Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are wonderful. They’re a multi-win. Paying pennies on the dollar for something that’s lightly used; stuff gets re-used instead of finding a new home in a trash dump; the stores are able to employ people who might otherwise have trouble finding meaningful work.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend over the past few years though. People are “donating” broken electronics – stuff that’s truly unusable. Instead of disposing of the broken stuff in an ethical manner, they’re dumping their trash on thrift stores (none of which have the personnel or facilities to be testing every piece of electronics that comes their way). So, the store employees waste their (and the store’s) time stocking junk. Customers waste their time buying something that doesn’t work, or doesn’t work well. The fact that the broken stuff is returnable is hardly a positive, as it means more time wasted for the customer. And now the thrift store has to deal with disposal. All because some (quickly becoming far, far too many) people can’t be bothered to do the right thing in the first place.

Now, take that last sentence and expand it over everything those people do. It isn’t hard to see that a dishonest attitude about broken stuff walks hand-in-hand with their attitudes about the rest of their lives.

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