Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Morning: Salad Spinners Again

Disclaimer: I have nothing against salad spinners!

Good morning! Here I am brushing the kitty I am house sitting:
She is a darling to me, but yesterday I found two baby mice she had killed. 
Someone once said our pet cats are only nice to us because we are too big to kill--unless you are The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). Here the protaganist's house cat plays cat-and-mouse with him (what a great movie for showing how danger is a matter of relationship):

So, after two friends sang to me the praises of their salad spinners, it was funny that someone bought a salad spinner yesterday.
 
When I told him that I'd been discussing their existence, the shopper, a young white guy, told me a little defensively that he likes them because he grows his own lettuce, and they're good for getting the dirt off.

"I know they're just a single-purpose item," he said, like I was checking his moral credentials.

"So's a toaster," I said, "and I couldn't live without mine!"

I don't have a toaster.  I have a coffeemaker and a microwave, which I mainly use to warm milk for my coffee. But my lie falls under the Allay Customer's Fear of Moral Judgment clause. 

I definitely can be very judgmental, but buying a used kitchen implement that you like does not trigger that side of me. In fact, my moral judge just takes a nap while I'm at work: 
buying anything used doesn't activate it.
This is a great benefit of my job--there're crazy politics behind the scenes, but basically the day-to-day mission is benign.

It even has unintentional good consequences:
I'm experiencing more inter–racial/ethnic mingling at the store than anywhere else in US culture.
For instance, an older black man in line behind lettuce-growing guy asked him what the spinner does, and the guy showed him how it works. 
That may seem like nothing, but I'm telling you, folks in my town don't intermingle much.
Stuff brings us together.

And, mygod, the stuff

We process mountains of it.
Even having worked at Steeple People thrift store, I am shocked by the amount of stuff that comes through. 
SP was a little, single-store operation--this is an international corporation.

Do you know "gaylords"?
I didn't. That's the name for big, heavy-duty cardboard shipping containers, like short & wide refrigerator boxes, originally manufactured by the Gaylord Co. (You can get cheap-o caskets made out of this reinforced corrugated cardboard too.)

Four to six full-time donation-sorters at my store fill . . . I don't know how many, several gaylords every day with donations deemed unsaleable, to send to recycling or re-sale outlets. And then there's the stuff that goes in the industrial trash compactor, which is the size of a small room. (I avert my eyes---once I saw a toy with a face looking out at me.)

I'm loving the social side of my job, but the store's inventory disappoints me a little because––while SP had to put out all kind of donations, from Tupperware bins to diamond tie-tacs––individual outlets like mine cull high-end expensive or vintage donations and send them on to their online store. 
These things sell better online, they tell me, and I'm sure they do, but that means my store is closer to a mainstream department store than a funky vintage store.

3 comments:

Michael Leddy said...

"They're good for getting the dirt off": that's it, exactly. The bugs too, at least most of the time.

nanacathydotcom said...

I noticed that some of the items from my Dad and Step Mums houseI took to the charity shops never made it to the local shop and I was convinced they had gone to wealthier neighbourhoods. I have certainly found that some charity shops have nicer stock in better off towns. This is all wrong really, except that it means more money for the charity this way. As for a second hand charity spinner, no way would I buy second hand kitchenalia. I know what disgusting things sometimes happen to kitchen items! I'm not keen on sald spinners myself, but it's true that home grown lettuces need very very careful washing and draining, not just the soil but the creepy crawlies. too. It's lovely that it is encouraging people in your town to talk to each other.

Fresca said...

MICHAEL: The bugs are the protein!

CATHY: Yep, I didn't realize, but it turns out lots of stuff that's donated doesn't go right onto the sales floor where you donated it.

I think a bleach bath would kill second-hand bacteria, but yeah, you sure never know where stuff has been. (Or you can imagine, which is the problem!)