So, waaaay back in September 2010 I filled in an online application form to become a London 2012 GamesMaker.
Apparently 250,000 people applied to become GamesMakers for the London 2012 Olympics, performing various roles from driving to updating websites to acting as stewards at events. These were whittled down over the course of many months to 100,000 people who are currently being interviewed to check their suitability for their chosen GamesMaker role.
I’m one of the lucky 100,000 who got through to the interview stage, and so I set off this morning to my ‘selection event’. In a moment of madness I’d decided to get it all over and done with early and booked a 10:30 slot – in hindsight I should have gone with a later one and a) had a bit of a lie-in and b) been able to buy off-peak train tickets instead of the extortionate peak fare. Sigh.
Anyway, I made it to ExCel in London (where the selection events are being held) in one piece and had enought time spare to find out where I was going and to relax and gather my thoughts.
After waiting for a few minutes in a small seating area, the 25 or so people who were registered for the 10:30am slot were called forward. We confirmed our names on a register and were given a rubber wristband to denote our group (our wristbands were white, but pink and blue were also available!). We were also assigned an interview ‘pod’ each. Then it was through to a quick checking in area where our ID was photocopied and a picture taken for our accreditation pass, should we be successful in our attempts to become volunteers.
The next section was a small exhibition space in which we waited while everyone passed through the check-in area. There were several interesting and informative displays about the history of the Games, the aims for London 2012, the types of volunteer they were looking for etc etc. Once everyone was through check-in we were shown into a small cinema to watch a five-minute video about how GamesMakers really are going to ‘make the Games’, including a short section with Eddie Izzard being, well, Eddie Izzard-esque, and someone from Cadbury’s (a prominent London 2012 sponsor) talking about how they’re getting involved in the games. I should mention at this point that Cadbury’s had supplied bowls and containers full of ‘Heroes‘ because we were ‘all heroes for applying to become GamesMakers’. Hmm. Sadly for me there were no Dreams after that whole cost-cutting thing a while back so I went without.
Anyway, back from that tangent, and it was onto the interview. Now, up to this point I’d been maintaining a slightly sleepy Zen-like calm. As soon as we started to walk round to our pods, and I sighted my interviewer (a lovely chap called Andrew) I might have got a teensy bit nervous. I said as much to Andrew so hopefully he took that into account when my answers got a bit weird! I’d been reading up what questions to expect on other people’s blogs, so I kind of knew what was going to happen – there were only six questions and they were along the lines of ‘what’s your favourite Olympic sport?’ (Andrew said my answer was ‘very charming’!), ‘when did you last work in a team and how did you make it work?’, ‘when did you last go the extra mile?’… I’ll be honest, I think I’ve blanked out the other three questions, though I know I talked about memorising pi for my New Year’s Resolution and that whole thing where people think I’m so computer-y/number-focused that they ask if I see the world in Matrix code (for the record, I don’t – yet). Really hope I didn’t come across as being too weird!
After the interview, which was only about 20 minutes long, I was shown the boards that interviewees are invited to scribble something memorable on and given the opportunity to write something myself. Then it was out through the gift shop (I bought a keyring) and it was all finished!
I will have to wait now to see if I am one of the chosen people. Out of the 100,000 interviewees they will select 77,000 to actually volunteer. They only recently started making offers to people so it could take until March for me to hear back. Hopefully it won’t take that long because I don’t think I could handle the suspense!
Cross your fingers for me,