May 23, 2008

Virgin Blue Sales team experiences rural life

Week 14 – Irrigation problems

My adventure for this week was assisting in the re-attachment of the irrigation line to the star pickets in the middle of the dam. The pipe had been damaged by the stock trampling on it close to the waters edge and it needed to be re-seated. A bit different to capturing learnings when closing projects!

Week 15 – Warwick Picnic Races

Week 15 was highlighted by an exciting social event – the annual Warwick Picnic races. We were invited to attend in a marquee in the members’ area. I managed to win $35.00, which made my day. It was fascinating to witness the party spirit of regional Australia – the dance floor was full from the moment the band started playing until the last item and even then they managed to persuade the band to do a few more. I think they could drink any city person under the table. Some keen partygoers were still drinking at 2:00 am in the morning – and they weren’t making any sense at 10:00 pm!!!! Only company in a similar inebriated state would have been able to suffer the conversation. They definitely make the most of social opportunities.

Week 16 – VB Sales Management Team Workshop

Spring Creek was descended upon by a storm: a Nissan Patrol, two large Apollo camper vans, Mathias Friess and 8 members of the Sales management team. The lounge room was taken over as conference facilities, the deck became the centre point for food and catering, every bed was occupied and the quiet country residence came alive.

After arriving 2.5 hours late, the conference commenced after a yummy lunch on the veranda (at least for those not too car sick from the bumpy last leg of the ride while sitting in the back of the camper vans). After 3 hours of stimulating workshop activities, we set off for a serious 4-wheel drive to witness the sunset. Kay bravely took the wheel of the hired Nissan and followed Chris up the mountain. I think he did okay despite some minor damage to the car and his ability to ignore the fact that Mathias made sure he was in Chris’s vehicle on the way down. The sunset was magnificent in the west and the full moon rising in the east combined with champagne, beer and nibbles made the evening quite magical. Even the smell of Mathias’ cigars only seemed to enhance the experience.

Back down the mountain for a wood-fire BBQ. The cold set in quite quickly so after a good feed we were playing games in front of the log fire sipping numerous glasses of wine. We played charades, celebrity heads but the hit of the night was definitely “Catch a Phrase”. And despite the fact that Vanessa didn’t know what a piranha was and Pete thought expanding on the word “foot” meant it must be muddy we did have quite a few laughs and a pleasant evening. All survived the cold evening and the challenges of sleeping with colleagues in close proximity.

After a huge breakfast and more workshop activities the team watched the stock being fed Molafos (a molasses mix). Time for lunch and then the convoy hit the road back to luxury. I enjoyed your visit, and hope you will come back again soon.

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