At the Library last night, I went through three boxes of books. Seven were worth listing, and one might be worth $125, which is huge.
On two occassions, a book I listed on a Thursday at the Library sold before I even got home. One was a Christian-themed sex manual and last week there was a style guide. But I keep stalking the web site and we aren’t doing quite so well.
However, we have a notepad on the desk to leave each other notes, and the director left one saying that the in-store sales were up $100 last week from the week before. And that the week before was up $100 from the week before that.
Makes sense, with all of the snow. We were actually closed for three days that I can recall. So I am going to take this note as a sign of Spring.
I don’t care. But I guess I should include some Star Wars stories:
My family does not have the same taste in anything, but the Star Wars movies we all loved. (And Queen is the only band we all like, but that is a different story). I am not so geeky that I have read all of the novels, or go to conventions, or try to verify the scientific blahblahblah. But I am this geeky:
The picture above was drawn by the young son of a co-worker. He e-mailed it over with no explanation and said:
Him: Can you identify this?
Me: That is Yoda fighting the Emperor at the end of Episode III.
Him: Actually,, it is Yoda fighting Darth Vader, but that is close enough.
Me: Darth Vader never fought Yoda.
Him: I know.
Me: Oh. So you mean..he used his imagination or something?
Just to tell another story and out my brother, Scott – one summer when I was in college, John Williams was conducting the CSO at the Ravinia Festival. All of my friends were going and in a moment of extreme fraternal magnanimity, I invited Scott. He was 15 or 16 at the time, and tickets for student were free. We were sitting on our blanket playing cards when my friend Noah (and you have to picture it):
Turned a paper plate upside down and placed a marshmallow on it, randomly off-center. In his other hand, he had a pretzel stick. He said, “OK – what is this?” and dropped the pretzel stick onto the upside down paper plate. My brother did not blink:
Scott: It is Luke Skywalker falling from the bottom of Cloud city onto the Millennium Falcon at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.
Noah: OK, you’re in.
I got an e-mail yesterday at work from Rich, the director of the Refuge. He is a cop and was on duty for 36 hours straight, so he asked me to stop by the Refuge – which is actually his house – to shut the place down for the night.
Mostly, this involves making sure everyone is in their place, no one is bleeding (which can happen if a feather breaks awkwardly, or the bird plucks its feathers) and cover them up for the night.
I have told Rich that he should ask for help more often. He is worried about asking to much of volunteers. So when he actually asks, I do my best to be responsive. But yesterday, I really wanted to do my homework. And it was my turn to make dinner. So I compromised and told him that I would stop by on my way home from work, which meant it would still be light out when the birds were put to “bed”. He said it was ok – he would be home by the time the sun came up. How does he ever get to sleep?
So I got there about 4:15. The last set of volunteers had managed to load the dishwasher once. Because water dishes are changed out each day, this means it had to be unloaded and reloaded, and clean dishes set up for the next day’s volunteers. I sometimes feel like the only person that cares about handling this properly – our adoptions director has called me the “dish nazi”. But she wasn’t around back in the day when one load of dirty dishes meant that we had to wait around for the dishwasher just to give a bird fresh water. At 9pm, because there were only two of us and the senior volunteer didn’t get there until 6:30 on a good night.
I did the dishes and set up the trays for the next day. I checked the medication chart and saw that the two birds that get evening medications didn’t get the morning dose until 11am. Too early. Then I gave each bird an almond and covered them up. I got home shortly after 5pm, started dinner and got straight to the homework.
In addition to selling books in the Library, UBS sells some online at Amazon. I learned a lot about it while writing my marketing project and, in fact, made several recommendations on enhancing that part of the program.
During that time, I started listing books for UBS. There are only about six of us that list books online. It requires researching the value and being comfortable with the web site. There are so many donated books and so few listing volunteers that we have a closet full of boxed up books waiting for us at all times.
So I have the log in i.d. and password, and every day (sometimes more than once a day), I log in just to see if anything has sold. Almost once a day, we have. And today, it was one of mine, Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois.
“Mine”, I say. As if I wrote the book, as opposed of just picking it up from a pile and posting it on a web site. As if the next volunteer wouldn’t have done exactly the same thing, and about the same way, with the same result.
OK – I am just slightly competitive. But it’s all for a good cause, right?
I wonder if I only managed a “B” because I worried more about being realistic for UBS and less about the actual outline of the assignment? Whatever. I can’t wait to see if any of it can be of practical use.
This past January, as the rest of the world was making New Year’s Resolutions, I considered my goals for 2008. It went something like this:
While I am working full time. This is as full as my plate has been since I was an undergrad. Maybe ever. It would make sense to cut back on the volunteering. Am I going to do that? Absolutely not.
I am not married and have no intention of ever being married. I do not plan to have children. I still want to be a well-rounded person. I want to make a contribution to my community. My intent here is to record some of the tales of the Volunteer Sphere, and perhaps help to maintain some perspective as I try to balance each of my roles.