Teaming up with your own Private Ryan

Subject: Teaming up with your own Private Ryan
From: Dan Brinegar <vr2link -at- vr2link -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 13:24:26 -0700 (MST)


The most disastrous Team-building excercise I've ever been on involved
gathering a bunch of introverted, newly hired techwriter and programmer
"consultants," and making them drive 30 miles or so to Bob's Country Bunker
where, in a large, darkly lit post-and-beam construction they were supposed
to mingle with the marketing and sales consultants (extroverts, natch) from
the same agency (but not from the same client companies, so nobody's met

Oh, be sure that the Marketing and Sales types bring their kids (don't
provide enough notice for the others to rearrange the family sched or talk
their S/Os into coming, assume, also, that they actually *have* S/Os and
then pester them to find out *why* they didn't bring them).

Have an unkown rope-trick artist or party clown entertain the kids for
about fifteen minutes and then start the meal-service with sirloins that
have been in the steam-table for at least two hours. (Be sure the public
address system was turned off during the entertainment so as to ensure that
almost nobody hears the screaming children or dinner announcement).

Provide only coffee or wine at the beverage service, and underdone potatoes
on the side.

Have door prizes and mandatory public get-to-know-you speeches to ensure
that noone leaves before the appointed time (express surprise and
consternation when around ten PM it's discovered that no one who was hired
in the last thirty days got included in the lottery box for door prizes).


I'd vote to gather up several departments: Then, under the direction of one
or two junior VPs from outside the normal reporting loop, stick everybody
on an old school bus for several hours, and have 'em erect tents and stoves
in the snow at their destination. Leave all the Mucky-Mucks at home (or
send them on their own retreat somewhere else).

[Shhh-- Don't *assign* anyone in the group to KP: just leave all the
firewood and several cases of sodapop, hot chocolate mix and brownies in
the care of the understaffed mess tent-- resourceful teammembers will find
where the firewood and brownies are at].

On the first night of the retreat, have the SMEs attend several ad-hoc
safety demonstrations put on by tech pubs and the marketing dept ("Diesel
*DOES* explode" being one of my personal faves).

After everyone's finally up the next morning, get everyone back on the bus
after sick-call and drive another forty miles or so to the training area,
where, under white-out conditions, everybody gets to beat their favorite
dead horse.


Yesterday morning, everybody on CNBC predicted it would be a slow trading
day "around 800-million shares" but they were apparently surprised by the
1.2-billion shares traded on the NASDAQ -- an almost normal volume: seems
the Internet Age is beginning to mature as folks with the day off entertain
themselves at home by day-trading on the stock-market , or posting to
newsgroups or mailing lists 8-)

Dan Brinegar Information Developer/Research Droid

" To eliminate the covert timing channel, remove untrusted
hosts from routing tables. As tempting as it is, do not use
target species' own satellites against them."

CERT Advisory CA-96.13 - Alien/OS Vulnerability , 1 April, 1996

vr2link -at- vr2link -dot- com CCDB Vr2Link Performance S u p p o r t Svcs.

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