Rokken: Behind the scenes
After a hard week of school, you eagerly wait for Friday to come so you can finally have some fun and let your hair down. And the best thing that this small town has is somewhere we all go every weekend: Rokken.
Rokken is undoubtedly the social hub of Volda and here you can find all kinds of events. One day there can be a disco party (which is typical on Saturday nights), a concert, a quiz and so much more. You can rest assured that there is something for everyone out of everything Rokken offers.
And talking about offering, the workers and volunteers of Rokken play an important role in its success. So it’s essential to get to know them a bit and what their main functions are in the daily running of Rokken. In order to learn more, I interviewed two of the people in charge: Natalia Ramírez (International Coordinator) and Åge Staurset (General Manager).
Long time runners
Natalia started as a volunteer in January 2013 because she heard a lot of good things from previous students.
– Right now I work as International Coordinator which means I’m in charge of the international students, especially their welfare, she declares.
Åge started in January 2012 as a volunteer and now he controls the economy, booking and he also takes care of the sound for some concerts.
– I worked as a volunteer for three and a half years and I became General Manager in August, he says.
– We have about thirteen or fourteen people in charge and a few volunteers who work as main responsible for individual nights, Åge explains.
Then, they have Rokken football pub, the DJ and the International Coordinator, who are responsible for a whole period. Anyway, managing Rokken means a lot of extra hours.
– I think I work fifty or sixty hours a week, at least. It depends on what’s happening, Åge says.
– I don’t know, maybe fifteen hours a week. My job is basically answering questions on Facebook. It is not really time work, it is message work, Natalia says.
There are many different groups in Rokken, so it depends on each one. The person who is in charge of volunteers decides how to choose them.
– We have 108 international students, so we have to make a good selection. We try to have a wide perspective and see who we think would fit better in our working environment, Natalia declares.
– Right now, I think there are 230-240 volunteers. But there will probably be less in November and January, Åge adds.
Norwegian vs. Foreign Volunteers
All of the volunteers are treated equally. However, the Norwegian language is obviously essential so there are some concrete positions for Norwegian volunteers. Nevertheless, Rokken makes an effort to introduce international volunteers to the Norwegian system, which may be different in their countries.
– We have the same rights. You are a Rokken volunteer, the tag is not important. So we are trying to integrate them because once they get it, they become a part of the Rokken family, Åge states.
The ambiance of Rokken is really seen in the workers. They have to communicate all of the time, so some of them become friends.
– In Rokken you are working with different people which gives you the chance to get to know people you like halfway. Then you meet some of them who fit with your character more, Natalia says.
Finally, the customers are a very important factor in this field. The workers in Rokken have encountered a lot of different situations with the customers: if they are drunk, what they ask for, but above all which language they speak. They have a big responsibility, so communication is essential.
– The Norwegian people speak their own language and they really want to do that. If they are drunk and they notice that you are an international, they might try to speak English, Spanish, French or whatever language, Natalia declares.
The Best Service
As you can see, Rokken does a lot of work and there are many stories to tell (not only about their customers but about their workers too). The numerous groups involved in this organisation have different functions, but they cooperate with each other to achieve the best service for you.