(#48) Re-assembling Care Packages for Seniors with the Mayor’s Volunteer Corps – Part 5 (Putting Cards In)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Picking up from last time –

Not only did all the bags need tissue paper, they all also needed cards from the mayor (with some personal messages written on them by various volunteers and such).

This became yet another source of confusion. People would be walking the bags over to various tissue paper stations. The people putting in the cards couldn’t keep up with how fast they needed to stuff cards in the bags. And the people carrying the bags didn’t necessarily know that some bags had cards and some didn’t, so they’d just set the bags down somewhere generally by the station. And you’d have to have eagle eyes and quick reflexes to go get those bags immediately.

Chris and I were at one of the stations, putting in cards as fast as we could. One of the bag carries noticed how ridiculously fast we were going, and thankfully asked if we needed help. I gave her an immediate huge yes. With three of us, we were able to keep things pretty well under control.

Chris gave his brilliant idea that it actually would probably be easier if, instead of trying to keep piles straight at tissue paper stations, people just went over to where the finished bags were and put cards in there – with no bags getting carried away from that station until they had cards.

Of course. Why hadn’t anyone thought of that before? Even when he said it, though, none of us went over to do it. So many people were carrying bags. There was no way one or two of us could’ve kept up with the way things were moving. And we didn’t feel like we could all go, because then there’d be these bags coming in to our tissue paper station during the transition that didn’t have cards.

So, we just stayed in triage mode – stuffing cards into the bags coming into our station as fast as we could.

Once our station slowed down a bit, I noticed a very busy station with only one person manning the cards. So, I ran over to help him. We were stuffing as fast as we could. Even still, our new station was getting out of control pretty quickly. So, I ran over to the pre-carried bags and started stuffing them, just as Chris had suggested. I went as fast as I could. Very quickly, some other card stuffers came to join me and the bag carriers jumped on board, not taking anything except the carded bags.

Yay for efficiency and super helpful people!

Of course all the bag carriers also told their stations “these are already carded” when they delivered the bags, so the stations could keep to whatever individual sorting stuff they had going on.

So, everyone seemed to be on the same page. Woot!

We wondered why the cards weren’t just part of the assembly line. My best guess is because they weren’t necessarily done in time to be part of it. Volunteers were writing personal notes on the cards when I walked in for my shift. So, I think that’s why we waited on those.

While I love to learn from the experiences and write out how things could’ve gone better, I’ll also say this was a good day, with a lot of nice people, where a lot got accomplished (and we got nice mini-workouts and free swag). So, thumbs up!

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?