My second shift was scheduled to start at 15:45, finishing at 23:00.

Still worried from the night before, I kept checking my e-mails, waiting for the one that would tell me I was no longer needed. It didn’t arrive, so I tentatively made my way to the arena.

Another beautiful day, and this time everything was on time, so I could relax a little and take in the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere of a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Still hardly any Gamemakers about, I said hello and smiled to more people today, and made my way into London and on to the Olympic park.

I passed quickly through the check-in at the main entrance and the Gamesmaker check-in wondering if they would turn me away as my pass card had been disabled and blocked. This didn’t happen, so I made my way to the office, slightly nervous about what would await me. Would this be the last time I enter the Olympic Stadium as a volunteer I wondered?

I turned the corner underneath the stadium and walked into the office. After a quick look around, I couldn’t see the IT team manager, it appeared he would not be in today. I breathed a sigh of relief, it appeared that we were forgiven our little transgression last night and we would at least get to see a second shift.

It kicked off in much the same way as the previous day. Today we would spend some more time in the press and media tribunes, checking that the software was working correctly, and also spend some more time in the IT storeroom, it was full again and needed tidying up so that we could get more equipment and supplies in.
As more and more people were beginning to start working in the stadium in more Olympics based roles, so the number of faults and queries with equipment started to increase. We received a fault regarding prints arriving at the wrong printer and another fault in one of the timing and results offices. Myself and an Acer colleague arrived at the room. This was a hub of activity, multiple PCs, laptops, results screens, direct feeds and printers, 3 of them. As mentioned we had a couple of issues to resolve here, so I picked the printer one. It was a relatively simple issue, prints sent to printer 2, were arriving on printer 3, and prints sent to printer 1 were arriving on printer 2 , you get the picture. Once I worked it out, I set about re-naming the printers to get the right one to print out. Only I couldn’t, I didn’t have the correct access level. I asked my colleague, who also didn’t have the right access level. How about uninstalling them then? Nope access level still restricted. Ummm it appeared we didn’t have many options. We did however have enough access to install a new printer. Yeay, so that’s what we did, install a new printer, named it the real printer 2 and made it the default. Success :-), well ish, but they were happy!

As the afternoon drew to a close and evening started to arrive, we made our way to the restaurant for our evening meal. Another delicious affair, no really the hot food there was fantastic, especially the evening meals, and a chance to catch up with some of my other Gamesmakers about our day. We mentioned our little misdemeanor last night and how we hoped that we weren’t going to be fired from our volunteer role. I think they were mainly jealous, but agreed that we shouldn’t be fired.

We made our way back to the office, ready for our evening shift. Lots more work to do in the press and media tribunes, we needed to check them again, to make sure that the timing and results software was performing to scratch. Now to be clear, we had enough capacity in the stadium for the worlds press and media, multiple TV companies, radio broadcasters, written journalism and of course photographers. Each one could rent a desk (the bigger companies and national broadcasters had whole areas) with the relevant multiple feed TV screens (although I didn’t know this at the time) and timing and information screens which we were responsible for. This would take a couple of hours (approx 200 machines to check) and we wouldn’t finish until late.

We set about carrying out our checks, making sure all the machines performed as expected, they were all touch screens, so sometimes a re-calibration would be required. We checked for damage and performance too all the while absorbing the sights and sounds of the Olympic stadium set out for the first scene of the opening ceremony. It was a fantastic evening so far, I just crossed my fingers and hoped that it wouldn’t be my last.

1b3aabb5f5d064ccbcb7b0b505f06e6e-the-london-2012-opening-ceremonies-are-middle-earth-themed (Not my picture, borrowed from Google, showing the view from the upper tribunes.)

Time passed, and soon we finished our checks, and because we didn’t have to be on call for faults (the week before the Opening ceremony was all about setting up, and by this time of the evening many of the other areas had already closed for the night) once we had finished our tasks for the evening, there wasn’t much more we could do.

It was about 20:30 and starting to go dusk. There was the sign of movement around the stadium, and the lights were beginning to change, the sound system was being tested, tonight the stadium was awakening.

Our supervisors were with us that evening, and one of them grouped us together, informing us that we had completed all our tasks for the day. He mentioned in a stage whisper that we were free to make our ways home if we wanted, or perhaps there might be what appeared to look like a technical rehearsal of the 2012 Olympic Opening ceremony about to take place and perhaps we might want to find a relatively hidden location to sit in and maybe if we were careful we could watch the opening ceremony. He did say though, that if we were found and asked to move on, we should immediately leave and apologise.

Handily I had only just found a press timing and information PC that was not responding correctly, near the back of the lower press tribunes, which we could fix, whilst we were watching the Opening ceremony. We all agreed that this was a great idea, and made our way to the offending PC.
We settled down, simultaneously working on the PC and keeping an eye on the events.

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