Duties have been officially over for me last night (it’s currently 1:30am in the morning the day after).
Came back, showered, did some cyber talking (not telling) and looked at old blogs and old SWC pictures (2008). Couldn’t find the 2009 pictures. I wonder if I even took them and uploaded it to Facebook.
Helping out in SWC this year reminded me of plenty memories. It reminded me of the good and the bad: how I started working in SSA, how ST dragged me into this whole big event and got me addicted onto having 16hour crazy working days with very little sleep, the fun of meeting new people and organising huge events, and of course, the emotions I was feeling in 2008.
SWC2011 felt very different. In 2008 and 2009, I knew what was going on, and I was the go-to person for most things, except when they needed ST which I then referred to him. I had a handle on everything and things were done to my liking, my standards. I had control of the situation. SWC2011 started out good, when I felt alive thinking that I was going to be actively organising and managing, until I realised that there were too many unknowns which I had no control over because I wasn’t the one with the required information, and without the responsibilities as well. Somehow I felt more tired from the beginning (perhaps I was working as well, educator by day and liaison officer for SWC by night) and I didn’t felt like I had the energy to make idle chat with the swimmers. I felt like I couldn’t be bothered, because there were young fresh faced volunteers who were more than ready to provide them with chirpy grins and overly-zealous answers.
It didn’t help matters when instructions given down by different people contradicted, and it made me feel that my past experience in previous years didn’t matter. If that’s the case, why was I down for duty then? Was it just simply to join in the fun and do as told? I didn’t think we used to work this way. Of course, my role now is completely different from my role then, and perhaps since I didn’t have the knowledge (of the swimmers, the countries, the arrangements, the transport and everything else) – there was barely anything I could do. I felt like my hands were tied and the only thing I could assist was preparing accreditation passes. Any young new volunteer could have easily done that.
Maybe expectations were not explained clearly, maybe it was just miscommunication. For once I felt uncertain of my friendship with ST, and how I thought I couldn’t mention certain things to ST – when we’ve always been pretty honest with one another (or so I thought). I completely didn’t understand my role as a volunteer this year.
Towards the end, it just felt terrible. Of course the experience was made better with familar friends like S and new friends like Y, who was crazily entertaining to no end. However, that dead weight emotions of not being able to connect with one fellow LO, and wondering if I was just being sensitive, drove me nuts. I honestly tried to see the good side of her and gave her the benefit of the doubt many times, but I suspect she’s a heck lot more manipulative than I thought. I’ll never know ST’s stand on it – because we have our suspicions and think he may not like hearing it. Knowing ST, he probably would only have good things to say – which is a trait I admire. He never fails to see the good in everybody, and I don’t know how he manages to do that.
One experience like this should suffice. There is no need to bring myself through this, drive myself dead tired every working day (and burning the weekend) to bring myself through such emotional turmoil. It’s frustrating when you need to put the emotions aside and get through the day. Thank God for whatsapp and S’s company.
I don’t know if I want to do SWC 2012. I really really love the fast and hectic run up to the events day, providing the efficient services for the people participating in the event at the hotel, being physically there at the venue watching it live and getting invested in the swimmers you would have interacted with prior to the event. I really really love it, even though I end up dead tired. I don’t even complain about the tiredness – the adrenaline allows me to run this marathon and crash afterwards when the event is over.
However, I’m just not sure if I can be in a role where limited information is made known and I go about doing simple menial labour, while frustratingly wanting to do more but I can’t because I only have limited information. I’m not sure if I’m okay with the bit where previous experience count for nothing. If things have changed, make it clear – else I’ll be left with the old impression / expectation which differs from that of yours.
SWC 2012 is a year away. I think I may have already made up my mind. I’m not sure if this 26yo body and mind can keep up with the 20yo fresh faced volunteer who over enthusiastically talks your ear off, manipulates actions/words, intrudes into your private space, acts without thinking nor considering the consequences and is over-defensive / trying too hard.
I give her my white flag.