Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Luck of the Draw

I was in computer training all day today with three workmates, which wasn’t quite as bad as it sounded. Usually the idea of an entire day being taught to use Office programs fills me with dread, but not only was the trainer funny as hell, but she pitched it at the right level so that I actually learnt a fair bit. She gave the four of us – I’m not kidding – little signs to hold up that said ‘OOoooOOOooo’ on one side and ‘Wow’ on the other, in order to gauge our interest. Suffice it to say that I held it up unironically on several occasions.

In order to keep her audience interested and ensure that we interacted with her, she told us that every time we said something useful or asked a good question, she’d hand us a playing card. The more the better at the end of the day, because whoever had the best poker hand (choosing their best five cards) won a prize.

I want you all to understand the implications of this. The deal was that the more we interacted, the better our chances of winning a prize.


Let me give you an example of how I read such a challenge, just so that those of you who haven't caught up can understand why this is a bad idea.

The last thing we learnt on the day was how to use PowerPoint in a BigLawFirm approved format. In order to demonstrate this, we were all instructed to put together a simple three-slide presentation about ourselves. The other three were called things like ‘All about Blondie*’ and ‘Queenie**’s presentation’. Mine was called ‘Tanya: why we love her and buy her alcohol’ complete with clipart of wine glasses and a little graph depicting the ratio of adoration to inebriation.

Believe it or not, I got extra playing cards for this tactic, and won the prize.

I was expecting the prize to be a cheap bottle of wine, or perhaps a pack of playing cards. Nope. It’s a poker kit complete with chips, dealer chips, cards and a booklet. So I’m feeling pretty lucky, and I suggest to Blondie and Queenie that we go to a bar and celebrate Blondie’s house purchase. We go somewhere nice. It’s hot, and the balcony of the bar is crowded with expensively dressed yuppies. We blend in.

I’m feeling lucky up until the point where I knock my relatively expensive glass of wine over. It flies in the direction of the floor, though, missing me and everyone else, so I’m just down a glass of wine. So I’m still feeling lucky when I ask the waiter to bring me a second glass. He acquiesces, and brings my Sauvignon Blanc out on a tray which also holds a glass of red. He puts my wine down carefully, and as he reaches for the second glass his hand jerks up and he throws the contents of the glass all over me.

The wine flies upwards and out of the glass in a graceful arc towards me, the sunlight glinting through it as it moves. The balcony hushes. Forty yuppies turn towards me. I stand there, my shirt and skirt dripping with red wine.

And all I can do is laugh.

In the end they comped me two more glasses of wine and promised to pay the dry cleaning bill, so I’m feeling pretty lucky still. Now I just need to work out how to play poker.

*Blondie is the girl from a previous post who told me I had a wicked personality. She’s actually very nice.

**Queenie is the other girl with whom I started. The three of us share an office. I feel guilty giving her such a corny nickname; it’s no reflection on her.


Blogger GTTGTG said...

I'm all in.

14 December, 2006  

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