Down at the Oxfam shop, the workforce consists of twenty six unpaid volunteers and a full-time manager. Of course we are not all on duty at the same time. Most volunteers - myself included - only work one 4½ hour shift a week.
This afternoon I met a new volunteer called Lee. He's nineteen years old and a business studies student at one of our city's two big universities. It was my job to get Lee up to speed with the shop's touchscreen till so I spent most of the afternoon with him.
What a charming young man he was - with a happy disposition and pleasant manners. We chatted at quiet times but when customers arrived at the counter, I helped him through the on-screen processes.
Lee was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire and he speaks with a distinctive Nottinghamshire twang. If you heard him on the radio you would think he was just a regular Nottinghamshire lad but there was something different about Lee.
His parents and all four of his grandparents were born in Hong Kong and in his family home the preferred language is Cantonese. His family run a Chinese restaurant in the suburbs of Nottingham and every weekend he has to go home to work as a waiter.
Lee is going to America for the first time in June. He'll be heading to San Francisco where his girlfriend has cousins. He was very interested in my little tales about California.
I may not see Lee again because his designated shift will be on a Monday so our paths are unlikely to cross in future. Realising this, at the end of the shift I shook his hand and told him that I had enjoyed spending the afternoon with him. I said I hoped he'll have a wonderful time in San Francisco.
Meeting someone like Lee consolidates one's faith in younger generations. I recall that I was nineteen once but it was long ago in a very different age.
Daffodils at Whirlow Bridge this morning.
I meet many leesReplyDelete
Thank god for them
Samaritans have just a hundred or so salaried staff
All the others , ( many many thousands are volunteers)
We are all doing good work but sometimes you wonder what the government is doing to make our service less necessary.Delete
It's good to be reminded, isn't it?ReplyDelete
It certainly is. Young people get a bad press.Delete
And they always have. And then they grow up and do the same thing to the next generations.Delete
If there is anything at all wrong with the average young person it's just that they can be rather self centred .....ReplyDelete
and we can all be guilty of that anyway.
Good on Lee
Yes. Good on him.. but what about me?Delete
I applaud your commitment to oxfamDelete
I was being self-centred Kylie!Delete
haha call me thick!Delete
You met Lee in a situation where you could offer him some genuine support. Smart kids respond to our support.ReplyDelete
Looks like your message to Mumbai Escorts has not been understood.ReplyDelete
Now to Lee: He sounds a young man with a good head on his shoulders and a good heart to match it. I want to believe (and I do) that there are many of his kind out there, young men and women who try to do their bit. At 19, I must admit I was more interested in going dancing, studying at Librarian school (I finished at 20), finding my balance between the (still new to me) working world and hanging out with my friends.
Finding that balance is not easy when you are young. In fact it remains a battle throughout one's working life. You will soon be in Ripon. I must report that it is mild, dry and cloudy here in Yorkshire.Delete
He sounds a good person, young and bright starting out on life.ReplyDelete
He radiated optimism and level-headedness.Delete
That story has cheered me up this morning. So often we hear horror stories about our young people caught up with gang and knife crime. It is good to know that there are still bright and enthusiastic *normal* youngsters out there.ReplyDelete
Oh goodness, thinking back, I married my first husband at the age of 19. See, we all make mistakes!
At nineteen I was a volunteer teacher on a remote Pacific island (V.S.O.).Delete
Wow. That must have been quite an experience!Delete
Yes. If interested please search for Rotuma using the search box on the top bar of this blog (left).Delete
Thanks. I am enjoying the read.Delete
Great name, too...how could he not be a nice person with such a great name as "Lee"! :)ReplyDelete
I understand that the Chinese name "Lee" means "flower bud" which suits you fine. I know about your Celtic connections to Scotland and Ireland but where did the Chinese ingredient come from?Delete
There is no Chinese ingredient in my DNA, Yorkie...as you are no doubt already aware.Delete
Just stick to stirring the wok of Kung Pao Chicken, Yorkie.
Being the educated fellow you are I'm sure you're fully aware the name "Lee" isn't uniquely Chinese or Asian.
I bet you wouldn't have asked Lee Marvin, Lee J. Cobb or Lee Majors etc., the same question you've asked me. Lee Harvey Oswald probably would've reacted unkindly, too! :)
If you believed the press, you'd think all young people were bullies, gangsters or murderers. Thankfully there are so many well-behaved, conscientious, caring young people about. It is heartening to think that Lee wants to give some of his time to charity, despite his studies and waiting job.ReplyDelete
You hit the nail on the head ADDY.Delete
There are good people out there, young and old. Sometimes it just seems that the bad ones get all the publicity.ReplyDelete
Being decent, contented and normal does not excite the news media.Delete
Immigrants who start businesses tend to have an extremely strong work ethic, and no doubt this has been part of Lee's upbringing. Kudos to him and may he have much success in life.ReplyDelete
My daughter's husband comes from Nottingham and comes out with all sorts of chipper sentences. For instance, every time he sees us he always says 'How's your day been' and if he meets people he will always say on leaving them ' enjoy the rest of your day' regardless of who they are, lolReplyDelete
Very polite people from Nottingham it seems.