The 2nd of December, 2016.
We knew that Friday the 2nd of December would be a scorcher. As some of us stepped into the office before lunch we were already sweaty. The forecast predicted tops of 38 degrees, only adding to the intensity that would result from a combination of harsh competition, kinetic limits, good times and lots of alcohol.
Kicking off the day we rekindled with our Melbourne team over early drinks, lunch and Secret Santa. On our much-loved Raphael’s last day at Bilue, he was the obvious choice to involuntarily play Santa. One by one, we each sat on his lap and received our gifts from mysterious senders. An assortment of chocolates, wines, personalised stamps, fungi farms, notebooks and hardware were given out.
Phil pays a visit to Santa Cam's turn on Santa's lap
Each Bilue employee was also graciously gifted with our own cute and colourful KeepCups for use in the endless flow of caffeine that we each chug down day-in and day-out.
Thank you, Santa!
It was then revealed that we would all be participating in the very first Bilue Scavenger Hunt. Through careful planning and organisation over the preceding days we were all assigned to teams, given matching bandanas and specially-printed Cards against Biluemanity t-shirts featuring different cards from Bilue’s favourite game - Cards Against Humanity. We were given meticulously imaginative task lists that as we each scanned over, caused some of our faces to churn with nerves and doubt, others with excitement and relief. But most of us were affixed with the glaze of our deep inner sense of competitiveness. Some challenges included:
Take a team photo with a Christmas Tree... Hug a stranger....
Wear the horse head in public... Order a Bilue-flavoured Messina...
Who would win?
The Public Humiliation to Difficulty ratio throughout all of the activities ranged widely from, ‘Video of your team on a roller coaster at Luna Park’ to ‘Photo of a member of your team joining a park fitness class’ and ‘Order a Bilue themed Messina ice cream flavour’. Team leaders were decided with a quick game of Scissors, Paper, Rock and given a survival bag containing all items necessary for the challenge: cash, selfie sticks, wigs, rub cubs, water and sunscreen.
So with that, we were off.
As part of team Yellow (our shirt read ‘Mad-Hacky-Sack Skills) we decided to execute our tasks with meticulous planning and strategy. We ticked off the most achievable tasks combined with the ones which would score us the most points. ‘Team photo with Christmas Tree’ evidently became our forte and Myer’s Christmas Wonderland floor was our reigning domain. Hoards of points were tallied as we snapped all the Christmas trees we could find, completed a successful flashmob (bonus points ensued when others joined our Macarina), found a doppelgänger and took a photo with Santa (bonus points for crying).
Live updates were streamed out to everyone across the city via Slack from Bilue HQ. Melinda and Marina kept track of which teams were leading and posted the funniest highlights (and/or lowlights) throughout the day. As we scrambled to gain as many points as we could, we could watch other teams chase points like chickens - around the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, each interpreting their idea of ‘Lemon Party’ differently, some of us sipping espresso martinis while others climbed trees. We are a talented bunch indeed.
Screenshot of Min & Marina keeping tally of the teams
As quickly as it started, it ended. Our final destination was delivered to each team via carrier pigeon (i.e Slack) as we all jumped into Ubers and cabs and raced to Timbah Wine Bar in Glebe. First team to arrive wins 200 points, last team to arrive loses 500 points. With everyone settled in at Timbah either sipping on a fine glass of wine, or from a chilled bottle of beer, Min and Marina stood up to deliver the final points overview and award Gold and Silver medals to the winning teams. Winners also received $100 JB Hi-Fi gift vouchers and a whole lot of pride.
Having crowned the winners (Yellow Team), there was little more to be done than celebrate an absolutely incredible 2016 at Bilue, with many ups, downs that we would not have had any other way. There was not an empty glass in sight for the entire night, and the sound of laughter never stopped. When it got late, a few people left opting for some face time with their pillow and a good night’s sleep, those of us who didn’t soldiered on at a Pub in Glebe, playing pool, drinking and laughing right up until closing time.
For our Melbourne people there was still enough time on Saturday morning to gather together at Brewistas in Glebe for breakfast and coffee. A sobering wakeup call to what was a hazy 24hrs of sweat, thirst and fun. Till next time!