I Am The Free Shop, take what you can, leave what I need.

Front of House, garden etc.
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I Am The Free Shop, take what you can, leave what I need.

Post by chombee » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:30 pm

Take what you can. Oh god please take something, take it away!

Oh the free shop. I think sorting out the free shop is one of the worst jobs the forest has. I really hate it. Maybe it's just me. Anyway today I think I threw out 3 rubbish bags full of total crap (such as dozens of floppy disk drives with 'dead' written on them, I think that was us by the way) and 2 or 3 times that volume of other items e.g. a pram, a tree, another tree, a roadsign, a 6-foot high stack of crates. This was all just to cut the free shop back to its own area and out of the rest of the cafe, I didn't even begin to take on the free shop proper.

This is a bitty silly isn't it? It is like the plant in the little shop of horrors. The free shop is out of control and will consume us if we don't keep feeding it. Except instead of giving it food we have to take away its junk. It is sort of the reverse, then. The little free shop of horrors. Feed red andy to the free shop?

Seriously, I feel the free shop is often a dumping ground for everyone's unwanted crap and smelly old clothes. It is the unwanted unwashed clothes of bad smelling people. It cannot get worse. There's been talk recently that we shouldn't be overly concerned with our outside appearance, but this is making us smell bad.

It would be good to not let people put anything in the free shop unless they go through a volunteer. Then we could refuse crap that we don't want and don't have space for. I fear we can't do this with the free shop out of sight in the gold room though.

We could make a sign with rules for what it wants and what it doesn't and encouraging people to help sort it and get rid of anything that doesn't belong. Clear instructions are needed. A good wood or cardboard sign like the other ones the free shop has, not a paper poster. Maybe it would help.

Maybe the free shop is a bad idea and we should get rid of it. Though that would be sad. I want to keep the free shop because it's one of the most clear and obvious way we express our philosophy, right there in the front room of the cafe. When I first came it was one of the first things I saw and understood. But if the free shop is just a stinky junk pile then we're merely disproving our own ideology.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
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Post by beev » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:30 pm

a sign should do the trick. some people just don't realise things that you would think are glaringly obvious.

useful stuff
clean stuff

useless crap
dirty things/clothes
anything that smells

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Post by stephengoodall » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:28 pm

yeah, judging by what happened while it was in the gallery people feel less sguilty about throwing clearly useless/filthy/broken stuff if they can fob it off onto someone else and this should be discouraged.

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Post by martinmckenna » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:13 pm

free shop 1 total kunst 0

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Post by Shannon » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:56 am

I think the sign should be big and explicit. Hopefully it will empower people to get rid of stuff if they know what we don't want in there. Ie: right now there is a scrap of paper on the wall telling people not to leave monitors. This should be included in a big, clear sign. It isn't so annoying when you just have a few things to get rid of, but it's overwhelming when there are bags of junk. For awhile red Andy was doing a decent job of keeping things in order, but I haven't seen him lately.

It would be great if the free shop was somewhere we could see and therefore monitor the junk being put in, but it's not really realistic. No one wants it in the main room! The sign could tell people to ask the kitchen before dumping, but it probably won't always happen. I also don't have the time to examine everyone's crap, but it could help with really obvious stuff like 'no you can't put that skipped food that needs refrigeration in there.'

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Post by Jane » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:24 pm

big explicit signs are good.

we CANNOT get rid of the free shop, it is one of my favourite things ever and has furnished my wardrobe, flat and life for years. especially now that charity shops don't accept loads of things because of H&S regulations.
"We all tend to idealise kindness and tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nutcases." Sebastian Horsley

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