- How did you use any skills or knowledge from your time at APSU (from classes, student organizations, etc…) while volunteering on your alternative break trip?
I used some of my skills from past work like fast-food to establish inputs and outputs during the sorting of the clothes so that I could maximize the efficiency of grabbing clothes deciding on its appropriate category 1. Infant, Toddler, and Adult and then 2. By Winter or Summer. I had my own space over in the corner where I asked a decently clear desk where I could pull, categorize, then fold and stack then pack those stacks into boxes (like everyone else). I also had the 2 side-tasks that I was running while folding clothes: answering the door to say hello, receive donations and pull/stack them inside, then hand them a form to record their own donations. I also labeled boxes for what combination of the category they were i.e. Adult Winter, Toddler Summer, etc. Doing these repetitive tasks that involve moving between lanes of workflow is much like working fast-food where during the rush you need to run your station 100% while also cleaning and replenishing stock like sauce or napkins. Although I wasn’t perfect my excellent teammates Cassie, Jill, Amelia, Angie, Adrian worked alongside and helped if I was pulled aside doing something else, many thanks to them!
My experience as a software developer encourages me to be as efficient with time as possible ergo KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). This simple (some may call lazy) way of doing things came into play in one instance when we needed to move a stack of boxes into another stack (making a bigger one), but I saw another stack of chairs that could be moved into another position in the store. So instead of spending 30 minutes on unstacking and stacking, I moved one stack of chairs to its better position and then moving the stack of boxes into the chair’s old position.
- Looking back on your experience, in what ways have you personally developed & learned from this experience that will help you in the future?
I look back on the experience with some feelings of happiness and bewilderment. I feel happy that I went and helped the Thrift’n’Thrive store up in Louisville, but at the same time I was bewildered and shock by all the work that this trip took to plan out, execute, and then to pack up, break down and go home. Seeing things like the car vehicle, food, and schedule planning shocked me into immense gratitude because I have an idea how hard that could be. Then seeing the execution of my group members take things in stride amazed me, especially when the car broke down. Then at the final stages, everyone still held their marbles inside their brains for the trip back to the University. That what I learned and developed on this trip; a sense of gratitude about what others can do if they really put their minds to it.