Rude manager. Is it worth it?

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lostsputnik
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So, if I can explain, I’ve been volunteering in a charity shop for about nearly 4 months now. I only do a few hours a week at the shop. I’m a full-time student (just started uni) and have other life commitments, but am happy giving a few hours to a good cause.

Without waffling on, the lady that manages the shop I’ve come to find is a bit rude and I’m contemplating whether it’s even worth my time continuing to volunteer there. She constantly complains about people donating what she deems “unsatisfactory” things (and imo, there’s nothing wrong with half of it) and has a right attitude. She also complains about all the other volunteers. The other week I made a mistake on the till which required her assistance (I make mistakes sometimes, I’m only human) and soon overheard her talking to another volunteer in the back complaining that I’d already been here for X amount of weeks - in other words saying I shouldn’t of made that error. I feel like I’m inconveniencing her when I ask for help.

To top last week off, there was an incident where massive bags of clothing ended up falling on a customer. They resorted to storing excess bags of donations in the customer dressing room during COVID, basically, and whoever stacked them didn’t do it very well as they all fell out onto this poor old man. The customer seemed OK and was joking about it, but I felt I needed to inform the manager because some people can get funny about that crap (injury claims and whatnot) and went out back. She was sat behind her desk, clearly in earshot of the whole thing, and looked at me like she couldn’t give two and spoke to me as if I were a child and told me to “pick it up then”. So I picked those massive bags up and once again apologised to the customer.

Would you put up with this? I’m giving up my own time to help this person when they couldn’t really give a toss. The other volunteers are a bit ignorant too, with the exception of one lady who is really nice to me and actually makes conversation. There’s one there that totally blanks me (don’t know what her problem is) and I had another older lady who volunteers complain when I was 2 minutes late to switch over from the till. Overheard her talking to the manager about this.

Thoughts?

(Sorry for the essay)
TLDR; Rude manager and I'm getting a bit fed up of her attitude.
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marple
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(Original post by lostsputnik)
So, if I can explain, I’ve been volunteering in a charity shop for about nearly 4 months now. I only do a few hours a week at the shop. I’m a full-time student (just started uni) and have other life commitments, but am happy giving a few hours to a good cause.

Without waffling on, the lady that manages the shop I’ve come to find is a bit rude and I’m contemplating whether it’s even worth my time continuing to volunteer there. She constantly complains about people donating what she deems “unsatisfactory” things (and imo, there’s nothing wrong with half of it) and has a right attitude. She also complains about all the other volunteers. The other week I made a mistake on the till which required her assistance (I make mistakes sometimes, I’m only human) and soon overheard her talking to another volunteer in the back complaining that I’d already been here for X amount of weeks - in other words saying I shouldn’t of made that error. I feel like I’m inconveniencing her when I ask for help.

To top last week off, there was an incident where massive bags of clothing ended up falling on a customer. They resorted to storing excess bags of donations in the customer dressing room during COVID, basically, and whoever stacked them didn’t do it very well as they all fell out onto this poor old man. The customer seemed OK and was joking about it, but I felt I needed to inform the manager because some people can get funny about that crap (injury claims and whatnot) and went out back. She was sat behind her desk, clearly in earshot of the whole thing, and looked at me like she couldn’t give two and spoke to me as if I were a child and told me to “pick it up then”. So I picked those massive bags up and once again apologised to the customer.

Would you put up with this? I’m giving up my own time to help this person when they couldn’t really give a toss. The other volunteers are a bit ignorant too, with the exception of one lady who is really nice to me and actually makes conversation. There’s one there that totally blanks me (don’t know what her problem is) and I had another older lady who volunteers complain when I was 2 minutes late to switch over from the till. Overheard her talking to the manager about this.

Thoughts?

(Sorry for the essay)
TLDR; Rude manager and I'm getting a bit fed up of her attitude.
I think the problem is you're not being paid for this work. It all sounds pretty typical for someone working in a shop, and the manager doesn't sound to be anything unusual to be honest; she probably doesn't love her job, won't get paid a huge amount and clearly finds it difficult dealing with lots of part time staff which you inevitably get in a charity shop. Working with volunteers can be difficult - they have different expectations to employees, normally expecting a bit of gratitude and appreciation as they aren't getting a pay cheque. You don't seem to be getting appreciation and it's bound to be annoying.

I don't think you're being particularly badly treated, but at the end of the day you're doing it to help a cause you support and to feel you're contributing. If the "pay-off" isn't working for you, look to support this or another charity in another way. If you're doing it in part to help you get a part time, paid job in retail, perhaps keep going while you apply so that you can demonstrate retail experience and use them for a reference.

Best of luck
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bones-mccoy
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As someone who used to run a charity shop, this isn't how you're supposed to be treated. Yes, you're doing it for a good cause and some experience and yes, you're not being paid, but that doesn't mean management should be be speaking to you like that. Other volunteers speaking about you within earshot is highly unprofessional and shouldn't be tolerated imo. No one expects a round of applause when volunteering but a bit of appreciation goes a long way - I always made sure I thanked volunteers for their hard work at the end of the day as I remembered how much it meant to be thanked when I was a volunteer myself.

How long have you been volunteering there for? Is there another charity shop you could volunteer in instead or would perhaps looking for paid work be more appropriate for you now?
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RoadtoSuccess
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If someone is treating you in an unfair manner I would not put up with it, either ask to speak to your Manager to talk about it, or simply leave that place and find a new volunteering shop or a job in general
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lostsputnik
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(Original post by marple)
I think the problem is you're not being paid for this work. It all sounds pretty typical for someone working in a shop, and the manager doesn't sound to be anything unusual to be honest; she probably doesn't love her job, won't get paid a huge amount and clearly finds it difficult dealing with lots of part time staff which you inevitably get in a charity shop. Working with volunteers can be difficult - they have different expectations to employees, normally expecting a bit of gratitude and appreciation as they aren't getting a pay cheque. You don't seem to be getting appreciation and it's bound to be annoying.

I don't think you're being particularly badly treated, but at the end of the day you're doing it to help a cause you support and to feel you're contributing. If the "pay-off" isn't working for you, look to support this or another charity in another way. If you're doing it in part to help you get a part time, paid job in retail, perhaps keep going while you apply so that you can demonstrate retail experience and use them for a reference.

Best of luck
Thanks for your response.

She definitely doesn’t enjoy her work from what I’ve seen over the time that I’ve been there. She has a hard time actually getting people to volunteer at the shop and there’s not many of us currently there. There’s been a few that have been and gone (wonder why?) and some of the reviews against the shop are extremely negative, some specifically singling out her attitude.

She does have a fair amount of work on her hands, I appreciate that fact. Re. the pay being bad, I wouldn’t know, but she’s been there for quite awhile so it must be adequate enough - who knows. All I know it doesn’t cost her much to be nice to people that give up their time to help run her shop & show a bit of common decency. It’s not really on.

I will persist for the meantime though and probably look elsewhere for paid work. As you say, it’s for a good cause, that’s the main thing.
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lostsputnik
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(Original post by bones-mccoy)
As someone who used to run a charity shop, this isn't how you're supposed to be treated. Yes, you're doing it for a good cause and some experience and yes, you're not being paid, but that doesn't mean management should be be speaking to you like that. Other volunteers speaking about you within earshot is highly unprofessional and shouldn't be tolerated imo. No one expects a round of applause when volunteering but a bit of appreciation goes a long way - I always made sure I thanked volunteers for their hard work at the end of the day as I remembered how much it meant to be thanked when I was a volunteer myself.

How long have you been volunteering there for? Is there another charity shop you could volunteer in instead or would perhaps looking for paid work be more appropriate for you now?
Glad to have some input from someone that used to run one! I have quite thick skin to be honest, but some of the carry on there has started to get to me, hence the post.

I’ve been volunteering at the shop for around 4 months now. Originally started just to get that bit of experience and enhance my CV, but also to help towards a good cause obviously. And they needed it, as mentioned above they don’t have many volunteers.

It wasn’t that bad in the first two months of me starting to work there, to be fair. There was another man that was working there who has since transferred to another branch. He was really nice, but it seems to of gotten worse since his departure.

I know some managers can be funny, but you don’t really expect to be treated like this especially when you’re giving your own time to help out. I think it was the second time that I was there where she turned around and started complaining about another volunteer saying she was “totally useless” and more or less mentally inept. I was beyond shocked and didn’t even comment, but alarm bells began ringing then. Totally nasty.

I’ll probably start looking elsewhere soon. There is quite a few local charity shops, but yes would definitely prefer paid work... Wonder if she’ll give me a reference!?
Last edited by lostsputnik; 3 days ago
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YaliaV123
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(Original post by lostsputnik)
Thanks for your response.

She definitely doesn’t enjoy her work from what I’ve seen over the time that I’ve been there. She has a hard time actually getting people to volunteer at the shop and there’s not many of us currently there. There’s been a few that have been and gone (wonder why?) and some of the reviews against the shop are extremely negative, some specifically singling out her attitude.

She does have a fair amount of work on her hands, I appreciate that fact. Re. the pay being bad, I wouldn’t know, but she’s been there for quite awhile so it must be adequate enough - who knows. All I know it doesn’t cost her much to be nice to people that give up their time to help run her shop & show a bit of common decency. It’s not really on.

I will persist for the meantime though and probably look elsewhere for paid work. As you say, it’s for a good cause, that’s the main thing.
There are no good excuses for treating people like crap. I would find another volunteer position if you still want to volunteer, but university is stressful enough. I would just leave.
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ffvvrr
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It’s always worth it
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lostsputnik
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(Original post by EFranc645)
Just accept it, if she's rude to you there's probably a good reason, and from the sounds of it you seem like quite an unpleasant person
Great advice. Actually contemplated whether or not I should respond, but I’ll bite.

She’s rude to the majority of volunteers & customers - - does that also make them unpleasant people, using your logic?
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YaliaV123
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(Original post by lostsputnik)
Great advice. Actually contemplated whether or not I should respond, but I’ll bite.

She’s rude to the majority of volunteers & customers - - does that also make them unpleasant people, using your logic?
The user is a troll and I’m sure they will be banned soon. Just ignore them
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Ben878
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It doesn't sound like she is treating you like crap exactly, more she just doesn't have a good team-ethic character or make the effort to be friendly

However, I think since there's a lot of charity shops around you should go find another place - all the places I've volunteered at the people treated me with a great deal of kindness and respect - and that's always been my feeling that the charity sector is a relatively friendly place work wise - and ought to be
Last edited by Ben878; 3 days ago
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nutz99
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Sounds typical of a poor manager. Someone who has been put in a position they don’t enjoy and for which they have no skills. Probably managed from another location and her manager doesn’t get to see how bad she is.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a voluntary worker or an employee, she has no right to treat you like that. If it was me I would be looking to find something else ASAP.
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Admit-One
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I think if you’ve been there for four months you’ve probably gotten your value out of it, in terms of something to put on your CV. There’s plenty of other volunteering opportunities around if you have the time and willingness to continue with something else in its place.

As an aside, I do often find that volunteers in charity shops aren’t necessarily good people managers. So probably luck of the draw if you get someone that you can work alongside.
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