Mind This Racket: A Rant
Posted by Brodie under: Montreal
Sorry, but I need to let this out of my system. It’s for the best intents and purposes, I promise. Someone messed with the wrong Canadian.
As many of you know, I’ve been planning on volunteering for the Montreal tournament since… oh, January? At least. I was constantly checking to see when the time to apply was, making sure I filled everything out properly etc. I was super stoked.
Time passed without a call. I wondered what was up. I e-mailed the volunteer coordinator in the middle of June, she said I would get a call in a couple of weeks. Still nothing. Nearly four weeks later (Monday) I e-mailed her again. No response.
I was eventually forced to call her myself to find out what was going on. She said that all spots had been full except for usher. She then asked if I spoke French, and when I replied no, she said “well then that won’t work. Sorry, I don’t know… I mean, there’s always next year”. She then said that she would get her supervisor to call me within a couple of days to figure something out.
First off, I’m not angry about not getting a position. I’m planning on still going to the tournament (more on that later) and enjoying myself. If they need people to be able to speak French, that’s completely fine.
My problem is with how I was treated. I spent the time to fill out the form, to make sure I was doing everything properly, to even ask others I knew about it and to help me out with it. I was then told I would get a call within a couple of weeks and was never contacted. I ended up having to contact the Twitter account, @CoupeRogers, who was excellent and far more useful than anyone at Tennis Canada. They even got my personal information and tried to get the coordinator to contact me. Mad props (I think I’ve thanked them like 40 times). As one who doesn’t live near Montreal, I have to book hotels and arrange other things, and having to wait on a call that I would eventually never receive, as a person who is willing to help and give up my time, is disrespectful. Then to get a “there’s always next year” and “someone else will call you” (because someone definitely called me before…) makes me feel like I’m dealing with some sort of irresponsible telephone company. Tennis Canada should have enough respect and organization to be able to call all those who applied, even if it’s with a simple “thanks for applying, but you don’t speak French (or whatever) and we won’t need your services this year”.
This is hardly an isolated incident. I’ve heard many other complaints from reputable sources that Tennis Canada is generally unorganized, late, and a mess. Up to the point where they’re handing out media passes the day before tournaments start. If this was Hockey Canada, fine, life goes on. But tennis is hardly a top sport in Canada, and as the mission statement says, it is an organization responsible for growing and promoting the sport within Canada. Now, from my own personal experience and stories heard from many others, I’ve learned that the organization seems to simply embody the terrible stereotypes of the game itself; up scale and inaccessible. Hardly the type of reputation an organization responsible for making a sport more accessible would want to have. I defended their right to deny Ana, and it now seems nothing but terribly ironic. It’s all a terrible shame, really.
That being said, I will not be denied. On a lighter note, I plan on going to the day sessions from Monday-Thursday and hitting up the outer courts (and chilling in the 300 section if there happens to be good centre court matches). I’ll probably skip the night matches, and instead watch them from my hotel, which will also give me time to blog tons and follow along with those on Twitter, etc. I also plan to apply for volunteering in Toronto next year where, no, I don’t have to be able to speak French.
That being said, if you’re planning on hitting up the Montreal tournament, please drop me a comment or a note on Twitter. I’m not specifically going with anyone (though I’ll be chilling with a fellow podcaster on Tuesday and Wednesday) so if you want to go watch a match, or even just pop by to say, I’d love that.