When we left it last time it was October 2011, and I had been offered a post as an IT Technician Team Member in the Technology team at the Olympic Stadium. I was really quite excited and naturally relieved that I had been successful in getting a post and was now keen and eager to find out how friends and colleagues had been getting on.

Some were frustrated, some were pleased, some got posts and quite a few didn’t. A quick straw poll revealed that of those who had got posts, many were in event services, and I was the only one who had anything different. It was the same on Facebook too, some had got posts, many in event services, and many others were still waiting either for interviews, or to hear how they had fared.

I did as much research as I could, and I found out that across all the venues there would only be about 5,500 volunteers in the Technology Team, so it would be a relatively small team, which sounded quite nice. There wasn’t the greatest amount of information about the role of the technology team, for all the other roles there seemed to be much more, but I could see that there were 2 technology Team roles shown as examples on the information page. The 2 were results runner (which appeared to involve taking paper results to the press and media) and service desk team member, which involved taking queries from people with IT issues and recording them on the system. Nothing on IT Technician Team Member, so no real idea of what I would be doing, maybe it would be watching LEDs on equipment somewhere in a basement.

For the rest of October and November, I kept abreast of how others were getting on and through Facebook, some still had not had any interviews, but others were starting to share how they had got on, the posts they had been offered, and how they were feeling about it all

It was the 12th December before I got my next e-mail, inviting me to Orientation Training on the 4th February 2012 in Wembley Stadium. There would be 10,000 of us in there and for the first time, I could see that some of my Friends and colleagues had been invited too so I agreed to join another on the 4th, so that we could travel up together.

The 4th of February would be the first of 6 days of events at Wembley Stadium, to welcome all those volunteers who had been succesful at interview.

Christmas came and went, and so did January, and soon it would be the 4th February. Handily the first day of a really cold snap here, the temperature was expected to stay below freezing and snow was forecast for the evening.

On the 4th, it was cold, arriving at the train station to discover that our train had been cancelled, we had to think fast, and just managed to get another train which would get us there on time. It was during the trip on the tube to Wembley that we started to see other volunteers, easily identifiable by their smiles and eager faces, some carrying their welcome e-mails, others chatting about what was coming up.

Wembley way was easy to spot, filled with thousands of volunteers all making their way to Wembley arena. It was freezing, and when we got to the main entrance of the arena, myself and my friend were split up, to join our respective queues to enter the arena. I was lucky, my queue took no more than 5 mins, and I was indoors quickly to warm up. My friend had to wait nearly 45 mins, however they were entertained by a certain Eddie Izzard, who joined them to keep their spirits up.

I picked up my welcome pack, a large A4 binder with reams of information about our uniforms, how to speak, things to learn and much more. Picked up some drinks and a cup of coffee (the counters were largely clear as there were still so many people queuing outside) and made my way to my seat.

I got to my seat, and wow isn’t Wembley Arena cramped. The hall is huge, but the seating is a bit small which meant that I got a bit closer than I was initially expecting to my fellow volunteers. Once I had gathered everything up and sat down. It was cosy.

This did mean though that I got to meet some fellow volunteers even before the event started. On my right I met a vivacious marketing professional who had been given a post as a VIP lead, responsible for looking after representatives from government and sport officials from another country and on my right, and army chap who would be involved with drug testing the athletes during the Olympics. Wow such fantastic roles they had, far better than mine I thought, and to be fair to them when I told them the role I had been offered they seemed really interested. I felt such a fraud 😦

The event was fantastic, and shortly after it started, we were invited to find out who we were sitting next to, we laughed out loud at this point.

During the day we saw Huw Edwards, Eddie Izzard, Lord Coe, Oscar Pistorious, Jonathan Edwards and many more stars, all eager to welcome us as Gamesmakers. It was an exciting day and they took us through many things, including a day in the life of a volunteer and also showed us a video taken during the interview process. Remember in an earlier blog I mentioned that I was still wearing my sunglasses during our welcome video, well as luck would have it, they captured that bit, and for a fraction of a second, my blank face, with sunglasses on was shown on the huge screens of Wembley arena, I laughed out loud at this bit, and had to explain my sudden outburst to those I was sitting next to.

The rest of the session progressed normally, we found out lots more, learnt some sign language and the Gamesmaker motto. Towards the end I exchanged contact details with those volunteers next to me, and organised meeting up with my friend outside the arena.

Lots of us volunteers on the trains on the way home, all really looking forwards now. It had been a fantastic day.

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