I work for a large, multi-national firm and I love my job. I have a great time at work and enjoy lots of positive feedback from my bosses. I find that the company is run in such a way that keeps its employees happy and as a result, I and plenty of colleagues have stuck around for many years!
Our team goes out for relationship building activities at least twice a year and I usually find them quite helpful for bonding with my colleagues and having a nice day away from the office. The best day out by far and away (and my colleagues would agree) is the corporate cooking class we attended at a popular local restaurant. It was run by the restaurant’s own chefs and took place in their high quality kitchen so we got to play with all the fantastic utensils.
The first thing that happened was team formation. It was done in a cunning way and I suspect my boss was involved somewhere because I and a few others found ourselves on teams with people that we didn’t know particularly well (and one friend ended up working closely with a woman he couldn’t stand!). At this point, we found out we’d actually be competing for prizes at the end of the day so a healthy, competitive buzz started flowing through the room: always a good thing in my book. Our team enjoyed a quick ‘getting to know you’ activity as we came from different departments and then the competition was underway!
Once we had acquainted ourselves with our team mates, we got a pretty good idea of whose strengths lay in which department so we quickly decided who should be in charge of organizing the team and the rest of us were assigned separate courses to work on. My partner and I were assigned the task of organizing the starter – scallops and chorizo, my favorite! The menu was really quite adventurous which I was grateful for as an enthusiastic amateur in the kitchen.
The trained chefs helped us in preparing the ingredients and showed us how to chop and dice effectively. They taught us about the subtleties and importance of seasoning. When it came to the actual cooking part though, they stood back and let us do our thing. We came pretty close to scorching the scallops but rescued them at the last minute! I learnt a fantastic recipe for a rich sauce to complement the dish perfectly that I’ve since made several times.
I found the activity hugely beneficial as the camaraderie throughout the room was almost instant. People who barely knew each other were soon laughing together by the chopping boards and the friend I mentioned who worked alongside his ‘nemesis’ (his word, not mine) soon saw a side to her that softened him and although they’ll never be the best of friends, they certainly get on a lot better now.
I learned plenty of fantastic cooking tips from the trained chefs who were overseeing the day and met some really great people from other departments. We really bonded and actually have some things in common now which we wouldn’t have had otherwise. I was lucky enough to be on the winning team as well!