Having recently relocated to a new corner of the 16th floor, the BossLady and I decided to invite the whole office to a Communications Group hosted Happy Hour. New break-time tables and chairs for lounging, a new view of Tacoma’s lovely working waterfront, and some light refreshments seemed like a nice way to spend a Wednesday 5pm. Then we decided to add our own version of Office Olympics. Awesome.
The BossLady concocted some killer mojitos, with fresh lime juice, and mint plucked from her garden that morning. We also set out the Heini-keg and some Bud in cans that have been reigning over the fridge, mostly ignored since the last company event (no one wants to be the one caught drinking at work!)… but they were no match for the fresh and delicious mojitos.
For food, I happily accepted some of the guys’ help in assembling and setting out turkey & veggie rollups and a little nacho bar. Our CTO (resourceful chef!) melted nacho cheese in this random hotplate that’s been haunting the community kitchen since I’ve worked here. And when it started looking stringy, we dug into the coffee creamers. Perfect!
While the dozen or so brave souls who attended our little shindig nibbled and sipped, we set up and explained the game we chose for Office Olympics. See, after a little online research, I decided that most established “Office Olympics” (Chair Hurdles, Stapler-Shotput) seemed a little involved… and too likely to result in injury! So the BossLady and I set-up our own version of “Office Lawn Darts.”
Contestants were issued 1 piece of paper, 3 pieces of tape, and a straw to build their missile and hit the target. There were a few other other (well-documented!) rules, but that was the basic idea. (My favorite rule: “Opinions of the Comms Department trump all other rulings.” Yeah!)
As you see here, we had a fairly decent variety of architecture…. the classic “wad” design was popular, while some contestants mixed it up with a bi-wing plane, an origami-like cruiser, and an actual coned and “feathered” dart.
At the end of the evening, the BossLady and I were pretty pleased with the whole thing. We didn’t have nearly as many people as we’d hoped (only a third of the compnay, maybe) but it seemed like everyone there enjoyed themselves. And they all played — and liked! — our little calvinball game. No small feat, I think.
That’s the funny thing about office culture… trying to do normal fun things like chat and have a drink and eat some food can seem SO awkward, for at least the first 20 minutes or so. You spend years of your life with the people you work with– sure, maybe you get along with lots of people, you have your walks, your lunches, your morning chats, some of you know a lot about each other and families… but you get everyone together, and man, it can seem like so much work to just relax.
I even had some one ask bluntly why we were having the party. It took us a few minutes to convince him there was no ulterior motive… just an excuse to socialize, really, we swear!