Gut Rumbles

April 15, 2003

memories that hurt

One of the exercises that I participated in today (I volunteered for every goddam thing that came along.) Need a volunteer? YA GOT ONE! I usually don't do that, but I did today. By 1400, when Instructor Kate asked for a volunteer she looked directly at me, and I said "I'll do it!" yet again, the same as I had done all day. Kate thought I was a really gung-ho employee, totally with the program. She's probably going to miss me at the dinner tonight.

Actually, I was hoping to aviod being assigned to a team with my ex-wife.

They did a hostage rescue type operation that I volunteered for, before I knew that I would be the hostage. I was taken outside the ballroom, blindfolded and told to wait a few minutes. I did, and almost fell asleep while waiting, because this happened right after lunch. Darkness, quiet and comfort felt pretty good to me about then.

My reverie was interrupted when strange hands grabbed me and a voice said, "We've come to rescue you. Trust us. Follow me." I followed.

The scenario outside was that I was a VALUED CUSTOMER and everybody had to lead me across a sea of sharks and killer blowfish that were waiting to KILL ME. If I so much as got my feet wet in that imaginary ocean, I was dead and the company lost a customer. There were stepping stones set out and I was supposed to be guided to them in the dark, or else assisted by anyone who could touch me.

I had fun doing that. "Rob! Lift your left foot!" I was told.

"If I lift my left foot blindfolded, I'm going to fall on my sightless Cracker ass," I responded.

"Okay! Just take my hand!" I reached out and somebody grabbed my hand. "Now lift your left foot." I did and somebody grabbed it, steered it, plunked it down and said, "Step all your weight on your left foot and raise your right foot." I did, and somebody guided my right foot to the next stone. They worked me all the way across about 40' of stepping stones like that, with somebody holding my hand and other people moving my feet until I escaped whatever danger I supposedly was in.

I learned after I removed the blindfold that they had to lay out the stones from Point A to Point B, then pick 2' square positions from which they could not move to do this job. If they failed to plan and put me in a position where I did not have CUSTOMER SUPPORT, I was lost. They planned well, and I was saved.

But while everyone in the class had a hand on me in that exercise, I recognized one. She didn't guide my feet. About halfway down the walk, one person turned loose of my hand and another one took it.

Even blindfolded, I knew it was her. Immediately.

She didn't speak, but she didn't have to. I remember the touch of her hand and I know her scent. I almost fell into the "ocean" on purpose. But I didn't, because I was doing work-related activities, and I take my job seriously. It hurt like hell just the same.

I took the next step, went on to the next hand until the drill was done, and cheers were heard all around. Mission accomplished.

I wonder ... did she feel anything at all?


The end of this story makes me feel sad.

Posted by: Sue Bob on April 15, 2003 07:28 PM

She probably felt revulsion at the touch of your hand.

If I'd been in your place I'd have told her I'd just wiped my ass with that hand. If she's gonna be disgusted, give her a REAL reason!

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on April 15, 2003 08:12 PM

Whenever I think someone who works in my company is kinda cute, I think of you and walk away from the situation. ;-P

Posted by: sugarmama on April 15, 2003 09:05 PM


I know exactly what you mean.

This is why I refuse to come within sight of her.

Posted by: Rich on April 15, 2003 11:46 PM

You know what? She probably knew what YOU were thinking and that gave her a feeling of - dare I say it - EMPOWERMENT.

Rob, I don't know how you manage to handle yourself so well in those situations and still find yourself unable to deal with her when it comes to your amazing kid.

All I can say is......remember the professionalism that you summons in those moments and apply them to all your dealings with her when Quinton's involved.

And, quit fucking making me tear up when you write posts like these. Do it again and there'll be no more backscratches or blowjobs from me.....EVER! Go rant. I cackle like crazy when you do that.

Posted by: Da Goddess on April 15, 2003 11:53 PM

I went to one of those Trust and Teamwork seminars years ago. One thing I remember is the "Fall back and we'll catch you" trust-building exercise. First in line to catch people was the biggest back-stabbing SOB on three continents. Rather than having the intended effect of building trust, the whole thing made many of us come away more cynical than ever.

Posted by: Ernie G on April 16, 2003 07:58 AM

Congratulations on being the bigger person. I personally would have fallen....

that's the kind of petty son-of-a-bitch I can be.

Posted by: Jim S on April 16, 2003 10:37 AM

Ah yes. This is team building exercises that are used in many training courses. At our YMCA we did what was called "Ropes Classes" where the VOLUNTEER was blindfolded and had to give up all hope of survival except for the hands who guided him up a platform, down a tree, across a rock stream etc.etc.

There is no way in hell I would do it! Many of our VOLUNTEERS were crack addicted juveniles in jail for horrendous crimes.

You are braver than I Acidman!!!

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