Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thai off-site

A sure fire way to get stickiness of a new employee  is to take him/her to Thailand for an off-site immediately after joining. Well, of course, the bar is now set so high that it’ll be tough to beat that start!

About 30 of us ‘senior’ leaders embarked on this 2 day extravaganza to Pattaya (oh yeah baby!). The bus ride from Bangkok to Pattaya was undoubtedly the highlight of the day. The personal introduction of each of us pretty much took care of the two hour journey. You learn a lot about people from their introductions. The director for one seemed to have had two failed crushes in college and both girls had the same name. One of us also indicated that he was the better half of his manager though the intention was to talk about the domain he owned. He also went on to enumerate the various modes of transport he had personally driven and ended with the now famous line…’and the most interesting part is I have also done a goat and a hen’. Oh well, it could be worse…I guess…

The most fascinating person was our guide Tony whose narrations and stories progressively got more sleazy with the tour. He explained in some detail the vegetarian and non-vegetarian massages available and also went into a lengthy discourse on the ‘lady-boy’ concept and culminated with ‘you never know for sure if it’s a man or woman, just your luck’. On the way back he took it upon himself to regale us with his own brand of humor. Though lacking in humor, the narrations more than made up for the lack of punch lines. One of the jokes that come to mind is the story of a dad and son in a village and the punch line is that the son tells his dad that the only way he can get 600 villagers to work on his farm is to go to a village and impregnate 600 women in one night. I'm sure the actual humor was lost in translation and context but he did seem to think it was hilarious.

I did get to bond quite a bit with Tony as I couldn’t handle the Indian food for every meal. Over some spicy Tom Yum soup he talked about how he was on the deathbed and his heart had stopped beating. His mother prayed in the Shakthi temple and he was miraculously revived confounding the medical community in Thailand.  His wife (four years his senior) is Chinese and he had to do a lot of convincing of his mother-in-law to get the girl of his dreams. He also had uncanny perception and was able to talk about my better half’s nature just by glancing at her photo. I’d rather not go into what he said for fear of bodily harm to me.

Good trip overall and we even managed to get in a few working sessions in between. Looking forward to more trips and bonding expeditions…

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