Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why you want to work at AAHPERD

I am sure that every office has it's perks. My first office job, which I took a few months after graduating from college, didn't have many while I was there, but from what I heard there was a time when they did fun stuff (like the entire office went to St. Maarten). My second job didn't have much to offer in the way of perks, but maybe that was just more incentive for me to leave. The third place started off well, and then rolled down hill going forward. The 4th place actually had numerous perks - company paid lunches at Smith & Wollensky (where I got food poisoning), free sodas, coffee, and tea, monthly office gatherings to celebrate birthdays and such, and the occasional wine tasting (which I thought was the best of all). Unfortunate that place sucked where the actual job was concerned, so all those perks were for naught. After that fiasco I came here to AAHPERD, and the perks - while not as plentiful as the previous job - are generally a good time. Among these perks is our monthly celebration.
Once a month we have a little get together we like to call the Hail & Farewell. This gathering is "sponsored" by a different department each month, so each time there's a different "theme," a different snack, and sometimes even better things like competitions or activities. We've had "prom," "graduation," "pie at the Pullman's," and today we had the annual "bake-off." AAPAR, one of our 5 national associations within AAHPERD, always has a bake-off for their sponsored Hail & Farewell event. They publicize it around the office a few weeks ahead of time, and folks sign up to bring in their homemade goodies for judging. As you might imagine, this is a good time in and of itself. This year, however; the contest didn't stop with the goodie judging. To add fuel to the competitive fire there was a "whip-off." Three employees were selected to see how fast they could whip up some whipped cream. This seemed sorta absurd, even to those of us sitting there stuffing our face full of chocolate mousse and cupcakes, but everyone stayed to see what the outcome was. The three selected participants were Judy, our VP of Programs, Jen, our Marketing Director, and O'Brien, a summer intern with NASPE (another one of our associations). Everyone instantly thought O'Brien would be the loser. He's a college age guy, with admittedly few kitchen skills. So they took their spots at the table and commenced to whipping up bowls of heavy cream. Judy and Jen were working hard at it, but frankly, nobody was getting anywhere. People started to get up and gather around the table (like this was a gripping sport where there might be a photo finish). Whipping takes alot of energy and endurance, so it's difficult to compete in such a manner. Someone suggested it be a relay and so Judy passed off her bowl to Elsa, who continued to whip up the cream. Then Jen passed off her bowl, but O'Brien just kept whipping away. Round about this time people actually started cheering because it was turning in to a real contest. While this might sound ridiculously lame, it was actually pretty entertaining. Finally, O'Brien threw down the whisk and turned the bowl upside down over his head. Miraculously, the whipping cream didn't fall out, and he was declared the winner. Literally, everyone cheered, and then everyone laughed. Yes, this was potentially one of the lamest contests ever created, but it was a good time. It was something everyone could laugh about and cheer for and it beat the hell out of sitting at my desk bored to tears or working through the event.

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