Yellow Armband

Sat, Mar 13th 2010 10:18 pm
First shift of volunteering for the Paralympics was due to start at 9:00 am, so had to take the 5:50 am shuttle that leaves from downtown Vancouver to get to Whistler. Didn't trust the Translink bus schedule that claimed there is a route 351 bus that leaves at 4:30, so got a ride all the way to Pacific Central station. After wandering around for over half an hour trying to find the stupid bus (nobody inside the station knew what the hell we were talking about) and desperately calling (and waking) a friend to ask to look at the map again, finally caught sight of a Vancouver 2010 bus in a parking lot directly beside the station. It would have been nice had they noted that the bus actually doesn't depart from Pacific Central, because by all means on their map it looked it was pointing at the station.

Arrived at Whistler Creekside at around 7:50 am. Checked in with the work force people, and then headed up to Whistler Village to try and find where to check in for my accommodations (which I'd only just luckily got). After getting lost, got into the check-in place and was given the key and told that the room is actually at Whistler Paralympic Village, or more simply the Athlete's Village, which I found out the hard way earlier is definitely not the same thing as Whistler Village. The express bus that goes between the three locations would take too long, so ended up going back to Creekside and just carrying my bag around all day.

As part of Event Host Services (EVS) Bravo team, was located close to the edge of the Creekside area, where the bus stops are along Highway 99. Nothing exciting to note, since I was just standing there most of the day directing people to walk toward the chairlift up the hill, or down to the highway to catch the bus, or somewhere else because I had no idea where any of the things were (parking lot, ticket office, etc.). It would have definitely been nice had they given us a better briefing, and even maps to the area with all the important things noted on there. Felt like an idiot when people asked how to get back to Parking Lot 6 and I had no idea where that even was. Couldn't even page anyone since they don't give us all radios.

There weren't as many people as I'd been dreading, so it wasn't all bad in the end. All the other volunteers are extremely nice as well, so it wasn't all too bad, except when I got stuck at the opposite side of the road for two hours straight without being relieved. Unfortunately didn't get to see any of the event, though it didn't matter since it got canceled anyway. People were probably not happy considering they had to go all the way up the hill to the chair and had to sit around.

The rest of the week's schedule was changed around too, so will have to see how it goes. As of the moment, my original 9:00 am - 3:00 pm shift was changed to 7:30 am - 5:00 pm due to the scheduling changes... That's going to be fun.

At least the accommodations are much better than I'd feared. The room I got wasn't in a trailer, but in a brand new townhouse-style place with a bunch of beds shoved into the room. Apparently they are all bought, but VANOC is using them during the events to house volunteers and workforce. After this is done, they'll be redoing the insides of all the houses again so that the owners can move in and use it as they wish. I'm just glad there's a real bathroom and a decent bed. The food isn't inedible, but better than V1 cafeteria food, which isn't too surprising. At least it gets us through the day. As long as there's free coffee, I'm good for the most part.
ryn Mar 16th 2010
I thought you were supposed to have prior knowledge of the area before you got hired so maybe they just assumed... =P
limned Mar 16th 2010
Even if you did know the area, it would be pretty much useless because of all the blocked-off areas and the re-routing that they've got going on.
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