This morning I dropped by downtown to pick up tickets for the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony. Each volunteer is given one free ticket with the option to purchase another. While waiting in line, I had a chance to chat with a few people who had started their volunteer shifts as drivers. Believe it or not, a lot of them were retired women who’ve been assigned 10 hour shifts.
Now think about that for a moment. I know I did.
Anyways, the whole process took almost an hour and, to the surprise of many, we also received a bottle of red wine along with the tickets. That got me thinking as I headed back to the bakery*. So far as a volunteer, I had received the aforementioned ticket + bottle of wine, a full set of uniform (which includes a water proof jacket, a fleece vest, a pair of water repellent pants, 2 long sleeves cotton/rayon tees & a toque), a thermal mug, a bottle of Cold-Fx, free public transit for 2 months, training binders and numerous manuals + booklets along with various coupons & discounts on Olympic related merchandise. During the games, we also get free meals and refreshments while on duty as well as a Shift gift” (must say that slowly…) for every 3 shifts we complete. Add it all up and multiple by 25,000 volunteers, that’s one heck of an expense for VANOC.
As much I’d like to think otherwise, there is no such thing as a free lunch. I know I’m paying for these “freebies” as well as the infrastructures that were built for these Olympics. So, might as well embrace and enjoy the experience and make these games the best games possible.
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