Sometimes we see something that bothers us enough to make us pause but not enough to make us speak up about it. Such was the case for me about a year ago when I was doing my normal rounds at a Goodwill store in the Atlanta area. As I was perusing one of the racks near the perimeter of the store, I heard what appeared to be a manager speaking very intensely to one of his subordinates. The store design was set up with a tall half-wall which separated the shopping area from the receiving and sorting area. What I heard was coming from this blocked off receiving area. The manager was speaking loud enough that his voice traveled over the wall and smacked me in the ear. I don't remember the exact words he said, but his tone was as if he was speaking to a disobedient dog and the words basically summed up to calling the intended recipient an idiot.
What I overheard was enough to make me stop what I was doing and frown. I did not, however, do anything about it. At the time, I thought, "Maybe that manager is just having a bad day..." and remembered that there is always a bad apple in the bunch. Since then, there have been a few more times when I went to a Goodwill store and behavior or working conditions stuck out to me.
But after seeing this video, posted by one of my Facebook friends, I have decided to no longer support Goodwill stores with donations or my money. I cannot support a company that calls themselves a non-profit and pays disadvantaged/disabled workers pennies per hour while their leadership makes 100s of 1000s (in some case millions) of dollars!
This really hit me deeply as I am such an avid thrift store shopper. (About 60% of my wardrobe is thrifted!) You may remember that I even dedicated a Design Talk webisodeto it. And being that Goodwill is probably THE most popular thrift store I feel like in promoting the fun of thrift store shopping I have inadvertently helped their business. What they are doing is disgusting to me. The gentleman in the video said it best, by paying these individuals next to nothing to come to work everyday, Goodwill is telling them that they are not worth it. Every human deserves to be compensated fairly for their work & especially those who have limited capacity to make more. I will no longer be supporting Goodwill, and I encourage you to do the same.
Here are some of my favorite thrift stores in Raleigh that you can enjoy instead:
Cause for the Paws (benefits SPCA)
1634 S Saunders St
Raleigh, NC 27603
Father & Sons Vintage
107 W Hargett St
Raleigh, NC 27601
Father & Son on Facebook