Finance: Team-building trauma with a happy ending
Wednesday 26 May 1999
"It'll be great fun," Rory had said when he told us he'd arranged this weekend for us. "They drop you in a wood with tents and a few tins, and you have to get from camp to camp through assault courses."
Our boss's normal idea of a weekend assault course is getting through the crowds at the bar to order another round of drinks, so we were puzzled by this sudden enthusiasm for mud and canvas. Unfortunately, we were also stuck with its consequences. No croissants and orange juice for us over this weekend.
"Apparently it's good for team building," I said to Laura, whose only response was to mutter something about how we'd certainly all be united in hating Wales by the end of it. We gazed into our coffees and tried not to cry, since crying isn't allowed on the trading floor - unless England lose the football or cricket, that is.
"Well, at least Rory didn't say it'll be character building," Laura said, brightening a little. "I don't think I want my character built: I'd rather let it accumulate naturally."
But by Sunday afternoon the only thing that seemed to be accumulating naturally was dirt. There was mud in my hair, mud on my clothes and mud in my shoes. "If anyone says ,`Here's mud in your eye' I'll hit them," I growled warningly at Laura, who looked equally bedraggled. "And I never want another burnt baked bean again as long as I live."
To add insult to injury, Rory had enjoyed the whole thing hugely. "Ha, ha, ha," he'd laughed as he fell off the rope swing into the stagnant lake. "Great!" he'd cried as he tumbled out of the tree walk. "Fantastic!" he'd shouted as he landed in a sea of mud at the bottom of the log barricade. He'd even had seconds of the baked beans before retiring to his tent, while the rest of us sat there, cold and weary, longing for a Chinese takeaway and a large drink.
"If he ever suggests anything like this again, I'll resign," Jaap sighed, half-heartedly stirring the fire with a big stick. "It wouldn't be so bad if we'd been allowed to bring alcohol. I mean, it would still be ghastly, but perhaps we wouldn't care so much." And suddenly Laura started, cried "Of course!", and ran off to our tent.
We were just wondering what was going on when she came back clutching a handful of miniatures. "From my last plane journey," she said. "I forgot I had them. I always order them and then don't want them." We pounced, we drank, we cheered up. By the time we crawled into our sleeping bags, we didn't even notice the damp.
All good things come to an end, and all bad ones do, too. Back in the office on Monday morning, life suddenly seemed much rosier. Even the trading room had a new appeal: it was clean, dry and warm. Jaap, Findlay, Laura and I couldn't stop grinning.
Only Rory seemed rather subdued and quiet. "I'm fine," he said, unconvincingly, sneezing so loudly that Laura nearly dropped her coffee. "It's just a little cold."
So much for the great outdoors, after all...
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Tommy Ramone dies: Last surviving founder and drummer seminal punk band The Ramones dies aged 62
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...