I caught my breath as I entered the Technology office.

Trying to make myself presentable, I scanned the office, looking for fellow Gamesmakers and the rest of my team. It was strangely quiet in the technology office, no other Gamesmakers, but the IT team manager was there. I was greeted with a warm good morning from the IT team manager and the other managers manning the IT desk, but no other Gamesmakers were there.

I couldn’t believe it, although I was late, I was earlier than the others.

I was advised to make myself comfortable, and start to get prepared as it would be a busy day today and I would need paper and a pen. Soon some others started to arrive, mainly Acer people. They were all nice and said hello. Another 3 Gamesmakers arrived, there would only be 4 of us in today???
Only 4? umm oh well. I didn’t matter because today I would finally get to find out what my role was going to be!

It was soon time to start our day and we would have a lot to do to prepare the stadium for the Opening ceremony. The IT manager assigned us our first task and we were to be grouped with the Acer people, our objective was to note the locations of all the IT equipment in the offices of the Stadium. Most of the equipment had already been provided by another group, and we needed to know where it was, so that we could maintain it.
It was with some excitement that our little group proceeded to leave the office, armed with paper, pens, and a bottle of water each, it was going to be a warm day so we needed to be prepared!

We got to see around the “hidden” areas of the Olympic stadium, the corridors and the offices underneath and all around. It was fantastic to see it all going on. We were mainly focussed on the press and media areas, although we also covered the other areas including stadium management, resource and volunteer management, scoring and results and this morning we also visited the athletes warm up track, which was a full size running track and associated competition equipment (long jump pit etc) located to the side of the main stadium. This was very cool.
It took us about 2 hours to check all the areas, making notes of what we found and checking that all the equipment worked. Anything not correct would either be fixed there and then or we made a note of the issue, to return later. It was also great to meet our other colleagues, both the Gamesmakers and our Acer and Atos colleagues, who all seemed really nice.

We returned to our office and briefed the IT manager on what we found. It was time for a quick break though, so we made our way back to the canteen area for a cup of tea. It was a welcome break and gave us a bit more time to get to know our colleagues and fellow volunteers.

20 minutes later and we were back in the office, being issued with our next tasks. This time we were to “check the Tribunes” and make sure that all the machines in the Tribunes were working.
I had no idea what the Tribunes were, but was about to find out!

We walked through the corridors, taking a lift to the first floor, where we emerged into the upper floors of the Olympic stadium. Although the public would not be able to access this part of the arena, it was on the same level as the lower tier seating and it was outside so we could feel the heat of the day. It was nice.
We walked a bit further around and took one of the entrance tunnels into the arena of the Olympic Stadium. We discovered that the Tribunes were actually the press and media areas inside the stadium, the broadcast areas and we had to walk around both the lower and upper tiers of these tribunes checking every PC to make sure it and its touch screen worked.
The view from the press and media tribunes was gorgeous. I didn’t know it at the time, but the tribunes are set up right next to the finish line. I couldn’t see that at this time, because the stadium was set for the Opening ceremony which of course covered the field of play, and it looked awesome.
And it was so. Today they were testing the LED seat lighting and the sound system. With the workforce for the opening ceremony and us, there were about 200 people in total in the stadium and the opening ceremony parts, the music and the atmosphere was amazing. The LED seat lighting looked gorgeous too. What a place to be, my first day, my first morning, it was 11am, and was awesome.
Could it get any better, well yes, it could and it would.

Time marched on, and after another 3 hours of work, it was time for lunch. Another first, today was the first day they were serving hot meals in the staff and volunteer restaurant, which was a rather huge room underneath the Event Services Gamesmaker area, made up of porta cabins. We had TVs in here and a range of hot and cold meals, and I will be honest, the food was delicious. We got a main meal, a drink, a piece of fruit and a snack bar. All pretty tasty. We spent some time getting to know each other, finding out a bit more about why we volunteered and just sharing our experiences of getting to this point in time.

Lunch over and time to get back to the office, we had largely completed most of our work on the IT equipment, so after sitting around for a bit and catching up on news and e-mails our next task was to tidy up the store-room. The IT team shared a huge storeroom underneath the stadium (just behind the IT office to be exact). And it was in a terrible state. Our task was to tidy it up, fold all the cardboard boxes (as they would be needed again) and make room for 8 pallets of bottled water. So I expected that just us Gamesmakers would be tasked with this, nope, not quite, the Acer and Atos staff joined in too, turned into a sort of team building exercise.
As it turned out, we would spend quite a bit of time in the store-room, it was where we stored all our IT equipment for a start, and our bottled water (yes that’s right, the rest of the gamesmakers had to use water fountains, but we got our own bottled supply!).

Oh and a fridge to keep it in! Why were we being treated differently I wondered?

We finished clearing out the store-room, everything was sorted, and we had moved the new pallets in. A good afternoons work, we had accomplished a lot, and now it was nearing the end of our first day, time for our evening meal.
As we walked to the restaurant, we could hear a rehearsal for the Opening ceremony, it sounded fantastic, and we walked past some of the performers on our way.
We were a bit early finishing our evening meal, it was about 17:45, and there were 3 of us left in the restaurant. One of them still had an upgrade pass (i’ll explain more about that later) so we decided to accompany him back to the office to drop it off, but on the way we got sort of distracted.
We could hear the opening ceremony, and as I mentioned, it sounded awesome, so we decided to take a peak, from a relatively hidden area of the stadium. Standing well back we caught about 10 minutes of the brilliant opening ceremony. And then.
Our 4th Gamesmaker came rushing up, he had accidentally let it slip that he thought we were watching the Opening ceremony to the IT team manager, who was furious, and demanded we leave the area immediately as we were not permitted to watch it. We’d been caught, and now we were in trouble, lots of trouble, removal from our role type of trouble. Our fellow Gamesmaker returned the upgrade pass and we sheepishly left the stadium and made our ways home.

On the way home and all through the night I would check my e-mail, waiting for the e-mail informing me that I would not be welcome back and that my role had been terminated.

And I checked again, and again, and again, still nothing, perhaps they would inform me at the start of my shift tomorrow……

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