Thursday, May 24, 2018

Not So Slothful

This is a young sloth healing from a broken arm (in a sling).
Via "all things sloth"
I relate to slow animals, but lately I've been pretty darn zippy, volunteering at the SVDP thrift store. It brings together a bunch of things I enjoy and care about:
Chatting with people (staff & customers)

Participating in the corporal-works-of-mercy side of religion (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc.); 
And, maybe especially researching stuff---its design and history and variable worth.

I've been going through the Mountain of Supposedly Valuable Donations in the managers' office. Most of the things I look up, I put out on the sales floor for a couple bucks. Half the time on my way to the floor, something in the shopping carts of donations ready to go out (priced by volunteers) catches my eye instead.

Yesterday, I plucked out a set of stainless steel refrigerator dishes (pre-Tupperware), by Revere Ware--the company that made (makes?) copper-bottom pans (nice ones, but there are zillions). 
These containers had a simple, elegant design,  and though they were made by a familiar company, I'd never seen them.

Sure enough, they are "elusive"--this set of three sold for $50 on eBay this month. Ours were priced 79¢ each.

The manager has suggested I help volunteers learn to identify valuable things, but that's elusive in itself.
How do I know?
My Spidey-sense for valuable items comes from a mix of things:
growing up with a mother who liked to go antique/junk-hunting; 
eye-training by working in an art & design library, having artist friends, and making visual art (including sewing) myself;
tracking down and blogging (27 posts) the mid-century design roots of items in Star Trek;
and couple years volunteering at Steeple People thrift store, a brief stint at Goodwill, and e-Baying this past winter... 

Plus, I have a general interest in everything.

Yesterday my co-volunteer who repairs computers told me, "It's wonderful having someone else here who cares about STUFF."

I laughed--I do care about stuff. A lot of the staff are not lovers of stuff--they're there for religious reasons, or because it's a job.

And now it will be MY job too!
Yesterday the manager asked me if I'd like to replace the paid part-time worker who processes book donations--as well as doing online sales.

I enthusiastically said yes.

We'll meet next week to talk about pay and hours and stuff.
I expect it's $10/hour, like GW, but I don't care. I can supplement it with my father's house money.

You may remember that when I started working at GW last summer, I thought I might stay there until I retired (at 75?). The management was so awful, I didn't make it through the summer.

SVDP is screwy in its own way, for sure! but I've already been there 3+ months and no red flags have popped up. 

I CAUTIOUSLY could imagine staying there a long time.
Especially if I actively pursue my plan for get better at tolerating uncomfortable/unpleasant emotions that arise from close contact with my species.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome job!!!

And yes, some people have an eye and some don't! Here's a story: my mother died in February. My brother and his wife were at the house trying to find papers, etc. My sister-in-law cleaned out my mom's closet and put 3 purses into the sale pile. When I came down to see what I wanted I looked at the purses. One was an Etienne Aigner from the 60's complete with matching gloves. This was back when they handmade all of their purses from leather and belgian linen. The other two were boxy 60's purses-one was crocodile and the other snake skin. Oh yes, I grabbed them! Along with other stuff I never told my sister-in-law about.

I had always thought she knew the old stuff but apparently not!

I totally envy your job and know you will do great. Nice catch on the refrigerator dishes.


ArtSparker said...

Curiosity is key to being suited both to picking stuff out and doing the research.

Fresca said...

Kirsten: Oh... my condolences on the death of your mother. My father died last July---we weren't close, but it's still so weird he's not here anymore.

Once in a while I miss him---he would have enjoyed hearing about my thrift store job, for instance. Not that he was into thrift, but he'd have enjoyed the adventure of it.

I'd love to see photos of those bags--what a scoop. How funny your SIL missed those...
You could have a blog--or maybe you're on FB?

SPARKER: I agree, curiosity is key--and feeling free to nose about and dig around for info.