A glimpse at a day of a NOC assistant!
Today my task was to organise and install a massage table, which took me all day. It was the first time I had a personal driver and car so I decided to allow enough time. First I had to organise the car keys, unfortunately the car we booked was already in use by another member of the delegation. So I was given another set of keys but without a reservation chances were, no driver would be available and this was exactly what happened, no car in the morning only at 1pm.
So around that time we went back to get the car. It took a while to find the right driver and car at the huge carpark, only to find out the car was not allowed enter the Olympic village. I asked the driver to wait while I found a trolley for the heavy massage table, 45 minutes later everything was loaded into the car! The swimming pool was relatively close and we were happy to find the right location quickly.
The joy was short lived when it was discovered that the car did not have the correct accreditation to park at the entrance. To me the task to sort out the aiaiai’s!! The massage table was to big to go through the security scan and had to be unpacked. Then I had to find a solution to cover the distance of a few hundred meters to transport the table.
I saw some golf trolleys being driven and tried to stop one while standing in the middle of the road. Fortunately the man was willing to transport the table to the swimming pool but once more, did not have permission to cover the last one hundred meters. With the 2 of us we managed to drag the table to the entrance and were super happy to get a lift from another trolley.
At the pool we had to search for a place as many spots had already been taken by other delegations. Finally we were able to install the massage table against a wall with the Tunesian flag. After 1.5 hour of of pushing and pulling, and eating something, the job was done! Meanwhile, our driver was still waiting! Our delegation member wanted to have a quick look at the open swimming water and since we had a time left before returning the hired car, we hit the road!
This was the first time I realised that preparation and planning fall by the wayside because of the traffic situation in Rio de Janeiro. The cars of NOC have the privilege to use the special lanes on the highway. That could save a lot of time, it could cut the travel time in half. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a traffic jam, on a secondary road. There had been an accident, so we moved very slowly, about 5 meters per minute. At long last we saw the sea in the dark (it is winter here and dark at 6 pm) and returned more then one hour late!
Lesson learned. Leave on time and always double check all the options. Let’s call it a day!