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    • Miss Heartilly
    • By Miss Heartilly 4th Jul 17, 6:07 PM
    • 36Posts
    • 9Thanks
    Miss Heartilly
    Possible return of unfriendly, bossy volunteer
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 17, 6:07 PM
    Possible return of unfriendly, bossy volunteer 4th Jul 17 at 6:07 PM
    I volunteer 3 days a week in a charity shop, in which I am responsible for now opening the shop, running the shop floor (As there is nobody else in who can use the till) cashing up, banking the takings at the end of the day and doing other stuff like put out clothes etc.. I have the help of one other volunteer who is great when he's not been very reliable lately so there is times when I am on my own some of the day, sometimes all day. Then there will be days when we are overstaffed as two other people may turn in. But as none of these can use the till, if I don't come in (if i'm ill etc..) we can't open up.

    Anyway, a month and half ago another volunteer (who has now sort of left.) let's call her Maureen decided to boss me around for no apparent reason. She came in unannounced one day, blanked my 'good morning' at the door and just glared at me instead (After having several weeks off volunteering beforehand) and basically told me (After i had already opened the shop and logged onto the till) to "get off the till and never touch it again" I had been doing this particular role for a few weeks and was asked by management to do so, as nobody knew if she was coming back or not as she refused to answer her phone for weeks on end.

    Anyway after standing up for myself by letting Maureen know I was going to continue doing what the manager had asked me to. She started having a go at me infront of other staff members saying I had messed up the till (I didn't. The till was fine) , including a delivery guy. (who later complained to the management on my behalf about Maureen having a bad attitude towards me) I ended up walking out, pretty upset and angry at the unprovoked incident and felt as if I was pushed from my role that I was doing pretty well.

    Anyhow, management had a word with her... Apparently, they know she can be bossy and just say that's how she is etc.. but it was more than that. She was being nasty and it was almost bully like behaviour. Just because I was doing her old role which she obviously wanted back.

    Since that day, she hasn't been back which was over a month ago. But management are apparently keeping her position open. God, knows why as not many of the other volunteers are upset that she's gone, and since she's been gone everyone has had more freedom to try new things with the shop ie window dressing, and sorting through the donations without her trying to control every aspect of it. Morale is much higher as we all muck in together nobody bossing anybody else around.

    My problem is I have heard rumours of her possible return and I am gutted to be honest. When she comes back the atmosphere is going to be unbearable, she will try bossing us all around again and will refuse to remove from behind the till to stop anybody else from using it. She'll try and take over and run it the old way, which is all her way. with nobody else having a say in anything... That's how controlling she is. I will lose all the responsibility I currently have, even though she let the shop down by being absent for a month and half and if it werent for me the shop would of lost alot of money as it wouldn't of opened up.

    I am unsure of what to do. As I really do enjoy this volunteer work and don't want her ruining mine or any other volunteers experience.
Page 2
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 6th Jul 17, 6:46 PM
    • 4,775 Posts
    • 6,002 Thanks
    theoretica
    This has been my concern.

    I have no proof as such, but I do have a few records to show how takings increased dramatically since she left.

    She left behind a diary, where she recorded it the takings everyday and they were at times £40-50 a day less then what they are since I have been doing the till.

    There was also a customer who said to me last week "Oh, I bet your charity see's more money now Maureen has gone."

    Which I thought was concerning at the time.
    Originally posted by Miss Heartilly
    Ouch. Does your charity price in round numbers or not? One of the reasons behind prices being 99p etc is that it usually has to be registered at the till and the till opened to give change so it is harder for someone corrupt to pocket the cash.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • Miss Heartilly
    • By Miss Heartilly 6th Jul 17, 7:32 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Miss Heartilly
    Theoretica, yes we usually round at £1 as it is mostly a £1 shop, although some items are priced at £1.50, £2 and £3.

    What this particular person would do is say something came to £2 she would ring in a £1 but just place the other £1 in the till in a different section. If she did this alot then as you can imagine all the £1's add up. She wouldn't get caught as money still matched the till receipt but she'd have loads left over when cashing up, which she could just pocket. Nobody would notice either as she was the last to leave and would take the money to the bank.

    I think maybe a customer may have seen her do this and put two and two together,

    Then obviously i have my suspicions, as since she left the takings went up drastically.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 6th Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • 1,667 Posts
    • 2,219 Thanks
    comeandgo
    Yes, I have heard of this scam but why do you know about it and not take any action? Customers would see the till showing less than is being asked for and the receipts would not match the amount paid. I don't believe this sort of scam can be done to any level due to the involvement of customers.
    If you are suspicious do something.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 6th Jul 17, 7:39 PM
    • 1,067 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    coffeehound
    You could put a little surveillance camera somewhere to see over her shoulder at what is happening with the cash.
    • cool-dog
    • By cool-dog 6th Jul 17, 8:26 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 286 Thanks
    cool-dog
    You could put a little surveillance camera somewhere to see over her shoulder at what is happening with the cash.
    Originally posted by coffeehound
    Do not do this, it is not your shop, so you are not able to carry out surveillance like mentioned. You will face legal action if you do this, it is not worth a criminal record or fine etc.
    • cool-dog
    • By cool-dog 6th Jul 17, 8:27 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 286 Thanks
    cool-dog
    Perhaps the takings are down on her days as she is a nasty person so puts people of buying.
    • Miss Heartilly
    • By Miss Heartilly 6th Jul 17, 10:00 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Miss Heartilly
    Very true, but for some reason 9 out of 10 of the customers don't want the receipt. Or they walk away before you can give it to them. So probably wouldn't notice.

    I don't take action as such, as I have no definite proof. It is just my guess she does this due to takings being very low when she is on the till and of course because a customer said to me once that she is a thief. Again, no concrete proof it's gossip or hearsay or whatever you call it. It just seems weird someone would say that though.

    Because this volunteer has issues with me and doesn't seem to like me learning how to learn the till as she probably is used to running the shop her way, I don't want to go to management saying 'Oh, I think Maureen's being stealing money out the till as a customer suggested she did.' Surely, I would need more proof. Like maybe seeing her. I don't want it to look like I am getting at this volunteer because management are aware that we both don't get along.
    Last edited by Miss Heartilly; 06-07-2017 at 10:06 PM.
    • Miss Heartilly
    • By Miss Heartilly 6th Jul 17, 10:08 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Miss Heartilly
    Do not do this, it is not your shop, so you are not able to carry out surveillance like mentioned. You will face legal action if you do this, it is not worth a criminal record or fine etc.
    Originally posted by cool-dog
    Yeah, the last thing I need now is a criminal record or fine. It's a good idea in theory but in practice may just cause more problems.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 6th Jul 17, 10:08 PM
    • 27,814 Posts
    • 70,647 Thanks
    Mojisola
    she will probably ring the management and get him to come down
    Originally posted by Miss Heartilly
    You could say that you are insisting on staying on the till because the takings are always down when Maureen is on and you are worried that she doesn't know how to work it.
    • Miss Heartilly
    • By Miss Heartilly 6th Jul 17, 10:11 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Miss Heartilly
    Perhaps the takings are down on her days as she is a nasty person so puts people of buying.
    Originally posted by cool-dog
    I did consider this also.

    Until I realised, strangely that the customers seem to like her. Or at least the regulars do. All the time she's been off at least 6 or 7 people per day will ask "How's Maureen? I hope she's coming back soon.' or 'Isn't Maureen a lovely lady, she's so kind the shop is lucky to have her."

    Urm, if only they knew the real Maureen.

    The nasty bully that I have to work with, maybe they'd soon change their tune.
    • AdviceWanted
    • By AdviceWanted 6th Jul 17, 10:24 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AdviceWanted
    There's a lot of advice on how to deal with a work conflict that also apply to this volunteer situation. Find out definitely how others feel about her and ask if they'd be willing to also come and speak to management about it with you. Honestly she shouldn't be allowed to return if she's actually chased your out of the shop. Also it's important to keep in mind she doesn't have any real power unless you give it to her. So if she does return and tries to boss you around. Do as you did before and say you're going to continue doing what the manager said. Just don't get upset and leave. Speak to the manager directly if her behaviour escalates and tell them it's not acceptable to be spoken to like that in a work place (even a volunteer one).
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 6th Jul 17, 11:48 PM
    • 1,489 Posts
    • 1,949 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    Very true, but for some reason 9 out of 10 of the customers don't want the receipt. Or they walk away before you can give it to them. So probably wouldn't notice.
    Originally posted by Miss Heartilly
    Ask a friend or two to come in and make a purchase and get them to pocket the receipts..
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 7th Jul 17, 7:48 AM
    • 4,337 Posts
    • 17,863 Thanks
    Slinky
    Ask a friend or two to come in and make a purchase and get them to pocket the receipts..
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Yes a bit of mystery shopping could be very revealing.
    • anamenottaken
    • By anamenottaken 7th Jul 17, 9:12 AM
    • 3,937 Posts
    • 3,404 Thanks
    anamenottaken
    . . . so there is times when I am on my own some of the day, sometimes all day. . . . .
    Originally posted by Miss Heartilly
    Is there a lone worker policy? Has an assessment been carried out relating to this?
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 7th Jul 17, 10:44 AM
    • 2,401 Posts
    • 3,329 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Been reading the posts with interest - never thought that things like this would happen in a charity shop!
    Originally posted by Bula Ciorapescu
    Don't know why it would surprise you. Can you see a corner shop owner who needs the takings to feed their family putting up with this? The charity doesn't bother because the people that lose out are the beneficiaries of the charity, and they aren't in a position to complain.

    The fundamental problem is that the store manager or owner is not doing their job. They could do proper accounting which would flag up the discrepancy between the stock going out and the money going in, but they don't. They have the right to install CCTV, but they don't. The OP knows what needs to be done but she doesn't have the power to do any of it. The only thing she can do is allege the theft and she doesn't have any evidence. (Even if she sees Maureen physically doing it, it is still her word against Maureen's.)

    In the OP's position I would be leaving before Maureen tries to pin the thefts on me. If this was her livelihood she would have a dilemma but it isn't.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 7th Jul 17, 12:57 PM
    • 3,851 Posts
    • 10,617 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    Maybe you could go to the manager and tell him the customer's concerns. Say that you hadn't seen it yourself, but felt he should be told in case he wanted to investigate? Then you are only reporting what has been said.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 7th Jul 17, 1:32 PM
    • 1,489 Posts
    • 1,949 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    Been reading the posts with interest - never thought that things like this would happen in a charity shop!
    Originally posted by Bula Ciorapescu
    My dad was amazed when he helped mum out at a church jumble that there was still shop-lifting there!
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 7th Jul 17, 1:46 PM
    • 27,814 Posts
    • 70,647 Thanks
    Mojisola
    My dad was amazed when he helped mum out at a church jumble that there was still shop-lifting there!
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    They were talking about this on our local radio this morning.

    All the charity shops have their donation boxes chained in place because of thieves.

    People take stuff into the changing rooms, put on the 'new' washed and ironed clothes and then come out with their old clothes on the hangers and put them back on the rack so it looks as if they decided not to buy.

    On occasion, people work as teams - one starts chatting to the staff while the other/s look around the shop, pick up things but then walk out without buying anything. Staff later find a pile of hangers in a quiet corner of the shop - the clothes have been pulled off them and stuffed in bags and the hangers discarded.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 7th Jul 17, 3:56 PM
    • 9,413 Posts
    • 7,376 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Been reading the posts with interest - never thought that things like this would happen in a charity shop!
    Originally posted by Bula Ciorapescu
    Several years ago OH had a couple of friends who worked in a charity shop. They would often cream off some of the best donations for themselves for free or sell to their friends for a few pence in the till at best.

    Some charity shops are easy to steal from because of hidden corners or inattentive and unaware staff (often elderly). Sometimes the staff are too busy chatting to each other.
    • Tammykitty
    • By Tammykitty 7th Jul 17, 4:30 PM
    • 464 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Tammykitty
    Don't know why it would surprise you. Can you see a corner shop owner who needs the takings to feed their family putting up with this? The charity doesn't bother because the people that lose out are the beneficiaries of the charity, and they aren't in a position to complain.

    The fundamental problem is that the store manager or owner is not doing their job. They could do proper accounting which would flag up the discrepancy between the stock going out and the money going in, but they don't. They have the right to install CCTV, but they don't. The OP knows what needs to be done but she doesn't have the power to do any of it. The only thing she can do is allege the theft and she doesn't have any evidence. (Even if she sees Maureen physically doing it, it is still her word against Maureen's.)

    In the OP's position I would be leaving before Maureen tries to pin the thefts on me. If this was her livelihood she would have a dilemma but it isn't.
    Originally posted by Malthusian

    Most charity shops, the stock coming in is via donations, and the volunteers sort this and price them and include them in the stock, there is no way of keeping track of stock coming in (Some of the bigger shops do scan the stock as it goes on the shop floor, but most simply have handwritten price labels added)
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