What it Was Like to Volunteer – Mik

[ Yup, 'tis I - image by Svetta ]
[ Yup, 'tis I - image by Svetta ]


  I already had clearance.  I had made sure of that.

  The coins were in my pocket, still housed inside the cloth bag they had arrived in.  Scoping out the store, I began to feel uneasy – it was far busier than I’d expected.  The Coinstar machine sat against the front wall of the shop.  There were only a couple of feet between this and the end of a checkout.  Tight.  And several awkward, slow-moving customers.

  This wasn’t going to be easy.

  It was me who had done the interviewing when the whole Peter Rabbit thing went down.  I’d asked the questions, I’d typed the answers.  But all the way through it, I had never realised how hard it was to do….

  My palms were sweating.  I made my way towards the machine.


  I can’t keep this up.  I was going to write about my ‘Gruffalo distribution experience’ in the style of a John D. MacDonald or Dean Koontz.  But the truth is that most folks would probably get bored fairly quick and the chances are they aren’t even familiar with those writers anyhow :/  So I will just have to do it the old-fashioned way.

  Well, it was weird but it was also fun; I can’t deny it.  Filming yourself in a supermarket whilst putting coins into a machine is strange enough….. talking to yourself at the same time is a little stranger.

  I suppose in one way I cheated.  Well either that or I simply used my brains.  The security guy in my local Sainsbury's is quite burly see…. and I am a poet, not a fighter.  Therefore I decided to clear my coin integration with a supervisor beforehand.  I didn’t relish the thought of being muscled out of the store, shoved into the back of a van and then booked in for a fortnight’s stay in the rubber room.

  It was also nice seeing the proceeds going to Cancer Research.  Although it did miff me off once I realised that Coinstar actually take a cut out of this.  A bit tight I think….  I try not to peruse this line of thought any further because I will then end up wondering how much of the remainder would just have been swallowed up in administration.  And this would ultimately leave me feeling kind of depressed.  But hey-ho – that’s the kind of greedy world we live in!

  I would most definitely do it again, without any hesitation.  Just how much it will do in regard to the way in which The Royal Mint go about the release of new coins I don’t know.  Probably not a great deal to be honest.  Money talks and they (along with their associates) are superb conversationalists!  Perhaps if enough people are to take part in TGBCH coin integration stunts it will make a difference at some point.  However, I do get the impression that stubbornness is an integral part of this.  So things may be far, far slower than we would like.





© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019


  • Thanks Judith :)
    Yeah…… perhaps best we don’t know……..

    Mik Smith
  • Hahahhahahhaha.
    Thanks Marie. Yes, that about sums it up! :D

    Mik Smith
  • Another great read Mik, would love to know what all the people who saw us posting our coins & recording thought!!

    Judith Lightfoot
  • Lmao..the coinstar lurks in a corner, waiting for it’s next unsuspecting victims of gruffalo & a poet. (dun,dun,dunnnn) <<drama8 music!


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