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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Arrows & 5 Stars Food

That's me with a bow & arrow. Nay, I have not quitted my job to live in the forest waylaying the rich & robbing the poor. Oh wait, that doesn't sound right. Anyhow, today is the first of 2 days of my company's Sales Cycle Meeting in 2011 for the sales anslysis of the previous year. The first day of the cycle meet is for fun & team-building games. The number crunching is reserved for the morrow.

So, the very first event of the day is playing Robin Hood at Dm archery range in Orchid Country Club over at Yishun.

The Instructor. Arrows would
bounce harmlessly off him
The archery instructor taught us the basics except for one obvious thing. So when he asked if we had any questions, I raised my hand & asked: "What are the guidelines for aiming?" I was surprised to see that he looked stunned there for awhile and he replied: "We will go purely by feel today when it comes to aiming. That's actually good enough. Formal teaching on aiming would take an hour plus."

At that, I felt my hunches telling me that perhaps he has deliberately left the techniques of aiming unexplained at the behest of my managers who organized this event. Maybe they wanted us to grope through the dark there & rely on team spirit or something. Good enough for me, I'll start groping then. Makes me glad I exposed their hidden agenda which they must have hoped nobody would notice, heh heh heh.

First-Person Shooter view of my score sheet
So we started off an individual competition to see which among us would emerge as what they call 'The Star Shooter'. What began as a lousy start for me (lousy as in I shot the grass in front of the target instead of the target itself like twice) soon escalated to the point whereby I won the individual competition and emerged as the Star Shooter with 90 Archery points. My Colleague-Homie Jacelyn was 2nd place with 80 points. As some of my colleagues like to say, it's always the CHC & Specialist Team. CHC stands for Consumer Healthcare. That's my job.

Well, whaddya know. Perhaps the fact that I could emerge as the winner has something to do with the fact that one of my all-time absolute favourite games I've been playing to death is Thief: The Dark Project.

The next archery event: they put up a series of targets depicting different animals and we took turns down the line each declaring which animal everyone should shoot. I'm glad the instructor had the decency to ask if anyone of us was uncomfortable with the idea of shooting simulated animals. I would never bring myself to shoot an animal if they were real, unless they wanted to eat me alive unprovoked. That's the only condition for me. In this case, I have no qualms about shooting animals made out of cardboard here.

I found it really boring that everyone else just said on their turns: "Blah blah animal, number blah blah from the left (or right)." So when my turn came, I shouted: "Fellas, I don't like the way that ram is looking at me, so let's kill it. Fourth animal from the left (if I recall correctly the order)!" just to break the ho-humness of the situation.

The final archery event was a 2-teams competition. Jace was the leader of one team and leaders get to choose their underlings, so I was the first guy she picked. I'm charmed, Jace. It's always CHC & the Specialist Team.

Each team was supposed to come out with a war cry that we were supposed to throw in the direction of the opposing team. So when the competing team chanted a tribal "Oogah Oogah blah blah blah" war cry at us, I just waved my hand and commented: "Man, that was so uncivilized." A little jeering at the opposing team just added to the fun. My team's war cry which I suggested was just a simple & thunderous "Bullseye!". Short, sweet and to the sharp point (pun intended).

And it was during this competition that I scored a direct dead-center hit on the target board as depicted in the pic above. Did I enjoy the archery? Oh heck, yes! And I absolutely loved the sound the arrows made when I let them loose from my bow and sent them flying as well as the solid 'Thunk!' sound they made upon impaling themselves with kinetic force on the target boards.

Always wanted to try Archery in real-life as opposed to just simulation playing PC games. It's quite physically taxing on the arm when done for too long in a row though. More so on the arm holding the bow than the arm drawing the string for me. Anyway, the pic on the left shows the prize awarded to me for winning the 'Star Shooter' title. It's a pen with an arrow quill.

At Kbox
And right after the archery shoot-out, we went to the Kbox KTV over at Kallang Leisure Park for the second event as well as to have Bento lunch. Lester gave me a ride there. Seems like he's always giving me rides lately.

By the time we reached Leisure Park, everyone was already kinda tired. Did I mention that archery can sap the juice out of you physically (strength to draw & steady the arrow) & mentally (concentration is required to aim properly while you perform quick mental mathematical gymnastics to predict the flight & path of the projectile).

My Bento lunch
Right after lunch, we divided ourselves into 3 opposing teams. Given just a $13 budget, each team was supposed to buy stuff to create the tallest & most creative structure (which I forgot to take pictures of). Whichever team could market their structure and convince the judge (Jason, our country manager) that their structure makes for the best purchase wins the competition.

So me & my 2 team mates went to Cold Storage to buy aluminum foil for the tall structure (with the idea of wrapping the foil round & round to create a tall flexible structure) and some tapes for holding everything in place. All these with just an initial budget of $3. Later when we were given the rest of the $10, we bought decorations to spice up the structure.

Each team was supposed to assign a presenter for the marketing and one of our product managers was in the same team as me. When we asked if she could present, she looked at me and told me that this is a job for the sales rep.

Jeez, this is just a game without hard and fast rules that lock us in our official roles. This is a team-building game, not a joint sales call. Some people just have to bring official work into everything even though it's just for fun. Either that or they just like using rank and title to get out of situations, however irrelevant. So I told myself that if she was too chicken about it, I'll do the presentation myself. And I think I did a great job at it even though my team didn't win.

Big Boss came down and joined us some time after the competition was over. We then proceeded to Equinox Restaurant in Swissotel for buffet dinner.

Our table at Equinox

Equinox chow
The food here is not bad and the highlight of the place is the gorgeous view overlooking the integrated resort area. It was drizzling and the view was a little obscured by a slight precipitation in the atmosphere on this day though.

So now that the dinner is over, I'm quite sure that upon reaching home later, I'm gonna take a shower and crash. I actually did. Might as well, there are number crunchings to do tomorrow. Gotta be on my toes since I didn't do so well for 2010 because of no-stock issues for 2 out of my 4 core products last quarter.

I always wanted to try archery because of Thief: The Dark Project which is one of my favourite all-time games, but I never thought that I would emerge as the ace archer for the day. Garrett the Master Thief would have been proud. That's something for me to smile about as I drift off to sleep.

Good night.
*1 arrow.. 2 arrows.. 3 arrows.. Thunk!*

- De Lion Speaks

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