Business and Bean Bags

Hey, Terri. I heard my boss, Brian’s voice from the doorway of my cubicle.

Yeah? I asked, and turned to see him motioning dramatically. Motioning as if he were tossing a bean bag across the office.

The bean bag game is still set up in the open, as yet unused area of our new office. It’s been there ever since the recent office bean bag tournament was held. Brian, being the consummate athlete – he regularly participates in marathons and bike races – could not stand the fact that he did not finish the tournament as a champion. So he quickly declared there would be another tournament. No pairs this time, he declared, insinuating that his loss was not his fault, but that of his partner. The next one will be an individuals tournament.

Brian in action during the first tourney

Brian in action during the first tourney

Considering how embarrassingly my partner Greg and I were beaten in the pairs tournament, I had no plans to participate in the individual competition and I refused to enter. That is, until Belinda asked me to practice with her Friday afternoon. I agreed to help her hone her skills. And in the process of helping Belinda practice, I discovered a bit of technique and won the game! I promptly filled out an entry for the coming tournament.

At the end of the day yesterday, Belinda asked me to play another game. And I won again. When Brian caught wind of my success, he challenged me to a game. I told him it was bowling night and I couldn’t stay, but that I would have to take a rain check. He accused me of being a coward.

So there was Brian in my doorway today, insisting I play him in a game of “bags.” Clearly, word of my skill had spread and he was intimidated. Clearly, he needed to see for himself if I was a threat to his bean bag tournament success.

Okay, but I have to wrap up a couple of things first, I said.

Come find me when you’re ready, he said. And before I was finished or could even leave my cubicle, he was hovering around again, asking if I was ready. Who am I to argue with the boss when he insists I take a break from work to go play?

So what do you say loser buys the winner a six-pack of beer?

I don’t know, I said. I’ve made this bet with you before and it didn’t work out so well for me.

Loser gets to choose the brand of beer, he coaxed.

Sure, why not, I agreed.

So we made our way over to the “playing field.” I proceeded to slip my boots off, to ensure better balance.

Loser throws first, he said, motioning for me to throw the first bag. I gave him my best sneer and tossed my bean bag toward the board. It hit, but slid off the back. Brian then threw one of his bags and landed it.

You’ve been practicing, I said.

I hold meetings over bean bag competitions, he admitted. And then to make it official, he asked me a few questions about one of my accounts. It was definitely the same conversation we’ve had several times before, but if this was his way of making the game into “official business,” who was I to argue?

And we actually did talk about real work as we tossed our bags from one end of the “field” to the other. And to make a long story short, he beat me. Big time. But it was fun, and a great way to get away from the old desk for a while.

Brian reminded me that in light of his victory, I owed him a six-pack of beer. I don’t know why he decided that the loser would get to choose the brand! Did he not anticipate that I would spend a while trying to figure out the worst possible beer I could get for him? I seriously contemplated some non-alcoholic beer. But he’s a beer lover and I don’t want to waste my money on something that won’t be enjoyed. I accepted the bet and I lost, fair and square.

I remembered that Brian brews his own beer on occasion. He’s somewhat of a beer connoisseur. I happen to have a brother who does some serious home brewing and I suddenly had a great idea. I sent a text to my brother asking if I could buy a small variety of his home brews and explained my situation. He quickly replied that he’d have to look to see what varieties he had available but that he could definitely help me out.

I’m not a sore loser. Brian will be very happy with his winnings. But I’ve got to stop making bets with this man! AND… I’ve got to schedule some meetings on the “playing field” before the tournament begins later this week!

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21 thoughts on “Business and Bean Bags

  1. Smart move to let the boss when. I know it was all part of the plan….
    And what a great idea to get him some home-brewed beer! It may be worth being a loser in order to give him such a thoughtful gift!

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  2. The timing of this post is funny. I just finished reading a post on Cheryl’s Art of Being Conflicted about Marissa Mayer’s decision t make all the Yahoo employees come to work. I commented as an advocate for the notion that most people work harder in the office than they do at home. Could I be wrong? :) Nah!

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    • Actually… we have a person who is known for how little work she actually does around the office, yet insists she’s SO productive at home.

      But, in spite of our bean bag games, we do manage to get a lot done.

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  3. I like this bean bag idea. That’s something that lots of people can participate in without things being too out of balance (reminds me of a tug-of-war “competition” at my workplace once – suffice to say that one BIG team just dragged everybody else). And I love your choice for loser beer!

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  4. “Who am I to argue with the boss when he insists I take a break from work to go play?” LOLZ!

    “And to make a long story short, he beat me. Big time. But it was fun, and a great way to get away from the old desk for a while.”

    That sure does sound like a fun break! Even though you lost!

    Also, I have a feeling your boss will be VERY impressed with your beer selection!

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  5. Cool boss. That’s a good way to make meetings more interesting/productive. Smart move letting the boss win. And your choice of beer is an excellent approach. Will definitely impress him. But somehow, I would have figured that all that bowling would have translated into some skills in bean bag toss. Something about it’s all in the wrist.

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  6. I so thought you were going to beat him. Brilliant idea for the beer. Home brewing is quite a nerdy pursuit and I think he will enjoy trying another brewer’s product and compare it to his own.

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