Talk:Merit Badges (Thrift Store)

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Also see this goldmine of information:

Pre-pre-beta categories

(This is the ongoing repository for tasks we want the merit badge system to explicitly cover)

  • Wrapping (making stuff available for sale)
  • Outbox (taking stuff out of the store; trash, recycling, adv testing, receiving, extra boxes, free table)
  • Presort (simple sort)
  • Sort (more advanced)
  • Putting stuff away
  • Pricing
  • Cash Handling and Till
  • Sales
  • Dealing with crappy situations
  • Answering the phone (?)
  • Restocking
  • Cleaning, tidying, and makin' pretty

we shouldn't forget to rewrite "running the store" if this gets anywhere

Task Dump

(Sorting above tasks into bins representing the level of difficultly)

Easy Tasks

  • Wrapping
  • Greeting
    • I really like this inclusion--allows for interaction without cust.serv. training. Tonyc 06:50, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Sweeping
  • Neatening

Medium Tasks

  • Sorting
  • Stocking
  • Selling Gizmos (not computers
  • Customer service

Hard Tasks

  • Pricing
  • Answering the phone
  • Cashiering
  • Selling Computers

Putting out brush fires

(its own task, category, and merit badge w/ yoda)

Animals for Merit Badges

  • Tobacco Hornworm Pupate
  • Brine shrimp
  • Banana Slug
  • Gopher
  • Armadillo
  • Bobcat
  • Lemur
  • Wolverine
  • Bonobo
  • Yoda

Tony's Thoughts

I envision a similar system to this, but I've been thinking about it a bit differently.

I see this as a four-tiered path, based on the cub scouts' tiers of

  • cub
  • wolf
  • bear
  • weeblo

What we call them is irrelevant, really, but for time being I've been thinking of the tiers in terms of inanimate objects, with the actual merit badges (the small steps) being animals/puns/general silliness.

Here's my tier framework:

Each step along the way would involve filling all the required badges, and a set number of optional badges. The number of optional badges would be equal to the required badges. The list of optional badges would allow for wiggle-room and robustness; not everyone who works in the store need to know how to run the duplicator, or package mouse-balls or make ethernet cables. But it's a huge help to have these skills floating around. I envision the electives being a long list of varied skills that are independent of the tiers (non-critical, easy to test out of for skilled folks).

The last step to each tier would somehow involve training a reasonable number of badges for the next person in line. I see a "yoda" badge as the last requirement for each tier.

Required badges:

The Mouse Ball

The hornwormed tobacco mule, or whatever it's called

  • Orientation
    • get on email list
    • sign agreement
    • create merit badge sheet
    • punting ("I don't know!")

The Raccoon

  • Triage
  • Putting stuff away

The Squirell

  • Neatening
  • Getting stuff out of here (Receiving, AT)

The Gopher.

  • Basic fetching of gizmos and supplies from other areas (80%)

Any four from the list (which doesn't exist yet!)

The Price Gun

  • Basic Pricing (80%)
  • Basic Till Operations (80%)
  • Basic Customer Service (80%)
  • Advanced Stocking (20%)

The Abacus

  • Advanced Customer Service (20%)
  • Advanced Till Operations (20%)
  • Advanced Pricing (20%)
  • Basic Volunteer Management

The Whistle

The equivalent of knighting someone. Someone with a whistle can be scheduled to work a shift, solo. It's hard to imagine a sitch where a whistled person wasn't getting paid, frankly. Existing subs would likely get a fast-track through this stage, given the demands of their regular positions. Easy to test-out, as any paid position here requires similar attributes...

These aren't so much trainable skills/tasks for volunteers, but qualities that need to be observed under fire; once you get so far, we start to keep an eye out for potential "whistletude." Obviously, the hardest thing to codify.

Possible areas for badges:

  • Demonstrate diplomacy and wit (the bonobo?),
  • project management (the ant?)
  • system-level improvements (the fiji banded iguana? [can't think of anything here, but I like the name: FBI])
  • effective and appropriate use of mom-jokes (the Tony?)
  • brush-fire extinguishing (making an angry customer leave happy, without capitulating [the buffalo? orca?])
  • creating effective signs (the honeybee?)
  • suggesting and implementing procedural/structural changes (this may be asking too much [])
  • documentation (the scribe?), etc.


Each trainee would have a sheet posted in a public place to display their progress.

The details of specific badges/requirements would live on the wiki.

each merit badge and tier earned would be recorded on the paper sheet, via applying a color sticker, (which involves the cooperation of our fickle mistress, Dazzle). Alternately, the whole thing could live on the wiki. Or instead of custom, dazzle-dependent sticker, it could rely on filling in symbols on the sheet by hand.

Advancements of tier levels would involve a ceremony and a trinket. Woo-Hoo!

The badges would allow for easier and more effective co-cooridination of our volunteers (clearly visible paths to mastery for the trainer/trainee).

Also could include a yoda step to actually achieve the next tier, involving training someone else on so many badges (requiring someone train a whole tier would be silly, imho).

If this protocol actually proves effective, we might budget some things to see it through, such as volunteer rewards (actual, acme thunderers) and aprons to affix badges to. The store would be a classier place if everyone wore a shop-apron.Tonyc 07:47, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

The Path to Mastery
Rubber Band Ball Pricing Gun Atari 2600 Game Controller The Whistle

What follows is a proposed way to track progress. Initially, I'd envisioned this being tracked on individual pages for each Cadet. But Luiz had a better idea: have all the progress tracked in one place visible to everyone. That's the idea here, where the progress can be tracked on the wiki, but also on a printed version of this chart (checks made in pen, then regularly updated on the wiki too.)

Anyway, here's my stab at it. I'll transfer it to a template once the bugs are worked out.

The Rubber Band Ball Merit Badges
Gathering Processing Neatening Stocking Elective Elective
Gathering Processing Neatening Stocking Elective Elective



The Rubber Band Ball Oath
"I will faithfully execute all the menial, repetitive and thankless tasks I have learned, and will continue to do so as long as I'm working in the Thrift Store, regardless of any lofty station or rank I may attain. I will do this work with great joy, or at least with the stoic grace of Sisyphus. And I will teach others to do the same."