Most Potts Point dwellers have been greeted by Scott when they do their grocery shopping.
That’s because for almost eight years he has been selling The Big Issue outside of Woolworths on Macleay Street.
Like many people working for the organisation, Scott loves the freedom of his job and appreciates the warmth of the local community.
Here is Scott’s story about how he arrived at the turf outside of Woolworths and why he keeps going back there.
How did you get involved with The Big Issue?
I’m from the Byron Bay area northern New South Wales. I ended up in Sydney after a 72-hour train trip and went to the Wayside Chapel. I was there for roughly three-four weeks. I kept talking to a few people about The Big Issue itself but it took me a while to call them. I guess it was just me being pretty lazy. Then I actually rang up it was the 4th of July 2011, I think it was midday on a Monday. I came in on the 5th of July. I did all of the background checks and I was able to go out on the pitch and start working that day.
What do you like about working with The Big Issue?
I like that you get to choose your own hours. I can come and go as I please. I end up working harder and harder because I work for myself instead of working for someone else. When I was starting one job, in particular, I remember writing all of the procedures that we had to do on my notepad. I kept thinking: “What’s next? How much longer is it? How quickly can I get out of here?”
While here I have days that where I’m thinking “Do I really have to go home?” It’s the complete opposite of counting down the hours.
How did you end up in Potts Point?
In 2011, I started at Central Station and the state manager at the time was actually begging me to go to Potts Point. I had no idea where it was, no idea about the location. It took about a month but the people from the station took me there and showed it to me. Instead of selling two to four mags in the first few hours, I sold 15 mags in an hour. That gave me a little bit of a shock and at that stage, I wasn’t even doing weekends. When I started doing weekends those numbers even doubled and tripled.
Where can we find you?
I usually stand outside of Woolworths. If it’s bad weather I stand outside of Kings Cross station and then occasionally – but it’s not as favourable – I hang around the Penshurst and Hurstville areas.
How many copies do you sell in a day?
It varies from day to day. But once, I sold 130 magazines in a day, which is a lot.
Do you greet people in a special way to sell copies?
I try and be very careful with how I come across. All I say is “hello.” If someone wants to purchase they will purchase, but I can’t force anyone to buy. That’s something that I’ve lived by since starting to work here in 2011.
Do you have a favourite shop owner?
A lot of the shop owners know me quite well. A lot of them offer me coffee, but I don’t drink coffee. When I tell them that they offer me tea, but I need to keep away from it because of the amount of sugar that I like in it.
What do you like about Potts Point?
I love all of the dogs. I am hoping to get one in the next few weeks if I can get all the paperwork in order.
What’s your nicest memory of Potts Point?
One of the things I love is the early starts when there are not a lot of people out and it’s just dead quiet. When I first started working at Potts Point, I started at four or five in the morning when no one was out. It’s a really nice area at that time of day. I just love the quiet.
Recently I moved to a property that’s closer to Potts Point. I didn’t change my alarm clock and ended up starting a lot earlier than I was supposed to. It was one of the nicest things that I had done in a long time.
Photo Credit: Nicole Reed