We skipped the annual retreat last year, due to obvious economic reasons. This year we brought back the traditional yearly getaway. Destination: Phuket island.
Little over half the company came along for the ride. Some stayed back for personal reasons, a couple were overseas for work, and the rest are kinda new to the family so hopefully they’d stick around for next year’s trip.
The idea was to get the work done on day 1, so the other two days won’t need to worry about hangovers (and there were a fair share of those). After dinner the group was split into 3 teams to brainstorm ideas on specific issues and challenges, then each presented their findings before management wrapped things up with a no holds-barred Q&A. That out of the way, it was Patong’s party strip for some crazy R&R.
The less said of Patong’s nightlife, the better – not because it wasn’t interesting (on the contrary, it’s pretty mind-blowing) but in view of the fact that we erm… make cartoons for kids. Suffice to say, the place was hardcore. Still, we managed to find a harmless little drinking hole to wash down a couple of Killkennys and just people watch (and believe me, there were plenty to see).
Day 2 belonged to the beach. I pretended to sleep while Choon Meng and Jeong’s conversation invariably drifted towards territorial distribution rights assignment.
I hoped the rest of the guys were having fun as we barely saw them before dinner. Found out later that some went shopping, others were holed up in massages and manicures, while the rest went back to the hotel to rest up after a pretty late night. Yup, the bosses only had each other for company. Still, with the sun beating down, the warm water and a good supply of ice cold San Miguels, we got by OK.
After the group dinner, it was back to our respective evening pursuits again. Some night market shopping, walking aimlessly while taking in the Patong sights, warily skirting the borders between tourists and the Patong transvestites and touters, and knocking back a few drinks for good measure. Just wholesome, safe, family fun. Really.
Day 3 wrapped with a morning management meeting (no kidding), more massages and a quick last dip in the pool before heading off to the airport. On the bus the following Annual Scrawler Awards were given out:
Messiest Desk – Peihui
Special Power – James (I have no idea what’s the criteria for this award)
Most Eligible – Huiting
Most Improved – Siying
Scrawler of the Year – Roger (scared some of us to death with how drunk he got on the first night. Not the reason he got the award though)
Long Service Award – Shuling
Till next year!
To be Continued…