A PEC Teambuilder

The mission…successfully return furniture that was not going to work for an event. The hurdle…. the furniture was across town and in order to be picked up needed to be transported to our office and the furniture in anticipation of the event had already been assembled and stored.  In order to return we needed to wipe down the furniture, un-assemble, wrap in plastic and transport to the office for pickup. Seemed simple.

 The project started out just like any other project. A carefully thought out (or so we thought) plan and time line and we were off to take action. First step was to rent a truck so that we could transport the furniture in one trip. So we rent a big ol’ U-Haul. Said U-Haul did not have a right side mirror and compared to my Mazda 3 seemed like I was driving a semi truck. Oh well, we’ll figure it out. So I nervously get the U-Haul down to our storage unit and we begin to dust and pack up the furniture.

Now, when I went to Home Depot they were of course out of the giant stretchy saran wrap that I needed so I settled for large clear plastic….I basically bought clear visqueen.  After about five minutes when we were ready to wrap our first item I realized that we did not have scissors (figured I would not need them since I was getting the stretchy saran wrap). Now, about two blocks away I had a pair in my car, but it was hot and I had a butter knife in our storage unit so I figured that would suffice. I successfully saw a chunk of plastic off the roll and we get to wrapping our the first couch. It’s at about this point that I come to wonder why on earth our storage unit has a pile of saw dust in front of it. It’s odd and for some reason ONLY our unit has the sawdust issue. It’s as if somebody put it there special, just for us! The static from the plastic attracts the saw dust particles and begins sucking them up like a brand new Dyson! So now, we have to literally dust the plastic off to make sure that no dirt and dust gets in the wrapping.

So here we are sweaty (because were two girls trying to move couches and furniture around by ourselves), cutting plastic with a butter knife, our furniture covered in saw dust, but at least we are laughing hysterically at the predicament we have managed to create for ourselves. Oh and p.s… the delivery company will be to the office soon to pick up the items. Nothing like waiting until the last possible second!

Ruth tries to talk me into walking back and getting scissors but I remain committed to my original decision (I’m very dedicated you know). All that aside two and half hours later a “thirty minute” project seems to be almost completed. We are fully loaded and ready to head for the office. Here’s where that missing right mirror that I previously mentioned comes into play. I manage to maneuver us through the storage complex and towards the gate where someone is so conveniently blocking our straight path to the exit. Now, I could go around but chances are I will most likely take out some gutters and corners  so I opt to wait through the odd glances from the people blocking the lane (there not sure why I just don’t go around). Finally they figure out that I am not going to go around and move their vehicles so that I can exit.

 Ruth is riding shot gun and her sole purpose is to act as my right hand mirror. It’s at about this time that I hear my hubby’s voice in my head asking “who let you rent a U-Haul?” and my enthusiastic reply “I know right!”. So I figure as long as I can stay in the right hand lane all the way to the office we will be in great shape.  I make a left hand turn onto the boulevard intending to move straight into the right hand land and then smooth sailing all the way. Well, out of habit I turn into the left hand lane and now need to move over. Okay I good to go? But try as she might she plum can’t see.  She says she thinks it’s clear so I start to go…”wait!” Ruth yells…”Don’t go!”. We let the car pass and I tell Ruth “Don’t, worry. I have a route that will get me the office by staying in the right hand lane the whole way”. I know it’s a mile out of our way but it will allow us to never have to move over.

Ruth suddenly hops up out of her seat, hangs half of her body out the window and tells me to go. Laughing hysterically I move over screaming the whole time (I’m a wimp sometimes!). Laughing hysterically I tell her that this is a great team builder! She did that all the way back to the office telling me when I could go and what was in my way. I don’t believe I have ever laughed that hard. Half way through our route I asked her why we did not just have her follow me in the car and communicate with me via cell phone. We both agreed that would have been a great idea…too bad we had just now thought of it.

Once to the office we had to unload the entire truck and return the U-Haul. We ended up unloading the furniture into the driveway and left it there for pick up (no need to carry it further than we needed to). It was the funniest debacle of a project but what a really fun day!  The lesson? As planners we spend our lives meticulously planning out everybody else’s projects…we could spend a few more minutes planning our own! Lesson number two… next time just post an add on craigslist and pay someone $50 to help move your stuff.

Frontline Focus

We all want (need) to cut costs and reduce expenses without cutting corners and reducing quality. Our “Frontline Employees” often take the heat of the immediate attack whether it is rejections on the phones or cancelled projects with no apparent logical explanation. A strategically designed Team Builder can help re-focus the A.I.M. (Attitude – Innovation – Motivation) of your frontline employees. This will not only strengthen your team but help re-engage them for the tasks ahead.

– Fred Grenandos, Synergy Teambuilding

Investing in your employees is not only good HR pratices but sound company planning.  A happy, fully engaged, fully utilized employee fuunctions better. We all have strengths and weakesses and it is the brilliant manager that teaches his employees how to combine those strengths and plan for the weaknesses that turns average people into a rock solid performance team.