Ha! I bet that caught your attention :)
The background, for eight years or more I worked a Saturday afternoon shift in our local charity (thrift) shop, which raises much needed funds for a nearby Hospice. I was still working full time during the week at the time but it sure beat doing housework for at least a few hours of the weekends :)
My first day was a bit of a baptism of fire, to say the least. The 'retail manager' who oversaw the groups of shops, he was called Gary, came along to give three of us 'newbies' the low down and the rules to be followed. He was a larger than life sort of guy - with a heart of gold I later found out - but, he knew what he wanted us to do. First action, with bags of donated clothing, was to do a quick sort and check - quite often you'd open a bag and realise right away that it would only be fit for recycling. We got paid per tonne for recycled textiles, so the first sort was important to weed out the wheat from the chaff so to speak.
As a good little group of pretty innocent 'newbies' we gathered in front of Gary (yours truly at the back!) and he explained just how to check clothing and textiles over before they were priced, steamed (a job hated by everyone) and put out for sale. Curtains had to be checked for wear and tear, then measured before being put out for sale. No dirty underwear (trust me, we did get that too!), towels held up to the light for signs of light showing through - ones that didn't pass the test ended up in a big basket for doggy towels and they sold like hot cakes - were all buttons still on garments, did zips work, and so on and so forth.
Then came the real drama of the afternoon - checking men's suits. With a big flourish and a donated suit Gary demonstrated the actions 'Collar, to check there is no shine or grime, cuffs for no fraying' and then, with great drama 'Finally the crotch, which you have to sniff for no nasty smells''.
WHAT!!?? I was still standing at the back of our little group and I swear that it's the very moment I knew what was meant by a rictus grin. With a silly tight smile and eyes popping out on stalks like a frightened rabbit in the headlights of a car, I nodded dumbly, along with the other two poor little scared newbies. Then I thought, 'fight or flee?' and almost ran to my car and drove home, never to return.
But, I got cute and, once I could speak again I squeaked 'Err, so who operates the clothes steaming machine?'. Sensing an idiot, in his midst Gary took me under his wing and I soon became 'Mrs Steamer' - trust me, it had to be better than sniffing crotches!! Despite the scalds, from a rubbish machine which had a grudge against me, ANYTHING was preferable to the dreaded sniffing routine!
Sorry, hope you weren't trying to have a morning cuppa, or even worse eating your breakfast!
Bit of a change from a cocktail party at Number 11 Downing Street huh?!
More will follow :)