred like you who give up their time and energy to help other people!

alysonsblog said...

every single bit of my body wants to believe that she didnt do it and its just a mistake but I know from my mafiosa incident post that its a massive problem for age concern

Inside the Wendy House said...

Disgraceful, selfish and thoughtless :(

Ooh Baby - All things Cuteable said...

I'm taking a different view here, and commenting on your guilt at not being able to volunteer for the last three weeks. I don't know if you know what I do work wise, but I'm a Voluntary Services Manager for a Children's Hospice. Just wanted to say to you, please try not to feel guilty when you can't make it, it's a huge part of my job reassuring volunteers that no matter what, we understand that everyone has a life and other commitments outwith volunteering. The most important thing is that you feel valued, as to become a volunteer you have to be so passionate about something, you're giving your time for free to help a cause you believe strongly in. Being a volunteer makes you a special person - but I already knew that about you anyway ;o) x

PS. I'm sad to say in this day and age, nothing surprises me about people.

The syders said...

Unbelievable! Some people are just shocking! Will be interesting to see if she comes back to the shop again x

I Heart Motherhood said...

that is disgraceful! No other words.

helloitsgemma said...

I may sound like a hippy but that's her karma F***** up. What goes around comes around. Do bad stuff and it revisits you.
She'll have it coming and she certainly won't be able to go back in your shop.

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