Retreating the Company to the Country

Company retreats make me nervous. Not afraid- I can handle a bit of socialization with work people- but I’m always a bit wary of people acting out and then having to be around them when we get back to a normal working environment with that hanging over us. Last year we went to Philip Island and mostly had a great time, except on the final night when Sharon had just a little bit too much to drink. One thing led to another, there was dancing and tables and…well, it got a lot worse from there. Then she came into work on Monday and didn’t speak to anyone for weeks. And she was usually so quiet…

So this year, we’re heading off to regional Victoria! There’s a conference venue that Dan managed to find, and it’s sort of focused on the process of detox. No heavy drinking, no smoking areas or slot machines. There are normal-looking conference rooms, but otherwise, everyone has the option to engage in relaxing activities in their spare time. So things like floatation tanks, isolation tanks, oxygen tanks…there are more things that aren’t tanks, hang on. Yep, got the brochure…there’s a squash court, a meditation room, a pool-sized hot tub, sauna, actual pool-pool, yoga classes and a whole bunch of other things that help people to really calm down. Of course, the juice bar is included. In terms of a corporate getaway, I think we’ve hit the nail on the head of something that’s safe, yet still enjoyable for everyone. We can spend our mornings learning about business strategy, and then nip off to the reiki room to…do whatever it is you do in a reiki room. I’m not big into that stuff, but there is morning tai-chi at 5:30am sharp, which I’m looking forward to.

For once, we’ve actually found a convention centre that minimises the risk of incidents. Hopefully. Though people can really get aggressive during squash games, so I’ve heard.


An unexpected win

Well, I don’t know exactly how this has happened, but I’ve managed to win a prize. No, don’t worry. It’s not a scam. I checked that quite thoroughly, I would not enjoy being taken in by someone’s attempt to wheedle my credit card information out of me. This is real. A friend or family member or perhaps even my university faculty or something has entered a competition to attend a conference in a to be decided venue in Victoria and I have won. Good on me.

It’s not that I mind, particularly, going to a conference. Don’t think that because it simply isn’t true. Rather, it wasn’t something I had originally factored into my outline of the next month, and I generally resent having to change my schedule around unforeseen events. At the same time, however, this kind of opportunity makes for a wonderful experience. I’ve managed a quick glance at the list of speakers, and several are extremely inspirational. In may ways, it would be an honour to get to hear them speak. But at the same time, there are still so many question marks around the conference in general.

Firstly, as the location is, as yet, still undecided, the question of time looms over the event. How long will it go for? I’ve seen the shortlist for possible conference venues and they’re all in regional Victoria, so obviously there will be some level of travel associated with it. How long will it take to get there? What costs are associated with the trip in its entirety? Who else will be on the trip? Perhaps, if I knew exactly who would entered me in the competition, it would be easier to ascertain who my peers would be, but as it stands, it could be for anyone. It’s even unclear what the subject matter is.

In theory, such an opportunity of this is the chance of a lifetime, but the reality is I instinctively recoil from something I know so little about. I may just have to walk away from this one.