How frustrating... I have many lovely photos to share for my ::30 Days:: series and Blogger still refuses to let me load them.**
It has been a busy weekend. On Saturday, I took the kids with me to the consignment shop. It was free "shopping" day and we got to pick through all the clothing, toys and accessories that consignors did not come back for. There were over 4,000 items left behind and still some very nice things. After shopping, we opened to the public to sell the remaining items for 75% off.
On Sunday, Hubby, the kids, and I went back to the store to work our final day. The store was open from 10-3pm and then after closing, staff pulled all the tags from the leftover items and scanned the bar codes in the computer. Everything that is left will be donated to charity-- people from battered women shelters and various homes will come and "shop".
It was a different feel for me this time around. I have been involved with the store almost from the beginning, 6 years ago, when Oldest was still in my belly. There were changes this year, with new staff members, my new baby, and the boss discovering she had cancer in her uterus and had a hysterectomy in the middle of the sale. I am amazed at her determination to be at the store a mere 5 days after the surgery and everyone, staff and volunteers, stepped up and made everything work in her absence.
I felt like the odd man out this sale. I'm coming from 90 miles away and gas is an issue, because even if the prices are falling, my bank account isn't growing. It is a challenge to work and keep a watchful eye on 4 children and then I also had to stop working every so often to nurse the baby. It was fine for me to hold the baby and work, but if Hubby held the baby, he was told to get off the clock. I found it to be overwhelming and have only been to work for a total of 8 days out of 5 weeks. I also spent a lot of time working solo and felt shut out of conversations.
I also discovered that certain items were pulled out before we had our free shopping and then put back afterwards when we were done. If they didn't want me to take any of those items, they could have asked me to leave them. I did not get any more than anyone else did, and as a matter of fact, I filled only 1 shopping cart full of clothing and toys, compared to two other staffers that had 2 shopping carts full. Usually, there is a lot of "what size are you looking for? Here's a bunch of size sixes!" And this time, there was none of that.
A coat I picked out that was a really nice one by a well-known good quality brand was singled out: "Who are you getting the coat for?" The baby, I replied. "It's a size 4!!" (It's actually a size 3) I shrugged my shoulders and put it in my cart. First off, this is a consignment shop, which means you usually only see one of everything, not many duplicates in several sizes like at the stores. Plus, it was a really nice coat and chances are, when Baby needs a coat when he is 3, I'm not going to find one like it, so who says I can't snag it now and hold onto it for a couple years? It was the only item I got that wasn't his current size and she had 2 carts filled with items for only 2 little boys. I'm filling 1 cart for 4 kids. It all left a sour taste in my mouth, to tell you the truth.
My husband also noticed a change in the way people behaved around us and we have concluded that maybe it is time for us to move on, to find another consignment place closer to home, or to try and start our own thing. I have seen how the business has grown every year and I know how it works and I think there is a real potential for it to do well where I live. It could give us the opportunity to get to know people in our own community, contribute to local charities and keep me closer to home instead of driving 180 miles a day to earn a mere $5/hour. Definitely something to check into.
** I'll continue the ::30Days:: series when Blogger lets me post pictures again.