When I volunteered to help the Iona Community, I had to complete an application form. This asked me to list my preferences of the sort of work I would be prepared to do. I said I was happy to “do anything”. In the event, I was assigned to work in the Community Shop (essentially a bookshop that also sells a variety of good-quality local and/or fair-traded products). Although I was delighted by this, I didn’t fully appreciate my good fortune until I arrived on the island and met shop manager, Fiona, and her assistant manager, Dagmar. They are both absolutely lovely people – with a wonderful, open, friendly and happy way of running a successful venture (some big businesses could learn an awful lot from them, methinks!). They both made me feel very welcomed and have been incredibly encouraging throughout my time working with them (and we’ve also laughed a lot!). I’ve also been extremely lucky to have worked with brilliant colleagues along the way (although, due to the nature of volunteering, the personnel changed during the course of my time as a shop-worker): Franziska, Judith, Ann, Daniel and Maddie. We’ve worked hard, but it’s been great fun… and (although I hesitate to say this with only a couple of working days left!) the customers have been pretty amazing too – I can’t recall a single difficult “punter”. People who know me won’t perhaps be too surprised to learn that, as a shop-worker, I was much better talking to customers than actually dealing with the technical niceties of cash tills and the like (although, by the end, I was beginning to become ALMOST competent!!).Happy times, wonderful people!
Photo: the community shop gang: Daniel, Fiona, Maddie and Dagmar (with apologies for not being able to include the other lovely fellow-colleagues Franziska, Judith and Ann!). x