Saturday, July 21, 2012

Olympic Update

I had another Olympic volunteer training day today.  The venue I'm working at, ExCeL London, is starting to really look the part. Along with the usual Powerpoint presentations, we also had a fairly informal guided tour of the hall where we'll be working which is currently in a fairly advanced stage of construction. It's very impressive.

It was also interesting to see the large number of military personnel handling security matters. Overseas readers may not be aware of a recent development where the major contractor who was arranged to provide thousands of security staff for the Olympics just announced last week that they would be unable to supply a significant number of the people they had promised.

After the usual flurry of recriminations and politicians frantically trying to work out who to blame, it was decided the military would have to step in and make up the numbers.

I have to say they were doing a great job. Even though we're part of the workforce, we still have to go through security checks to get to work. This means that x-ray machines, bag checks, security checks etc. were mostly carried out by impeccably turned out chaps in camouflage kit.

 Having spent half my life going through security checks at airports and various other places, I've never felt more reassured than by these guys who've been dropped into doing an unfamiliar role at the last minute.  They were thorough but brisk, courteous, friendly and efficient. None of these things I would associate with normal security staff who are usually surly, bored and you always suspect, not very good at their job.

Critics say having the army doing this sort of work is demeaning to them. That may be true - I don't really know.  But there was not a hint from these guys that they felt remotely demeaned by what they were doing. They were throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the job and I hope, showing their private sector counterparts, how well this sort of thing could be done. It was good to have them there and I think they improved the whole "security" experience significantly.

1 comment:

Terra Shield said...

Oh yeah, I did hear something about security during the Olympics on the news. I had no idea that it was caused by the contractor, though.