Saturday, 4 August 2007

I'm just doing the job

One of the invisible jobs at the Jamboree that are noticed only when they aren’t done, is cleaning the toilets and showers. British Donna Doner is a Shift Leader for the team cleaning toilets and showers in the adult camping area. She had applied especially for this job: "I think that it's a really important job and therefore I applied for it. Though I'm their leader I'm working here like one of them." she said with a rag in one hand and a brush in the other.

Bog Squad
Arturo Loza from Bolivia is one of the hard-working members of Donna's team. "I think there are only few who are coming to the Jamboree for cleaning the loos, but I don't complain. This job needs to be done by someone anyway," he said.The cleaning is done by two eight hour shifts a day and each team has certain toilets and showers to be responsible for. "If we are finished earlier than in eight hours, we'll leave then", Arturo continued. In addition to work the team is of course having a lot of fun together and has their own special humour. One sign of this is their name "Bog Squad". The team has decorated its buggy with full-blown vinyl gloves and written its name on those "balloons" on the buggy's roof.

Difficulties along the way
In the beginning of the Jamboree rainy weather and muddy ground were adding extra mess to toilets and showers. Now the teams are facing a different problem, people that are assigned to them but aren't showing up for their shifts. As the job still needs to be done, the others must work even harder.

Also cultural differences in toilet and shower behaviour are complicating teams' work. Donna gives an example that in some cultures people are used to putting the paper into trash instead of into the pan and they have to be advised to act differently. Washing shoes in showers will sooner or later block the drains with mud and grass. Showers must then be closed and that of course lengthens the queues in busy hours.

Luckily the cleaning teams are now receiving support from volunteers from other teams and contingents. "This isn't exciting and I'm not enjoying this but if I had to do it again I would absolutely do it," said Andy Harris who was spending his day off among the members of the UK contingent helping "Bog Squad", yesterday morning.

Thankful to all of them
Donna keeps praising her team as well as all those who have been helping them, "People in my team are amazing, I cannot thank them enough! They are doing this hard job under a great pressure without any complaints," she rejoiced. Donna was glad that others have also noticed their work and are thanking the team when passing by.Why couldn't we all do our part of the job for the "Bog Squad". Let's put paper into pans and walk with muddy shoes. When ever you feel that you could give a hand to the cleaning team, don't hesitate to join them even for only a short moment!

1 comment:

Otus.trichopisis said...

Hello Matt - I attended the WSJ2007 and this was one of the most discouraging aspects - that folks who'd volunteered failed to fulfill their obligations.

I think, though, that many were disenchanted to discover that they did not their first choice for IST position. As a member of the US IST, I met very few people who knew in advance which Core Team they'd been assigned. There were lots of doctors scrubbing toilets.