A few weeks ago, I started volunteering with the British Red Cross. I’m training with them to become a competent First Aid Volunteer and so far, touch wood, its going well. Unfortunately, all indications are that it’s going to take a long while before I can actually go out on duties with them and give local events First Aid cover. Seen as how not only do I need to pass my standard First Aid certificate, but I also have to fill out all the reams of paperwork needed to get my red cross ID… and there’s a lot of it. The one that’s going to take the longest time is the full CRB check (that’s Criminal Records Bureau for you non- Brits). Unfortunately, here in the UK these things are not centralized, and so the check has to be sent to each police district that I have lived in for the past… umm… 5 years I think it is. Only when I get the all clear from all of these can I go on to work with children and vulnerable members of the public, which of course is part of being a Red Cross Volunteer. Now this would not be soo much of an issue except that i have moved at least 6 times in this time frame. Soooo I’m going to be waiting a while … and really that’s quite frustrating when I want to be getting out there doing things.
I’ve been so impressed by all the services that the Red Cross offers even just in my local area, that I wanted to try and do SOMETHING while I’m waiting. This week I started three afternoons a week in my local Red Cross charity store. I’ve worked several different retail jobs in the past so this is a pretty easy thing for me to do. It’s a small store, not fantastically busy and nowhere near the department store hell of my previous experience. That being said, I don’t like retail work. There’s no way I would take a paying job in that sector because it drives me insane. I’m doing this to help out the charity. Oh and well it gets me out of the house in a regular routine dealing with the public again which hopefully will help my confidence. I feel I’ve settled-in quite well. It’s a friendly team, easy to get on with, so that’s great.
Even with just my Basic First Aid. I’ve already been listed at the stores Second Official First Aider- something which did not at all faze me until the manager mentioned that in the time she has been there they have had one heart attack and a stabbing right outside the shop to deal with. Funny how she only mentioned this AFTER I had agreed to the extra role. No more stabbings please. Lightening doesn’t strike twice… RIGHT??
There is a reason I bring this up and it’s not all about you clapping me on the back for doing charity work. The amount of heavily pregnant women I serve in this store is STAGGERING. I mean, at least two for each afternoon I’ve been there which is CRAZY when you consider that I’m only really there for 3 hours at a time! Like I don’t know what’s going on… Is there something in the water where I live? Are they drawn to my infertileness in the same way cats are drawn to the one person in the room who’s allergic/afraid? What’s the possibly some event here nine months ago that I missed a wild party that resulted in a lot of drunken sex?? WHATS GOING ON!??
Twice now my manager has joked about emergency deliveries right there on the shop floor and I’ve sat there firmly in the infertile closet biting my tongue and laughing. BIRTHING IS NOT ALLOWED. I haven’t covered that part of my first aid manual yet. In fact I don’t even have the manual yet!
It’s freezing here this week and I’m still taken aback by how little some of these ladies are wearing: belly all out on show for everyone to see. Not that I have a HUGE problem with it but… it makes my insides twist and a lump in my throat when I sat there watching the shop floor, turn my head and come face to face with the naked baby bump in all its glory, poking out little belly button right in my eye line… how is she not shivering??
Many many rainbow moments this week…