My original blog (2big2fall) became so crowded with original writing and photoshop montages that I decided to move my articles concerning Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina (GILSC, aka Palmetto Goodwill) to this new blog space.
For about eight years I was an avid book shopper at Goodwill here in the Charleston, South Carolina Lowcountry and made money by selling my finds on Amazon. For the first six years or so this was an enjoyable and interesting way to make an honest living.
Then came the barcode scanners and all hell broke loose. Drooling idiots who didn’t know Copernicus from a colostomy bag could point their little devices at the back of a book and fill their carts with treasures that had previously eluded them.
Add to that the downturn in the economy and, all of a sudden, these once-lucrative locations became pushing, shoving free-for-alls.* You couldn’t turn your back on your cart for a few seconds without some desperate moron stealing your finds.
Eventually, Palmetto Goodwill executives finally caught on to what was happening and opened their own bookselling account on Amazon. All of their stores have barcode scanners and, when books are donated, employees use them to separate the wheat from the chaff. Chaff is an understatement for what is left over (and winds up on the retail floor). Pure crapola is a more appropriate description.
I don’t have anything against the line employees who work at Goodwill. I met many decent, friendly folks busting their humps for low wages and few, if any, benefits. The turnover is astounding at this company. It doesn’t take long for a worker to realize that there isn’t much of a future for them at Goodwill. Meanwhile, top executives rake in huge salaries and first-class benefit packages.
There is another plus to the high turnover. The more people they can replace with fresh meat the higher their deceptive “clients served” statistics soar.
Goodwill wants you to believe that they hire all of these down and out, inexperienced individuals and give them job skills. That’s pure baloney. I never met any employee at their thrift stores who didn’t have previous experience in low wage employment. All they are training them to do is to sort socks, shirts, shoes, and other items. They learn to stock shelves, mop floors, and other menial tasks. Goodwill throws in a bit of basic computerized cash register training and…voila!…off they go to stuff the wallets of the bigwigs.
My readers should note that there is a serious scandal developing regarding the substandard wages paid by Goodwill Industries to disabled employees. I could post dozens of links in that regard but the best thing to do is do a google search using the words Goodwill Industries Sub-Minimum Wages.
The board of directors of GILSC is a mystery to me. Either they are clueless pawns using this association to pad their resumes or they are complicit actors in this sad saga. They appear to be little more than a rubber stamp for the CEO.
The problems at our local Goodwill franchise is not an isolated case. There are major complaints across the country about this organization and a number of websites have sprung up dedicated to exposing Goodwill Industries. There is even a Facebook page called “Goodwill Sucks.”
Here is a link to another site which I can provide to my readers. The posts therein would seem to indicate that employee harassment and abuse is rampant throughout the system:
The Goodwill stores in the Pacific Northwest are plagued by gang violence. Shoppers are threatened, intimidated, and punched if they interfere with their activities. Read this story and look at the comments:
Check out this story about the former head of the Santa Clara, California Goodwill organization. For years he masterminded a crooked scheme in which he siphoned off millions of dollars of funds meant to help disabled people. He was arrested at the LA airport after fleeing to Guatemala where he was denied entry and returned to the US:
2010 was a bad year for the reputation of Goodwill Industries in Pueblo, Colorado. The CEO, Debra Diaz, was caught red-handed in an embezzlement scheme. She should have spent a little time reading a few of the dime store detective novels that get donated to Goodwill. Had she done so, she might have acquired enough sense not to leave 15 stolen bank deposit bags stashed in her office. My guess is that Goodwill International does not require executive prospects to submit to a basic IQ test.
The good Ms. Diaz also bounced a $14,000 company check to Walmart for a fundraiser she held for the Toys for Tots program. Crap in a handbag! This pitiful woman stole money dedicated to Christmas presents for poor kids! How much lower on the totem pole of sociopathy can you get? (I’m not talking about malignant sociopathy...the Jeffrey Dahmers and Adolf Hitlers of the world).
Then again, I won’t be too surprised if, someday, a Goodwill executive is exposed as the leader of an autoerotic cannibal cult within the organization. Stranger things have happened:
The tale of Goodwill Executives gone bad goes back a long way. Check out this 1986 article from the Chicago Sun-Times:
I also include this revealing site where there are, at present, five pages of complaints from Goodwill customers and former employees:
Right now there are about thirty articles on this blog. The first three articles which I posted are a serious look at GILSC (“Howdy Doody Charleston Post and Courier,: “Did Goodwill CEO Lie to the Charleston Post and Courier?”, and “Uncle Bob’s Cabin”). Subsequent articles are, for the most part, a satirical look at this phony baloney “charity”. If you wish to understand why I am pursuing our local Goodwill you need to read the postscript from the article titled “Did Goodwill CEO Lie to the Charleston Post and Courier.”
Local media dotes on Goodwill and refuses to undertake an in-depth investigation of this dubious charitable organization. I am not surprised by this. Channel 5 and the Post and Courier received copies of the statement that former Goodwill loss prevention head, Hank Durrer, requested from me. They will have to check their circular files to confirm this. (See my article “Did Palmetto Goodwill CEO Lie to the Charleston Post and Courier” for details about the above-mentioned statement requested by Hank Durrer.)
*If you wish to view a prime example of this out-of-control behavior, visit the Goodwill “Pound Store” on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. Stick around for the shoe fights. Employees roll out large containers of used shoes covered with large sheets. If they didn’t put the sheets over the shoes customers would run alongside the moving cart, grabbing and shoving for first dibs. Once the cart is in place and the sheet is removed what transpires resembles piranhas going after a hapless calf.
North Charleston police have been called to respond to altercations at the Pound Store on several occasions. One of these days a really serious incident is going to occur there. Goodwill officials, despite being long aware of the potential for violence at this location, will, of course, deny all responsibility and seek to foist blame on the victims and/or perpetrators. This store produces way too much income to consider closing it down. Follow the money…