Friday, July 13, 2012

Week One as A Womble

On the morning of my third day I had my first "small world" moment of the week (there were more). I started speaking to a fellow Scot and it turned out they actually went to my old school and was second cousins to the couple who run my local swimming pool. Of all the bars in all of Wimbledon...

The actual work was becoming fairly monotonous and busy everyday but the long hours were made up for after the shifts when I got to see some tennis. On my fourth day at work when I managed to catch the whole of Novak Djokovic's second round match against Ryan Harrison, who at 20 years old (the same age as me, which both impressed and terrified me) gave the world No.1 quite a challenge. This was the first real moment when I realised the perks of the job, the fact I was getting to watch these matches free of charge was worth any blisters and snobby customers. 

By the Wednesday my feet were absolutely aching but getting to watch my dear, dear Federer should have been enough to cure that. His opponent, Julien Benneteau, was two sets up on the six time champion when I creeped in after my shift and so there was going to be no relaxation yet. I should probably mention the wonderful  guys at London Fire Brigade who let me into the court to watch these matches, not without a free bowl of left over strawberries here or there, but I must owe them at least £50,000 to the amount of games I was allowed to see. 

After Federer's heroic comeback from two sets down, the Thursday was absolutely scorching at around 28 degrees Celsius. After work I went around to enjoy the sunshine for a bit and went to the Wimbledon Shop to stock up on (very expensive) souvenirs, after all it was only Nadal playing in the second round, nothing exciting will happen surely? However after a hover over Henman Hill and seeing the game was making some interesting turns I headed back to Centre court, since I have the privileges to watch it I should use them. My favourite guards were on top form chatting away to me and even telling me stories of how they knew Roger Federer, as much as I wanted it to be true I wasn't going to believe anything until I saw it. It wasn't rare for me to ease-drop and join in on conversations next to me and luckily nobody seemed to take this as extreme nosiness and just friendliness. This time I ended up chatting to an ice cream seller called Mike who helped me sweet talk the guards by getting sandwiches, pizza and ice cream that Wimbledon were planning on throwing out. I saw a lot of food being wasted at the championships, we weren't allowed to take anything home that was going out of date and none could go to homeless shelters, all because we live in a suing nation and they are scared of food poisoning threats. The guards were happy to take anything we did salvage off our hands, in return we were more likely to be allowed to watch, and in this case; get moved forward to better seats. We all know the outcome of this game now, the 100th seed Lukas Rosol aced the No.2 seed out of the tournament giving the shock of the championship, deserving every minute of it. Wimbledon always loves an underdog and this was the kind of scenario that drove the crowd wild, the atmosphere was amazing and it was today where I realised how much I love my job. Also, even though my famous people tally is pretty low, I have met some pretty awesome "normal" people here, from Claire, Alice and the Kate's who I work with everyday, the adorable guards that let me in to get a glimpse of world class tennis to the random strangers like Mike who I shared a moment of history with but will probably never see again.

The Saturday marked the middle of the championships and thanks to the dry weather it meant that there will be a day off tomorrow. The end of the day was a little bit more hectic than normal as our manager suddenly disappeared, I mean he was normally very elusive anyway but this time he didn't come back. The big boss of the debenture section came in saying something about going home sick and then time sheets were flying everywhere. I even had to help out downstairs on the Terrace as they were exceptionally busy. After the pandemonium I was introduced to Tom who said he was expected to be here on Monday, but we still weren't really sure what had happened. Eventually 2 hours after I thought I was finishing I headed to catch the Andy Murray match, which luckily was barely under way, however being Andy Murray the crowd was packed and Claire and I had to stand, which my feet just didn't want to do. The match was a classic Murray match, aneurysm inducing stuff and the five setter broke the Wimbledon curfew finishing at 11:02pm which I don't think would have happened if it wasn't a local player. 

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