Friday, February 27, 2009

Introducing: The Other Brian

So for once I thought having the name “Brain Bonis (pronounced Bonus)” was going to help me in the Corporate world…..(and yes….some low paid gov’t employee admin back in 1981 was snoozing at the typewriter when she typed ‘BRAIN’ instead of Brian on my birth certificate).

[ed. note: I know the feeling]

In 2003, I attended the typical corny customer service training. I was new to these kindergarten-imitating-corporate training sessions and was nervous to speak in front of an intimidating blend of peers and executives.

So we have our name tags, icebreakers, and complimentary pen gifts. After a day and a half of useless acronyms and (non-sexual) role playing, we get to the big finale, and I , luckily, had managed to go the entire session without having to speak.

The big finale is a Win, Lose, or Draw game where a team member receives a card and has to make the audience guess the customer service related word. All teams are tied and, of course, the final Drawer is chosen to be me in the decisive tie-breaking round.

I get my two-worded card. I start pointing to myself (the first word is Bonus). No one knows me, the room is silent, and so I begin drawing dollar signs and finally someone screams “BONUS!” I jump for joy and begin drawing the second word. I spin the Crayola marker in circles and people are guessing aloud, “Circle! Ball!” and finally, “Round!!”

YESSSS!! I win!! Under the pressure, under the gun, I impress the executives and successfully have them guess the two-worded card, “BONUS ROUND”!!!!

I see the facilitator take a knee, turn purple, so hysterical that he can’t gasp a breath! What happened? What’s wrong?? The facilitator tells me to look down at the card. I had made my co-workers guess the title of the round, and below, in the large font, was the real word to be drawn, “Attentive”.

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