Team building


We had this team-building thing coming up at work. I’m not going to bore you with the details—nor compromise any identities—but let’s just say it involved going out into a body of water on waterborne vessels of some type, propelled by yours truly and his cohorts. Naturally, “BOOZE!” popped into my head the second I heard about this. I set out immediately on a complicated mission with several objectives.

First and foremost, I had to seek out the fellow drinkers who were going on the trip. This posed no great challenge. I don’t know what it is (and that’s part of the magic), but something deeper than our mutual love for that sweet, fermented, nectar-of-the-gods binds all Enthusiasts. We flocked to each other like birds migrating south for the winter, and without any hesitation, immediately decided that we would be inebriated at said-event.

Objective one achieved. Two: locate fellow Enthusiasts who had attended last year’s team-building event to get the inside scoop. Yes, before you ask, it was the exact same activity at the exact same place this year, so any intelligence gathered would no doubt be highly accurate and most definitely applicable. Now, we don’t work for an overly stuffy company—and most of us have gotten tipsy together outside of the office—but the subject of drinking openly at a work function had never been broached. And unfortunately, while my intelligence gathering did prove fruitful, the news was disappointing. There had been no open consumption of alcoholic beverages at last year’s event.

Not a problem. Certainly not a problem that many an Enthusiast hasn’t encountered before. Which brings me to my favorite stage of planning: logistics.

There was no question about it; even in the face of this information, I was going to be drinking at this event. A quick powwow with my fellow Enthusiasts confirmed that I was not alone in this endeavor. Which brought us to the heart of the problem, how do we best keep our enthusiasm hidden from our coworkers and maximize the wonderful aesthetics of our drink of choice? We’re all seasoned veterans, so the chances of our cover being blown by one of us appearing overly inebriated were slim. We simply had to keep our drinking hidden. Leaving only the age-old question, which poison to choose?

Unlike at a concert or campus event, the color of the liquid-goodness wasn’t an issue. The only real issues were personal preference and the hot California sun. Not being young, bright-eyed, bushy tailed Enthusiasts with still-healthy livers, we determined we were simply beyond drinking warm vodka all day; those days were long gone (notable exceptions made in some situations). So what were we to do?

The oldest and truest Enthusiast in our group blew my mind that day with his sagely, one-word advice.


My jaw dropped as the obviousness of that suggestion struck me like a lightning bolt. We were going to be spending the day drinking, in boats, at the height of the midday sun, and saké can—and some say should—be consumed warm.

Team hands picture courtesy of gasholein, flickr.
No drinking picture courtesy ofEli the Bearded,flickr.
Saké bottle picture courtesy of Torjus Dahl, flickr.