By Simon Byrne
Years ago, we were hired to provide production for the NSW Sales Development Conference for a major chicken fast food franchise group at Salamandar Bay, north of Newcastle.
The last morning of the 3 day conference was outsourced to a “professional motivational team”. On meeting the “team”, we immediately concluded that they were Morons.
As you’d expect, the session was all about pushing themselves and going beyond, so they did activities such as smashing wood with their bare hands. This is where the client should have stopped things because the “professional motivational team of Morons” literally made some of the delegates cry because they didn’t smash the wood, instead injuring their hands and being embarrassed in front of their work colleagues.
The build up to the end of the session was the fire walking then a barbecue lunch beside the pool! As a free lunch was in the offing, we followed the delegates up the to fire pit beside the pool and promptly dug into the free food whilst we watched the delegates build up the courage to walk on fire.
The Managing Director was first to go, he is of course, in a position of leadership and off he marches, walking briskly across the coals. 2/3rds the way down the path he speeds up and promptly runs over to the pool and submerges his feet.
Undeterred, the Chief Financial Officer heads off across the coals and he managed to make it across, just.
The NSW Sales manager is next but “chickens out”, making her Coordinator go first (I love big company politics). Flame grilled feet and then straight to the pool.
At this point you’d think they’d stop things but no, the rest of the “team” dutifully walked across the coals cheered on by the “professional motivational team of Morons” and literally 150 or so delegates walked across the coals with about 50 of them promptly immersing their feet in the pool. Some chickened out (pun intended), but most crossed.
About 30 of the delegates were genuinely injured so ambulances were called. Eleven ambulances turned up. Now when more than five ambulances are called to a scene in NSW, the police will automatically turn up too, needless to say they called Workcover. So now we are at 30 with minor injuries, 11 Ambulances, 4 Police cars and 2 somewhat stunned Workcover inspectors and lunch is getting cold.
Workcover Inspector asks Head Moron “How did you measure the temperature of the coals?”, Moron replies “well we don’t. It has never been a problem before”. Workcover Inspector promptly responds with “You are shut down! Understand this, you are not permitted to trade in any way in the state of NSW!”
We of course, are tucking into the free lunch, watching this crazy situation unfold. We thought it could not get any more bizarre, but it did. Just as we were about to grab some free dessert and commence the packdown, the Channel 7 chopper appears, hovering no more than 100 feet above us getting footage for the night’s news.
The client came running to us “have you guys taken down the outdoor banners yet?”. We had not so the chopper got footage of the client’s brand too. All of which, was on the news that night.
The things you see…
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