Teambuilding. Whisky Tango Foxtrot? Check.


If you’ve ever done a network audit or a stock inventory check, you’ll know that it is possible one of the most boring activities you could possibly undertake, unless the stock you’re checking is particular salacious, I suppose. Certainly it’s not high on the list of teambuilding activities that companies would pay large sums of money for their teams to go and do.

Maybe we’re missing a trick.

TeamBuilding 101

Many years back, I worked at a company with two friends who were tasked to do an inventory check over one weekend. Each piece of equipment had a code stuck to it identifying the hardware in question, then of course there are serial numbers to contend with as well.

My friends, who shall remain (mostly) nameless for their own protection, decided to spice up the activity a little. After an hour of calling out codes using the NATO phonetic alphabet for clarity, they realized that it might be more fun to use their own phonetic alphabet. And thus, I’m told, began the mother of all weekends, where pretty much all the offensive words they could think of – and some that they made up – were pressed into service as letter identifiers as they called out the codes from each item of equipment. The activity was made all the more fun by the fact that the network stores took up about a third of a large warehouse building, with the rest of the space converted to workshop and office areas, so they were able to turn the air blue in the entire building. On the other hand, way to do some teambuilding! I was sad not to have been part of this activity and felt a bit left out by that pair of Melon Farmers.

It’s my opinion that Gitface A and Deadhead O set a baseline there which others can only strive to exceed, and if they have, perhaps they could tell me all about it in the comments?

Fun Fact #1: Dillweed O once postulated that the reason Windows 95 was so slow was that it was caching the entire Internet in the registry. I happen to think there was some truth to that, based on how badly my laptop used to run.

Fun Fact #2: Gimpboy A was proud of the fact that he never actually washed his coffee mug; he just swished it and filled it again. The end result was a revolting coating of old milk and coffee that lined the inside of his mug. The mug finally caught a break when in desperation, Dumbnuts O and I made coffee for him, and before filling his mug, scraped the words “clean me” and a smiling face out of the scum lining the bottom of his vessel, so that when he finally drained the last drops, the message would be revealed. That was apparently the necessary encouragement to finally put some lethal chemicals in there to clean it out. Teambuilding? Maybe; perhaps more self preservation.

Fun Fact #3: Duke Nukem 3D is one heck of a game to play in the workplace. I would like to deny that every lunchtime was spent very noisily destroying each other in glorious 3D; but that would be a lie. I miss that. About 7 years ago at another venue, we did try to have a team building event where we played a free car racing game, but bumping wheels is really not the same as taking out your corporate frustrations and aspirations on your colleagues with an RPG. That’s real teambuilding for you right there.


30 Blogs in 30 Days

This post is part of my participation in Etherealmind’s 30 Blogs in 30 Days challenge.

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