What Freshers’ Week was like for the volunteers

One of them offered to give their mouth as a seat for me, how charming

If you’ve spotted the army of human lemons in Central campus this week, you might well be confused about who they are. To clear it up, the bee imposters are this year’s Freshers’ volunteers. We’ve been mistaken for IKEA employees and airport stewards but as the t-shirt states, we’ve been “Here to Help” with your first week.

‘Helping’ covers the spectrum of tasks from taking the tours around the campus and city to answering questions about everything from the nearest barber to where flight BA-97652 departs from (shout out to the airport volunteers).

The author dressing up as a moose outside the Prow queue

The iconic yellow shirts make us hard to miss, the disadvantage of which being that, as a beacon of sunshine you’re expected to have a matching level of enthusiasm and an infinite supply of knowledge. Parents are particularly disappointed when you can’t tell them where room 2.13 (with no other context) is.

Also, just because we’re working at King’s one day doesn’t mean we’ve ever been to King’s before – don’t hate us please, we’re trying to learn what JCMB means too.

The list of self-explanatory questions (yes, you’re at meeting point A, there’s a 3 metre high sign) is crushing, as is the mispronunciation of all that’s sacred to Edinburgh’s students: Teviot (or Teh-vee-oh apparently) obviously suffered badly.

We’ll let you believe that Teviot has student accommodation and Potterrow is a club though because hey, without those occasional (genuine) gems we might just crack from repeating Teviot’s one way instructions for four hours.

Some shifts on the other hand are a night out in themselves. Queue management goes from zero to 100 as soon as the sweets come out. Aside from the opportunity for all-night snacking, the power of dishing out a bucket of sweets is an unexpected perk.

Forget scandalous clothing and your flatmate’s lipstick, the best accessory to grab attention is a party mix of drumstick lollies. Never will so many eyes turn in your direction and never again will you have the same ability to (harmlessly) bribe and influence your peers.

Giving sweets in exchange for a joke, story or chat-up line makes for hours of entertainment. Ever seen someone twerk for a lolly? Neither had we before this week. Want to know how to get someone to sell out their new best friend’s most embarrassing story for a packet of haribos? Become a volunteer.

You can also adjust the going rate: a boy almost knocked out a girl he was trying to impress in the queue next to him with a questionable handstand in a bid for more than one sweet. She was annoyed: he got four as compensation. Four for you Glen Coco. You go Glen Coco. And if someone tells a joke in bad taste? None for Gretchen Weiners.

On the subject of jokes, you Freshers are filthy. This week we’ve heard more crude punchlines than most people ever have the misfortune to experience. Jokes about anatomy are predictably popular and only slightly preferable to your disturbing anti-humour – seriously, to the boy who told the “Nine inch” joke, you haunt me.

If you’ve been feeling shy about asking us for condoms, don’t be. It’s a popular question you randy lot. Unfortunately though, by the sound of the horrific chat-up lines you offered in exchange for sugar you won’t be needing them anytime soon so you should probably save yourselves the embarrassment.

Evidence? One of you thought offering their mouth as a seat was an appropriate conversation starter. A final tip: see the door next to Potterow? That’s the Chaplaincy. Y’all need it.