I'm so sad to say the volunteer work for the Asian Winter Games wasn't at ALL what I'd hoped for. So after one day...a long exhausting, frustrating day - I quit.
My time is better spent with my work and family.
Disappointed. I'd looked forward to this experience since last summer when I first volunteered.
Well, Grand Hotel had too many volunteers. Maybe 12 people? Our main job was to escort guests from the hotel lobby and Asian Winter Games desk to the waiting taxis at one of three pick up points outside the hotel.
But the event staff - mainly city hall staff from Honshu often did the escorting themselves. And many of the Grand Hotel VIPs had interpreters with them - so they didn't need another person to walk them to the taxi.
So what did I do on Tuesday?
From 7.20 am to 1 pm I stood outside the 1st floor jazz bar which was open for coffee as a meeting place. Nobody came to use it. I stood there with another volunteer. And stood.
We helped a few guests looking for the Big Jug breakfast buffet. I helped two businessmen leave the hotel to find a lunchplace. I helped a Chinese woman with her suitcase. Then I stood in the lobby.
There was a one hour lunch break. Then more standing - eight people standing with the same signs pointing to a bus....
There was no rest room for volunteers, there was no scheduled rest time, there was no real work.
It was exhausting and boring.
Working with me was a college student on her first volunteer job, a retired man and a woman who paid her own airfare and hotel to come all the way from Yokohama for a week to volunteer. Really.
Doing nothing is boring and tiring. Standing is boring and tiring.
I was angry. Why did they have so many volunteers? Why didn't they use us for a desk for local information? Shopping? Restaurants? etc
So I came home and quit.
The next day volunteer center offered me a different venue. But....I'm already hearing similar bad reports from students and friends about volunteer work in other places...so I declined. My life doesn't need the stress.
Volunteers who are doing very specific work - an Australian friend with the medical team, media center help - they seem to be happier. But the general volunteers? Very underused.
So. Disappointed. I think it was badly planned and not flexible.
I look forward to hearing about YOUR AWG experience.