My Olympic journey has come to an end.
When I applied and interviewed to be a volunteer back in March, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew that I didn’t want to sell hot dogs, but maybe there was something else I could do; something that would perfectly suit my skills and make the most of my abilities. Deep down, I was really hoping that the Olympics needed a short, busty blogger who could work inappropriate references into the luge coverage. It’s good to have a dream.
During the interview process, I learned I had been placed into the Fleet Group. While it wasn’t hot dogs, it also wasn’t ideal (honestly, I had applied to volunteer for either the opening ceremonies or in some sort of media liaison role). I’m always up for a challenge though (and I was appropriately brainwashed by the inspirational videos they showed us), so I decided to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Turns out that rabbit hole ends in a parking lot.
I received my volunteer position offer yesterday: Load Zone Attendant at Whistler Olympic Park!
Translation: Parking Lot Monkey in the middle of nowhere!
Do I really want to spend 16 days directing busses of tourists into parking stalls in Whistler?
As crappy as that sounds, I could potentially be interested – I mean, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play Parking Lot and I’d be a part of something huge.
Then there’s the reality of it all: Whistler is logistically impossible to get to because of the car restrictions, so I’d likely be on the Olympic shuttle each day to and fro (adding at least three hours to my day). I’d be standing outside in the middle of the mountains, in February. I am short and not easily seen, and I don’t look good in safety gear. All this can be dealt with – I am nothing if not resilient – but there’s more:
My work isn’t making any allowances for people who want to volunteer for the Olympics. I checked with HR yesterday, and my choices are as follows: use up all my vacation time (I get 15 days a year), or take the days without being paid.
Frankly? I am not that selfless.
I know that not every volunteer position can be an awesome exciting one, but this one is not only boring and horrible, it will cost me a lot of money. That’s the turning point right there – I might consider doing it for the sake of having an experience if I was still getting paid (through work), but if it’s going to cost me a couple thousand dollars, I can’t justify it.
There’s one more reason too, but this didn’t play into my decision at all: my mom is having cataract surgery on her OTHER eye on February 12th, so I’ll need to be in Victoria for the first 4 days of the Olympics. Since the event is 16 days and they want you to work a minimum of 13 shifts, that puts me out. The decision has pretty much been made for me, regardless of what I want.
There isn’t any kind of option on the website that allows you to decline a position – you can only choose to accept it. I want the satisfaction of saying NO I WILL NOT BE YOUR PARKING LOT MONKEY, but even that has been taken from me. There is no justice!
I’m a little sad – I did want to have an Olympic Experience, after all – but I will live. Perhaps I will find another way to take part; one that doesn’t require me to get up at 4am every day. That would be ideal. Anyone want a cute local blogger who can make dirty luge jokes on the fly? I’m your girl!