(#39) Long Beach 5k – Handing Out Medals (October 12, 2014) – Part 3 (And That’s A No On My Idea)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Aurora De Lucia making a silly face while sorting medals at the Long Beach 5k 2014Picking up from last time (getting admonished) –

I’m not trying to be different for the sake of being different, or be a jerk.

I was just trying to do any small piece I could in trying to solve an issue, when there were no black-shirted people around to help you. If a superior isn’t around in a time sensitive manner, in a case where you can take initiative, you do, right?

I get that we’re in a loud area and a lot is happening, so maybe it would’ve been a little harder to say something like, “We prefer to have two lines of volunteers. And if you could go back into one of those, I’d appreciate it.” But it just hurt to hear this person admonishing me, acting like I’m not even giving out medals when I’m giving everything I have to make these runners feel special.

Then, before I even have a chance to move – immediately after she says she’s going to need me to give out medals, a security guard comes up right behind her and says I need to be in one of the two lines.

I don’t know where he came from, or if they thought I was going to be difficult, or if it was just coincidence or what. But it was a slightly overwhelming, when for 20-ish minutes, I didn’t have any idea anything was wrong.

Right as this is happening, a few runners come in who take my last medals. And there were no more medals left to get. The race had run out. So, the idea of me moving became moot anyway, as there was nothing left to do at the finish line.

Had there been time, and still medals left to give, I would’ve loved to have talked to the security guard about why they were doing two lines – which seemed a little unsafe with all the bottle-necking. I wouldn’t have done it abrasively or anything. I’m not suggesting I know more than the person who’s paid to watch for the security of others. I just think it’s always great when people can work together and collaborate to make things better.

I saw the whole two line thing work at a Disney race, so it’s not to say that that can’t work well. But the difference was, instead of being immediately after the finish line, you had to walk a small bit to get to the volunteers. Also, they were *spread out.* And they stayed spread out – that was the key. You went to them. So, nothing got bunched up and bottle-necked. It worked wonderfully!

So, I’m not against two lines. I just feel we need to get out of the way of runners. (I know I’m a green shirt. And staff members/volunteer leaders have every right to ask me to stand in a line with no explanation. And that’s fine. I don’t mean to sound entitled. I just wanted us all to be the best we could be, if possible.

Anyway, I’ll finish out with other things I learned from volunteering here next time.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?