Coming back from the most recent company team building I attended in a long stream of team building activities I attended in the company for more than ten years, gave a sobering picture of how old I really am in contrast to the young participants this year.
Having just transferred to the graveyard shift of the same department, I was not spared the usual initiation rites meted out to new hires during this occassion despite my status as a ten-year veteran in the company.
That one of the members of top management “requested” it, meant you really have no choice. You can refuse of course, but then again you have to consider the annual employee appraisal hovering just around the corner. Sometimes performace evaluations take a turn to the bizaare by actually being based solely on a single factor not even remotely connected to work-related competence.
So there it was. A week to prepare for the big night reserved to showcase the “talents” of the new blood as a nightcap to the all-day group activities (which my group won, by the way). Two hours before logout was spent learning dance moves and singing songs from artists I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to. So much for career advancement.
I did not even dare offer a suggestion when people were asking around as to what music we were supposed to perform to. Aside from the expected geriatric jokes that that move will conjure, I wouldn’t want my favorite artists dismissed by the younger generation as irrelevant just because they’re, well, old. That type of dismissal hurts more than direct humorous jabs at your age. I just kept quiet and let them decide. Not like what I want would make it, anyway. Easier to lick your elbow than swaying people to “old stuff”.
And so it came to pass that I got assigned the role of Zayn Malik and had to learn the lyrics to “Story Of My Life” and lipsynch to the damned song on that said date. I experienced different shades of embarrassment in the different phases of my life but nothing can compare to the prospect of performing a song from a boyband whose members’ age could pass as my offspring had I decided to get busy early. It doesn’t help that my dance moves had more in common with an epileptic seizure than any graceful art of body movement. And performing with people younger by at least 10 years. I never felt so ancient.
All in good fun, of course. Serves me right for making fun of older colleagues back in the day. But there’s an old boxing maxim about taking as good as you can dish. Guess that was it.
Buhay pa naman, kahit papano.