During the summer I volunteered for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
I was a member of the Protocol team at the Excel Exhibition Centre where they held the wheelchair fencing, judo, boccia, powerlifting and sitting volleyball. I was based in the sitting volleyball arena and got to see many games of sitting volleyball as well as Boris Johnson and Barara Windsor.
Admittedly at the start I was a bit sceptical as to how much games would affect me and I certainly wasn’t expecting the Paralympics to take off so successfully, but the experience itself has been incredible and I’m quite proud to have been part of it.
In some ways the experience changed my attitudes to customer service and also changed the way I approached my job at the takeaway. I was told not to worry too much about it as I was unlikely to be working there doing front-of-house for the rest of my life, and the effect of that was that I just didn’t bother even taking the job seriously.
But since volunteering for the Games, it made me realise that even if it is for the short term, smiling at people wouldn’t hurt anyone and that no matter how mundane the job may be, do it to the best of your ability.
Being a Gamesmaker taught me how to be a better host and what it means for other people, and how a smile, a “hello”, a “thank-you” and even a high-five can really make someone’s day just as much as it can make yours.
Admittedly I do wear my Gamesmaker trainers to work now (I don’t have another pair and they’re comfortable), and I also wear the trousers and jacket, just as a reminder.