Monday, January 31, 2011


So this week, I am stepping back from my usual routine of activities, except for a few evening activities like Dance Nation and Friday Fusion, to explore a different side of EBM - social economy!!! I have the pleasure of shadowing the head of EBM's social economy 'department,' Peter. (The best advice I got for the week from Peter himself - he recommended that I bring a flask of coffee with me.)
Well, I don't drink coffee, but I did have three mugs of tea today.
This morning was primarily paperwork, learning a bit about the overall organization of EBM's 9 thrift stores and cafe, and getting organized for tomorrow's shops meeting for shops' managers.
The manual labor portion of the day began at 11:30...

When a business moves into a new office from a previous office space, they are left with issue of what to do with all of the 'old' (but often still quality) office desks, partitions, chairs, etc.
There is always the option of paying for the items to be landfilled. (Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.)
EBM has started to provide an alternative option though!
Social economy began a furniture refurbishment project this past Fall and are currently trying to open a business furniture shop (office max - style). So, EBM provides free pick-up of the items... And it's a win-win for both parties.
EBM will be able to re-sell the furniture. (In the meantime, EBM has a large warehouse to store everything.) And the business profits by not having to pay to landfill it and also are able to maintain their social/environmental consciousness. Hooray!

One company in Belfast has just consolidated its business from five offices throughout Belfast into one new office building overlooking the Lagan River.
So from 11:30 to 6:00, I traveled with Peter around to three of the former office buildings and assisted in the removal of dozens and dozens of office chairs, reception desks, partitions, three-ring binders, microwaves, fridges, dishwashers, filing cabinets, rolling desk cabinets, and more. In all, Peter, myself, and the truck's two-man crew filled up five medium-sized lorries to the top. (It makes me a bit sick to think about option 1, if all of the stuff had been landfilled.)

Haha, best moment of the day for your imagination to recreate:
It's about 1:30 in the afternoon. We had just filled up our first lorry at office #2. The truck was away transferring the stuff to the warehouse. Peter went to get us cups of coffee/tea. I am left guarding a large stockpile of desks, filing cabinets, etc. on a sidewalk in downtown Belfast. I am chilling in my jeans and ski jacket, leaning up against a filing cabinet which is blocking me from the wind.
Needless to say, I got some curious looks from the business people passing by.
Overall, successful, successful day, and even with all of the hard work, thoroughly enjoyable.

But after it all, I am simply knackered. (British slang = tired.) I will sleep soundly tonight and likely awaken to a few blisters on the hands and a few new muscles in my arms. :)

In grace and peace. Zzzzzzz.

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