OPINION

Cheap promises…

…The smiles, both genuine and fake, have gradually disappeared as people return to their jobs or to the anxiety of unemployment… Our long summer has reached its chilly conclusion. This was only too evident in the disgraceful events witnessed outside the headquarters of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee in Nea Ionia earlier this week. The reason for the chaotic scenes was the offer of cheap mobile phones to people who had worked as volunteers during the Olympic Games… The incident revealed a side of the Olympics we had yet to witness – that those praised for their work as volunteers were not all that they had seemed to be. The ATHOC uniform temporarily lent an appearance of equality to volunteers and paid workers, officials and non-officials. And they all wore their uniform with a smile, but they were smiling for different reasons… Indeed, those who wore the uniform shared neither the same feelings nor ideas. The functionaries are enjoying their profits, the paid staff are probably job-hunting and the volunteers are possibly waiting for another promise to be fulfilled. If in this case, the promise had indeed been a cheap phone, then the promise itself is cheap, almost insulting… There are many ways to say thank you. Making people fight each other over trivialities and then feeling embarassed is not one of them.