I handed out half marathon bibs to people at the Long beach expo. I’d imagined what it was like to be behind the table (since I’m often in front of it). So, I went to find out for myself.
It’s all pretty straightforward, really. Someone gives you a bib number. You find the bib (they’re in numerical order), then check the name on the back of the bib against the name on the photo ID.
You glance at the ID and the person. (Sometimes people don’t totally look like the photos on their IDs, but I trusted everybody was who their ID said they were. They all looked close enough.) Then you hand over the bib.
They sign the paper in front of you, which I was told acts as another waiver. I don’t totally understand that process because the only thing on that paper is names and blanks for signatures. So, if they don’t even have waiver wording to look at, I don’t understand how that paper counts as a waiver.
I just remember in volunteer training, one of the trainers said that if a participant is picking up for a friend we must get the signed waiver for the friend who wasn’t there, but we didn’t need a signed waiver from the person because they’re signing the sign in sheet – which acts as the waiver…
Anyway, other than not totally understanding the ins and outs of why that form counts as a waiver, the whole thing was pretty straightforward. We didn’t really have to deal with many problems as if someone’s bib number was wrong, we asked them to go double check on computers at the end of our row. (And usually when they did, they found the right number.)
If there was any problem beyond that, we just sent them to the solutions table. I’d really love to work a solutions table to see how problems are dealt with, but I think probably only real staff members ever work those, as you’re dealing with different varying problems all day long.
I do have a little specific story about one such problem that we’ll get to in part 2.
Both other than that, it was a very straightforward gig. They even fed us breakfast snacks and lunch as well.
During downtime, I’d group safety pins into groups of 4 (connecting them – instead of having people grab 4 and keep hold of all of them separately). I know it’s a really small thing, but people seemed to like it. Sometimes the little things make all the difference.
So, there you have it – the mostly uneventful day at the Long Beach Half Marathon expo. (Though there is a semi-funny story about needing to pee that I’ll get to in my kidney story. And there is a hopefully somewhat interesting moral quandary that we’ll get to in part 2!)