I stayed out the entire night. The race has come and gone. It looks a success to most people I'm sure.
I volunteered in the race as a first timer and chose to be at the start/end point. I wanted to see how they run the show, the operations, the logistics after taking part in 2 runs this year. I was hugely disappointed. Everything was messed up right from the beginning.
Email notification + briefing date - It seems they have no idea what they wanted, much tell decided on your allocations. I got 2 emails with the second one changing my position because of "due to lack of resources". I couldn't make it for the new position's briefing anyway.
Briefing - Was ok, they were out of point and repeated the points and told us everything that the start/end point marshals did not have to know. Things we had to know, route details, handouts, layout, maps etc was a question mark. Fail.
Collection of T-shirts - Another total failure. We should have gotton it during the briefing actually. I got the sms on Thursday. I was told to collect it during THEIR office hours on Fri and Sat at ulu National Stadium. The race, on Sun. Maybe volunteers are supposed to be jobless with nothing to do.
I reached the place within the stipulated time frame. There was no one around, no one in the office. I called the person in charge who told me that she was out running errands and told me to wait for her. Guess what? It was 1130 when I called. She would only be back at 2pm! See what I told you about them thinking volunteers have nothing better to do? You think your office is located at a orchard Road or something. I couldn't wait. I couldn't. She told me to take the t-shirt on Sat itself. (Then why did you even bother asking me to come and collect in the first place?! Anyway, I realised not everyone got the same message).
I was freaking mad and gave her a piece of my mind insisting that she did something about it, because she wasted my time (I had to wake up earlier) and wasted my cab fare there. In the end, she told me she would be back in 20 minutes.
Race Day - Reporting time at 330am. It was another big mess. There were easily several hundreds volunteers. But there was clearly no signal where the different volunteers should be reporting to. I went to A who referred me to B who referred me back to A. There was supposed to be a pre-briefing but there was none heard. The ic looked just as lost. We had no idea where exactly was the start and end point, where the information counter was. We were basically clueless as to how to get in and out among the barricades put up, where participants could get water and my orientation of the entire place could not be worse. We were also not prepared for what to expect on that day. Many did not come prepared with sun protection (cap, shades, sunblock, towel etc). I brought my sunblock and cap, luckily or I am going to be in a worse condition than now. I don't understand why people who want to be tan think that by not applying sun protection, they will be so. Yes. they will, and probably premature photo aging and skin cancer too. Besides, getting burnt is just not the way to get a tan.
Breakfast was 1 Kit-kat, 1 biscuit, 1 ok cake and 1 not nice kaya bread, 1 apple.
The volunteers were deployed. The race started. By 7am, most of all the races had started. By right, my job had ended. Then came a few people who seemed in desperate need of volunteers and just wanted to pluck us out without checking. I ended up at the end point dispatching drinks to the runners who finished their race and got a broken blister on my finger. Most of the time, we were just hard labourers, carrying cartons of ice mountain. Where were they guys who were there initially? I think they must have DIED or MELTED in the hot sun.
Lunch was some not very nice fried rice, 1 wanton, tofu and some red coloured chicken. Not very nice but edible. Better than not nice + not edible.
The end of the event was miserable too. They know how many hundred volunteers they had. Yet, there was only 1 person allocating the monies. The volunteers had to queue up for an entire hour (I did for 1.5 hours - How am I supposed to know route marshal and start/end point marshals are not the same) under the hot sun with no shelter, no seats, almost no drinks. Don't they realise that after a night of almost no sleep, a day out in the sun, sunburnt and now finally when its ended, what? Quene up in the sun. I wish I could faint, I really did but then of course, I didn't.
Peeve1 - we were about the only people given cotton tees.
Peeve2 - I am now severely dehydrated and a little burnt.
Looking after ourselves may be our personal responsibility and we are afterall not students who needs to be spoonfed anymore. Ironically, there were many volunteers who are students who were forced to volunteer and fulfill their CIP and probably need to be spoonfed.
Volunteer Management - Fail.