What’s it like to work the Expo at one of the busiest pavilions? We asked several USA Pavilion staff to record a diary of their day during Golden Week during what we expected to be one of the busiest weeks. (It didn’t turn out quite so. The numbers for that week were actually lower than usual, probably due to the ticket price mark up for the public holiday…much to the relief of all Expo staff.) Siew Yen Chai is a student ambassador from Rutgers University who works with Facilities & Logistics. Here’s a peek into her day.
Missed the staff bus. Took the regular bus to get into the Expo via Gate 4 and was told that there were no shuttles running on Expo ground until 1 PM due to the China Pavilion Day celebration. My jaws dropped in disbelief. Am I going to have to get to my destination, the USA Pavilion, which is on the other side of the world, by foot? Along with some staff from other pavilions who were equally livid about not having been informed about the shuttles cancellations earlier, I trekked through Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, South America… and finally to made my way to USA, a treacherous 50 minutes later.
12:00pm: Lunch at staff cafeteria. Surprised to see that Expo isn’t as crowded as I had imagined. A security guard told me that’s because admission today is pricier than usual–by a hefty 40RMB.
1:00pm: Decided to walk over to China Pavilion area with colleague, Xiayi, to see if there are any special performance. Didn’t find any but encountered scalpers who tried to sell us reservation tickets to China Pavilion at 200 RMB each but ran away upon seeing our Expo employee badges.
1:45pm: No way of getting in the China Pavilion but stumbled upon the Shanghai Pavilion. Thankfully with my Expo badge, I did not have to wait in line to get in. The Shanghai Pavilion was a pleasant surprise…highly recommend it.
3:00pm: Traded pins with a pin collector on the basement of the Expo Axis. Word on the street is that the USA Protocol pin is not as valuable as it was before… but I could’ve sworn that I saw on taobao.com that the pin is worth 500RMB. After much negotiation, the guy finally agreed (though still unwillingly) to trade 3 country pins for my USA yin-yang brooch.
3:20pm: Back at the USAP office. It’s a slow day at the Facilities Department. Pondering why there’s a cut-out of a colossal burger on the wall of the Facilities cube?