Working in GLOW

July 17, 2015

Author: Sara Ahmed, LIST Student

For the past week and a half I’ve been volunteering at GLOW and to be honest, I think it’s great. I mean, I’m not gonna lie, constantly putting clothes on hangers may be a bit tiresome, but it gives you the full experience. I think having a store like GLOW is so amazing because it’s so convenient and accommodating for families. It’s also very cultural, for example there are lots of families from different backgrounds which makes GLOW so diverse and a fun place to be.

As a person who likes to interact with people, I never expected having to play charades when dealing with a customer. So the other day while I was restocking the store, a young woman who didn’t speak much English wanted my help. Like I said before GLOW has customers from all types of backgrounds, so in order to communicate and address her concerns, we basically were speaking with our actions (non-verbal cues). She was doing a lot of pointing and hand actions to describe what she was trying to say. When I understood what she wanted, I felt so satisfied that I was able to understand the message she was trying to get across. This women also came back to me to ask questions or get something she needed a bunch of times and I didn’t even mind at all because I think it was so worth seeing her happy and satisfied that someone was able to understand her concerns and needs without even having to talk much. That honestly made my day.

I think it’s important that we know how to communicate with others without even talking because when working in retail, you never know what type of customer you’ll come across. Like body language, you use that everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you are, if your body language shows that you’re open, you’ll be approached. I personally think that’s the best part because when you’re approached, it’s an opportunity to make someone leave happy.

New Circles' GLOW clothing service is the largest clothing bank in Toronto. We help 12,000 people of all ages annually.