After Singapore

I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more

Gemalto Team Building 2009

The team building was held last Friday, and as it took working day, to not taking part would be considered as leave. Yet since it’s a chance to get paid for playing games, why not?

So I got off from home around 8 in the morning to the office to join people taking the company bus to Singapore Botanic Garden (SBG). I wore red shirt as ordered by the organizer, to divide us in team of different colors. Since the bus left at 9, I spent some time inside office to set up my auto-reply, filled up my bottle, and printed a map of SBG. 9 o’clock, I went down to take the bus.

We arrived at SBG about half an hour later, and gathered near the “Joy” sculpture. Couldn’t stand with the nature call, I looked for nearby restroom. Unfortunately, to go to the nearest I needed to walk about 200m. When I came back from the restroom, everyone has already grouped in colors, including my team. And as joined the latest, the team easily appointed me as the team leader. Well, okay.

After marking the attendances, we started the ice-breaking game, where we had to order ourselves according to our names alphabetically without talking at all. It was easy, and we talked anyway. The second round is to sort alphabetically too, but this time to sort based on manager’s last name in reversed order. We failed to do that, but oh well, it was not counted in the overall score.

Then the first real game was the three-legged hand ball. We played in pairs, where one of our leg will be tied to our partner. I was the goal keeper and the rest of players need to pass me the ball instead of shooting towards the enemy’s line. Unfortunately we lose this game at the early stage. Hmm, not good for a beginning, but there’s still more games.

The second game was to build the tallest tower out of one edition of local newspaper. Building tower out of paper? Seems impossible, but we managed to erect +/- 3m tall tower that could stand on it’s own! The committee asked us to move the tower so all towers stand next to each other for easier measurement. But I didn’t want to risk destroying our tower, so I (and other leaders) tried to argue to not do it. Finally, they agreed to measure them on the spot, and we secured the 2nd place on this game. Good!

Next is, lunch: the moment we’ve waiting for! We’ve all got halal food, where some people had preferred to take vegetarian meal. The meal was quite good for me: having 3 meats and 1 veggie, it must be at least $4 in hawker center. But some of my Indian friend said the vegetarian food was not that nice. Well of course, they gave Chinese vegetarian food to them (you know, the one with the “fake” meat).

After lunch, the committee wanted us to play amazing-race like game. We needed to run to three posts and played a game in each post. God knows running after meal is unhealthy, so He made one committee carelessly made 11 copies of race map, lack one from the 12 teams playing. So we had to wait about half an hour before the game can start.

The first post for our team was to blow a balloon to a size of a soccer ball, tie it with a +/- 15cm string, and let all 15 team members grab (or, touch) the string. We managed to do it swiftly and quickly ran to the second post. At second post, two teams were already there and unfortunately we had to wait at least one of them to finish. We had to guess two out of three zoomed-in photos in this post. One was a power plug, and the other one was a paper binder. The third one, we don’t know. So we ran again to the last post, where we were asked to solve a jigsaw puzzle. We did it quickly too, and ran to the base camp to finish the race. And yeah, we managed to get the second place again!

Next game was charade down the line, a variant of charades where were lined up of 8 people, all facing forward. The committee would give a secret profession name to the last person in the line, that person taps the next person’s shoulder and start acting the profession without saying a word. The acting continues to the front-most person. After the front-most person knows the profession, he should run back to the committee to answer the profession in question. We didn’t do well in this game, and the result placed us in the 3rd rank overall.

Then the last game, longest line! This game is exactly the same as last year’s one, to make the longest line out of everything you have in your body. And that includes your shoelaces, belt, shirt, everything. One person even put some of his bills to make the line. We didn’t know who had the longest line, but even with the last game our team was still in the 3rd position.

The prize awarding ceremony summed up the whole event. The prize for our team was a transformer-style reading light. You press the button, the small block will transform (open) to a turned on light with a clipper to clip in a book. Know what? The exact same prizes were also given for other teams. It’s not about the prize, it’s about the fun!


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