20 April, 2012

Checkout chick and blood donor

Two fabulous ladies. Our PTA co-presidents. Christine, on
the left, helped me with tags today. 
Today was another fun day at CAJ's Thrift Shop. I spent four hours on the register, not just scanning bar codes, but adding up numbers on a calculator! All the same, I'm glad I've never had to do that as a job, it could be deathly boring. What makes it fun on Thrift Shop Fridays is that the pace is leisurely and again there is time for socialising with those you're working with. Each "Register" has someone on the calculator as well as two other people who help with finding the prices of the items (not always easy) and packing the items for the customer. It helps it all run smoothly.

I took a couple of hours off in the middle to enjoy the food available (cheesecake – yum), spend time with my family (help them shop if necessary) and just relax a little. Thrift Shop has a nerve-wrecking effect on you if you don't take a break from the relentless work in the gym.

This is pretty much the view that I had of the event from my
seat at the register for four hours.
Today I also took the plunge and actually participated in the Blood Drive. Every Thrift Shop the school invites the Japanese Red Cross Society to run a Blood Drive at the school. It was funny hearing some of the kids floating around in the reception area. Some 15 y.o. girls came in and were disappointed that they had to be 16 before they could donate. Some elementary kids were asking experienced older kids, "How does it feel? Does it hurt a lot?" 

They ended up taking only 200mL of my blood because my haemoglobin was on the low end of the normal range. It took them about 30 minutes of administration to get that blood. A lot of time for not much result, I felt! But now I have an ID card I suspect it will be a lot easier next time. It's been more than 13 years since I gave blood, for one reason and another. I'm sure that last time I did it they didn't have dinky printers that I could fit in a large-sized handbag, nor did they have touch screens to enter data in a data bank, they certainly didn't have pin numbers to identify me!
Some of the "crowd" from above. This is the area between
all the main buildings. At the top of the photo you can see green
leaves mingled with pink. This is the remains of the cherry
blossoms that bloomed so beautifully in this area last week.

One more day of Thrift Shop. Tomorrow is probably the toughest physically. Not only are we tired, but the morning is the fastest paced of the whole event. It is the day that anyone can come and buy, and boy do they come. You see the photo of the CAJ "crowd" from above? I'll see if I can get a comparison photo tomorrow and you'll see that we have a lot more people on campus and the lines get quite long at the registers I'll be helping run.

The shop shuts at 1 and after that there is half an hour free shopping by PTA members and students who are committed to stay to totally clean up the gym. After the shopping, they restore the gym to its former self. I'm going to come home and keep an eye on children (if I can keep my eyes open) and David will go and help with the clean-up. He's hoping he might get a severely discounted home-made pie for his efforts too, like he has a few other times.

But for now, I'm going to head to bed tonight as soon as I can. Last night I made the mistake of writing here just before bedtime and realised at the same time that next week is going to be a bit of a shocker too. I have big all-day things five out of six days! Once in bed it took me ages to calm down after the fun of writing here and then the shock of realising how busy I'll be next week. Tonight, it's going to be different.

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