Friday, September 26, 2008

Cook for Your Team !

The latest trend in team building is to utilise existing resources (i.e. employees) to entertain each other in the name of team building, which in turn, is a way of `maximising' resources. Of course, it does help to save on the cost of a commando trainer (for outdoor sportsy activities), or smart-aleck facilitators (for those mind boggling games, played indoors).

A few days back, I was in one of such new trend team building, where a group of us, were brought over to a local golf resort hotel, and participated in a `Cook for your Team", team building exercise. Ah, how this works is, we were divided into a few groups, and each group was randomly given a recipe to follow. Then , they had to work together in the hotel's kitchen to come up with the food for the evening's dinner! that is, they need to serve the team respectively through whatever culinary skills they might possessed (or not!).

For me, I was in the odd group out, the `entertainment cum decor" group; where part of our job was to turn the bland hall into something presentable, and also keep the entire team entertained for up to 1.5 hours. We further split up our team into 2 small groups, one for decor, and the other for entertainment, and i fell into the former.

The materials we were given? were all very basic and `natural". We had coconuts, coconut leaves, banana leaves, roses, dried leaves, etc. Of course, we also had the proper table cutleries, napkins, water goblet, etc that we have to set up.

Ah ha..here is where old me, comes in useful. Long long time ago, I've actually attended a short course on fine dining, and ahem, as a result, I was pretty familiar with the settings of the fork and spoons, which to place where etc. :P

The end result of our 2 hours' hard work , (drum roll please!)....ta-dah !










As you can see, the banana leaves because our table runner..and we sprinkled rose petals of pink and red roses on top, to give a light, natural yet romantic air to the atmosphere...ahhh....
The whole place lit up and looked amazingly magical!! :)




We also folded the napkin so that it can hold 1 stalk of rose for all the `guests' (aka our other team members, who are the cooks




...and then someone also had a stroke of genius...to decorate the otherwise bland glass `table mat', with a dried leave underneath!!








And alas, the food was out from the kitchen!!... behold, the food galore...wah. that was something else! the cooking group really produced a glorious buffet spread for us...yum yummy!
This particular dish is worth a mention. This is the Nasi Hujan Air Panas, which comes in a an array of rainbow colours. The team that produced this, consisted of one Aussie girl and 3 guys, all 3 of whom, has never step foot inside the kitchen!! 2 of the guys were from Korea..and when later I asked one of them, how did the dish come out looking (and mind you, tasting as well) so good, his rather perplexed answer, "I dunno..I only wash the rice.."..ha ha..



More food!!




And last but not leat, not forgeting...the Desserts Galore !! (oh no...there goes my diet..again!!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Had the priviledge of attending a closed door forum with our company's top brass earlier today. One of the things that I lifted off centred around `decisions'.

"You exists in the company because of the decisions you make. When you make no decisions at all, you cease to exist". Isn't this profound?

This really brings me back to my 1st year with the company, with the MD then. When I went in for a consult with him for a decision to be made on a particular project, his reply was "You are paid to think.. tell me what you want and what you decide..if I find it acceptable, I'd go with it, but first you must think, decide and propose".

That, combined with today's comments are both proving to be very valueable insights for me.

Life is really all about decisions (which are also choices, in guise). Work life or personal life.
Every morning, I can decide to get up and go to work, or call in for an EL if I don't feel like it (ahem, not that I do that..just that its possible, right?).
I can decide to eat the fried noodles, which i love but of which will increase my caloric intake for the day, or choose a healthier breakfast.
I decide what clothes I want to wear today.
I decide what deadlines to prioritise at work, which meeting to pay more attention to.
And at night, I decide what to do after work, and then what time to hit the sack.

Yes, when we cease to make decisions, all the above will not happen...and really, we cease to exists..

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My New Activity

I've been putting it off again and again. Finally, yesterday i decided enough is enough, and if i don't get moving, I'd fall back into the trap of inertia..with determination, I finally ventured out and went to try out something new...

What did I do? I went for my first class of Yoga!

Why did I do that? well, the virtue & supposed benefits of practising yoga has been expounded many a times by so many people. It is an `activity', a form of exercise that purportedly can help one to achieve control of the body and mind, to tranquility and stillness of mind through a series of postures and breathing exercises.

In a way, I reckon it can also be taken as a form of meditation. I've been meaning to attend Yoga classes as a way of dealing with stress and pressures, but never gotten around to it. The first (and last time) I ever tried out a class, was a few years back, in my no-longer-going fancy gym-in-the-mall. The class had over 20 students. And I couldn't follow the moves by the teacher, and at one point, when he tried to correct my position by tilting my head, I heard a loud `click' coming from my neck, and heck that was pretty traumatic!! though nothing untoward happened to me (or my neck), still I never dare to go back again!

This time, I decided to try out again, but to choose a proper Yoga centre, instead of those in those gyms. Ended up I went to a neighbourhood Yoga centre (so I have no excuse that `no parking in the shopping mall' or `too far'), as I wanted convenience and no frills (translate to `cheap' fees).

My initial apprehension melted away after the class started. I thought the teacher will be intimidating, turned out, she was not. I thought the other students will laugh at my clumsiness, turned out, they are more interested in getting their moves right, and its all about `doing your own thing'. I thought I was improperly dressed as I expected all the branded yoga wear to appear (just like in those chain gyms-in-the-mall, where girls dressed to `kill' in the gym!), turned out, everyone was dressed appropriately for yoga, but in an easy going manner (translate to "non fancy yoga pants/track pants and tshirts or normal looking exercise tops").

Did I enjoy the session? well.. there were ackward moments, when my body just wouldn't turn and bend properly. Guess this old pack of bones really lack stretching for a long long while! But the session turned out much better than I expected! I was able to follow 70% of the time, and I consider that pretty encouraging.

In fact, I signed up there and then for a package of 12 classes. Ah..like what they say, its only with consistency that will lead to results. I thought the price was pretty reasonable as well (and yes, it was a `no frills' yoga studio), and the class size is no more than 10 at a time (because the studio area is small!). The teacher, Jo was very pleasant to talk to and also very patient.

Hey, I might not be aspiring to be a Guru, but at least some day I would want to be able to call myself a Yogi (i.e. someone who practices yoga), and be better at stress control, be more `nimble', and more relaxed! and yeah..do headstands. :)


Namaste!