Written by Club Member Ian Garrard
If you like having a wide variety of different tasks and want to learn how the club operates, then Officer of the Day (OOD) is the job for you. Based mainly in the club office (so warm and dry, whatever the weather!), a large part of the duty involves introducing the club to potential new members who come to see what it is all about. This is a very pleasant task and is most rewarding when the visitors want to join immediately afterwards. Other office duties include issuing day sailing tickets, taking money and credit card payments for equipment on hire, and answering queries on the phone. On a particularly windy day, many phone calls are from members wanting a precise description of the weather conditions at the reservoir before making the trip out. Training for all standard tasks is given first thing in the morning by one of the permanent staff and anything out-of-the-ordinary can be passed over to one of these staff members or listed in a book of queries to be dealt with later.
However, the duty is not all bureaucracy and it is impossible to guess what might turn up that day. For example, the office window has a great view of the reservoir and if the OOD spots a capsized member in the water, struggling to right a boat, then a quick alert on the radio system can bring this to the awareness of the patrol boat. Or it may be that a badly parked car is blocking access in the car park and an announcement on the tannoy system for the owner to move it may be in order.
Overall, the duty is varied and highly interesting. It is fascinating to learn what goes on behind the scenes for running the Club and, despite being called a “duty”, it makes for a thoroughly absorbing day.