Saturday, October 20, 2007

Milk or Sugar?

Yesterday I worked my first shift at the Oxfam shop on Cowley Road. Ben, the manager, gave me a tour of the shop, then ran through the long list of health and safety procedues, and then he let me work the till (cash register) with Anne, the assistant manager, for the rest of the afternoon. I quite enjoyed ringing up purchases, asking "Would you like a bag?," and smiling at people as they came up with books and clothes and the occasional Fairtrade treat. If being friendly is going to be one of my main jobs there, I'm pretty sure I can handle that. :)

Midway through the afternoon, Ben asked if I'd like a cup of tea. I said yes (who refuses tea on a crisp autumn afternoon in Oxford?), and he went to put the kettle on. Moments later he stuck his head round the wall that separates the "kitchen" area from the big back room, and asked the two other volunteers (Margaret and Myrtle, both tiny old ladies) if they'd like a cuppa. They both said yes. When Ben escorted me up to the till, he asked Anne if she'd like a drink, and of course she asked for tea.

And except for me, he knew exactly how everyone took their tea, and carried it out to all of us in steaming green mugs. I just so enjoyed watching someone care for their co-workers in such a small, but significant, way.

Here's to many more cozy afternoons at Oxfam. And cups of tea in mismatched mugs...I'll take mine with a splash of milk, please.

4 Comments:

Blogger Beverly said...

aww...i like ben

8:24 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

I want to see pictures of the place you work and all your co-workers! Those two little old ladies sound like they're kindred spirits.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Lovely! With two ladies named Maragret and Myrtle and a tea bearing boss named Ben, my guess is that you will have some of your best fun there. I hope so!

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Frankie said...

Oh, Katie. I'm pretty sure that shop is similar to one in the old town of Kirkcaldy in Scotland, just up from the water there. Cozy, warm, good books, tea shop with such caring people working there. Sometimes I visit there in my mind and it's still so vivid. You know when you pray, "Lord, help me to remember this" He truly does. Have a great day!!

6:52 AM  

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