You may recall from some of my earlier posts that I have been doing some work for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). Along with looking super cool on your resume, this means I get to work with some very interesting people on some very interesting work. A part of this work was a so-called â€œteam buildingâ€ exercise I participated in last Friday. It started as a normal team briefing which required security clearance and everything (all very cloak & dagger).
That wasn’t the main event though. The plan was to forge stronger relationships between the Beca guys and air force guys. What better way to do that than through some kind of sporting event? We’d settled on paintball and I have to say I was a little apprehensive. I have played paintball before and really enjoyed the physical activity, the tactics and the general testosterone-filled afternoon. That said this time I was going up against guys who had actually had some training.
The air force boys obviously came dressed in Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and called their boss â€œSirâ€. I came dressed all in white because, the way I see it, if I can’t be good tactically, at the very least I can be artistic. I am proud to say the software developers held their own, only losing to one game (we played 6, lost 3, won 2 and drew 1). The final game was perhaps the most gruelling. It was a variant on â€œcapture the flagâ€ but the way it was set up, whoever was brave enough to try get the flag would simply be plastered with paintballs from all sides. I went for the flag 3 times, resulting in a few spectacular paintball hits to my body.
I’ve built up a few legends about myself at work. One of them is I have a relatively high threshold for pain. I am not sure how true this one is, because everyone experiences pain in very different, subjective ways. My experience, though, has been that I probably handle pain better than average. For my trigger-happy, mad dashes around the field and general proclivity to embarrass myself, I was awarded the â€œmost maniacal shooterâ€ award for the day.
After the game, we indulged in a barbeque and a few drinks. My boss (who I don’t call â€œsirâ€) very kindly ensured there was Vodka available because I can’t stand beer. We trundled our way back into the city to the Beca end-of-month drinks which, you may recall, consists of beer, pizza and wine. I took a troupe of my drunken work colleagues down town so that I could get cleaned up and we could then go out on the town. As we made our groggy way down Queen Street, I stuck my hand in my pocket and discovered to my horror that I had left my keys with another colleague who was by now home in bed.
But that’s a story for another time.