2013 Brier Canadian Men's Curling Championship: Winter Update

Many months and a ton of work have happened since I updated you about my adventures as the Brier Volunteer Director of Program Sales & Merchandising! So what have I been up to since the first Volunteer Rally in October 2012?

I was asked to write a report for each of my areas that covered what I'd done so far and listed the work I had yet to do. At the end of the month, I attended a meeting with my event manager, other directors, and certain CCA VIPS to go over my reports. I'm not going to lie, I felt about as nervous as you'd feel in a job interview. So there I sat, at the end of a long board room table, with VIPS all around looking at me. Aahh! Fortunately, many of the CCA folks turned out to be the friendly faces of people I'd worked with before, so it wasn't that bad at all. Afterwards, it was nice to chat to the CCA people who had come out from Ontario - it's always nice to catch up on what's new behind the scenes at the CCA!

I also got some quick training for the Event Volunteer Management System the CCA uses. Easy peasy. Sort of!

Shortly after this meeting, I headed to Moose Jaw to work with the CCA for the Canada Cup! Though I had a bad cold throughout, it was a good time and I certainly learned a lot - and took home some new skills in iMovie video editing! Read my event posts.

I emailed all my volunteers to get their shift preference. And then I tracked all of the reply emails. What a lot of work! "I can work this day but not that day" etc and on and on. I decided on all my shift times and number of volunteers needed and set this all up in the event management system. Honestly, I intended to schedule all the volunteers during the Christmas break, but, yeah, didn't happen.

And the madness begins! I scheduled all my volunteers for the 3 areas: merchandising, program sales, and program sale bankers. Oiy. It was a ton of work, especially accommodating all the shift preferences, and coordinating with other directors to accommodate spouse schedules from other teams etc. I was glad when that was done and emailed out to everyone.

There was also a 5 hour directors meeting. Each director stood up and updated everyone on their area and we also received event updates. I'm just a baby director with two little areas that mostly require volunteer scheduling, so my parts were short. It's meetings like this though that make you realize just how much work goes into putting on these events. Many, many people have been working really really hard all year to pull this all together.

A few things came out of this meeting. I tried to get the wheelchair curlers I volunteer with on the schedule to do a demo, but it didn't turn out. I also tried to get myself on the schedule as a flag holder for one draw but that didn't turn out (I think the director in charge of those areas lost my email, haha. Darn.). We settled on a home base for the program sellers. I found out I needed to get a safe (which my event manager sorted out, thanks!) and keys and supplies oh my!

And then the "I can't make this shift" emails started flooding in. Ahhhh! Swap. Reschedule. Beg. Ahhhh!

The second volunteer rally took place near the end of the month. Volunteers picked up their packages including uniforms (and other misc stuff), had dinner, and listened to speeches and other information. I got stuck in the corner with two other directors running the "fitting rooms". There were uniform size mistakes in packages, items missing, sizes that needed to be exchanged etc. So that's what we did for a couple hours. Chaos. Then I joined a couple of my program sale bankers for dinner. I got to meet more of my fantastic volunteers. I'm not going to lie, this is hard work, so it was really rewarding to meet volunteers who are super enthusiastic about working the event. They really are lovely.

The Brier Tankard.

The masses gather for dinner.

More "I can't make this shift" emails. Ahhhh! Swap. Reschedule. Beg. Ahhhh!

More "I can't make this shift" emails. Ahhhh! Swap. Reschedule. Beg. Ahhhh!

More "I can't make this shift" emails. Ahhhh! Swap. Reschedule. Beg. Ahhhh!

I managed to send out "final" versions of all the schedule along with some information/job description etc. I also created a program sale tracking document and continued to liaise with the powers that be about supplies etc.

I was also told at the last minute to schedule volunteers for a Pin Trading area. Well, my volunteers who were not at their 30hr time commitment were already encouraged to lend themselves out to as 50/50 sellers, so this was difficult. More begging. Again, my volunteers really came through though. As it stands now, the pin trading shifts are under scheduled, and a half dozen are empty so we'll have to borrow people from one of the stores. *sigh*

Right now at this very moment, I'm sitting in a Starbucks interviewing cashiers for the Merchandising manager. Good times. I've never interviewed people before (shh, don't tell) but it's been fun. Most people have been very nice and it's good experience. I'm not actually in charge of the cashiers, but the Merchandising manager is at the Scotties so it's my job, fun times.

Not much left to do now!

And it all starts next week. Store set up. Banker training. First program sales shift during Hot Shots. Volunteer banquet. The Brier. I'm excited - but anxious as well. What if my volunteers don't show up? What if the cashiers I hired are crap? What it what if what if???

It'll be fun though. There's a reason I do this - it's going to be an awesome week!! Bring it on...


  1. Yes indeed. Let's get it started. (now is that song stuck in your head ?)

  2. Sounds like an excellent soundtrack for the week!


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