Leadership, Rank, Orders And All That - Part 3: Teamwork

So today, I did something major.

Well, my team and I did something major.

Apparently, the charity shop where I volunteer - as stockroom manager - is going to get an inspection very soon. Health & safety, fire, whatever. Some rumours say it's tomorrow.

So guess who managed to get the stockroom nice and tidyish before going home today?

Here's the story.

When I came in, I learned that there was going to be an inspection very soon. Possibly on the Saturday, when the general manager was not in. So it was important that the stockroom be sorted out and tidied, in order to pass any possible inspections - health & safety, fire safety, whatever.

The room as it stood would not have passed anything. There'd been a huge pile of stock sent to us from rotation in the Rhyl branch, and it had been transferred into the stock room from its previous resting place on the stairs. When I looked in, I felt somewhat appalled. There was stuff piled hither and yon. The far corners of the stock room were an unnavigable mess; the front half was none too shiny, either.

Something Had To Be Done. But on my own, there was not a damned thing that I could do about it. Fortunately, I had help. Two volunteers turned up and offered their services. I had a team. I could do this.

I began by taking bags of donated clothing from wherever I could find them, and putting them against the soft furnishings shelves - a Sorting Wall, opposite the Sorting Tables in the middle. This actually began to clear some space, because those bags were getting in everybody's way where they were - if they were all in the Sorting Wall, they were manageable, and I could gain access to some of the spaces now freed up by the removal of those bags. Same deal with the non-clothes materials - books, DVDs and other desiderata went into a second Sorting Wall beside the racks.

Before I knew it, I was hauling out rogue headboards - as in bed headboards - and stowing them in a neat structure against one wall, in a space which had held just clothing bags, where there were racks of clothes considered unreachable thanks to the detritus surrounding them, locking them in. Meanwhile, the team were clearing out unusable garbage, as well as sorting out the non-clothes Sorting Wall. The stockroom now has a clothing Sorting Wall, and a non-clothing one.

Damn, though, the things we dug up when we got shifting things - proper garment scissors; a Shillelagh; some pretty jewellery that belonged on the shop floor below. I even found a lovely trilby hat - it's now an official Boss Hat on the dance floor, the term I use for the place where I work.

I needed to get the room cleared by 12:30 so everyone could go to college. Before noon, we'd finished the job - and put everything possible in its place.

The manager came up to inspect the room. I think that all that exposed floor space, where nothing but a hideous mound of piled-up crap had once stood, actually shocked the manager. She hadn't seen the place look so clean.

She thanked me, but I had to give the team credit. My team had worked like Trojans to get this done; and now they'd done this, I told them that stockroom duty from Monday onwards would be a lot less like this in the future, believe me.

I'd have not been able to do this task without their help; but guaranteed, they would not have been able to do the job without my leadership and guidance, either. I stuck in with the rest of them; I rummaged about the floor, pulling out clothing wedged beneath racks, that had spilled out from burst bin bags, risking catching my hands and fingers on shards of glass or needles. And I also helped with the decision-making and directed their actions, the items that had to be given their full attention and so on. It was hard work for all three of us - but to my surprise, we got the job done in less than 2 hours.

It was a thankless task while it was being done; but I felt as if I was walking on air when I walked out of the store afterwards. And Mondays are, hopefully, going to be a lot easier, thanks to my team and good leadership.

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