Tuesday, August 19, 2008

DAY 1 & 2: Under pressure and an unexpected accident

I don't know how many muscles we exactly have, but I can safely say that every single muscle in my body aches as I'm typing this out. Anyway, pain aside (which I hope will disappear in a day or two), here's a rundown on my so-called torture camp.

I woke up Thursday morning with a deep sinking feeling. Due to the late hours spent working in the previous days, I hadn't had the time to pack nor prepare myself mentally for what I was about to face. Nevertheless, I took half day off that day, went back, got packed and drove back to work in the evening to board the bus that was to take us to our destination which was a golf club amidst green trees and fresh mountain air in a place known as Templer's Park.The pathway we used to get to the seminar hall from our apartments. I thought the arch made by the trees were cool

Top: The view outside the apartment balcony, Bottom: The hall in our apartment for the 2 days

The classroom session began at almost 9pm that night and continued way up till 2.30 am. So what they said was true, you will be deprived of sleep, but seeing that you're not exactly sitting down listening to a boring lecture (instead, you're moving around with Mahjong paper and coloured markers doing assignments, or having small group discussions) chances of you falling asleep is a million to one.
The dining area where we were given food (and coffee!!) which overlooks the place where people play golf

Anyway, after the class, and after we elected the leaders, we were shown the way back to our rooms via a shortcut. It was short, no doubt, but the small fence that we were supposed to use was locked, and we had to fold ourselves neatly to be able to creep through the fence to get on the other side. Personally, I thought it was hilarious.

Friday started early with breakfast. As a team, we had made arrangements to meet at the guard house of the apartments where we were housed. Despite being in a secluded area, we weren't really cut off from technology. Our bathrooms actually had hot water! However, we never had the chance to chill in the apartments due to our tight schedules.

And then, a small disaster happened. As I was putting my camera back into my sling bag, I missed a step and sprained my ankle. It hurt like crazy for a bit, but I ignored the pain and continued with the class, but as the day progressed, the pain continued. In the end, I was taken to the clinic, and one of the trainers had to miss his Friday prayers because of me. The doctor said that my tendon was sprained, and I'd need to rest my leg. I asked if it was possible to go hiking the next day, and the doctor gave me an injection (painkiller) and bandaged my ankle and asked me to judge for myself if I was up to it. To myself I thought, I'm going into that jungle by hook or by crook. As long as the pain is gone, and I can walk, I will do it. I'll deal with the real injuries once everything is over! What made it pathetic as well as funny is that most people end up getting hurt in the forest, and here you have me getting hurt even before I step in the forest.
My injured ankle all bandaged. :(

The classes were interesting, challenging and sometimes downright cruel. We were given "money" for each successfully completed assignment, but the 'customer' always managed to twist the story and you end up being unsuccessful despite all the hardwork. It was a nerve-wrecking, mind-numbing experience and somewhat frustrating as well.

Our team consists of people from the different departments and different levels (middle management aka slaves, as well as union level guys (except for department heads)), and despite our usual hi and bye attitude back at work, we managed to work together as a team in this environment. Nevertheless, after each assignment, the trainers conduct an overview of it and you tend to learn a lot of new things. Doing the job I do, I hardly meet customers, so seeing customer demands is something new for me and I now quite understand how our sales people must feel trying to meet ridiculous customer demands on a daily basis! Classes ended at about 2:30 am which was then followed by the distribution of our safety helmets, camping backpack and sleeping bag. After packing the stuff for the camping, my head finally touched the pillow at about 4 am.


  1. You went ahead with the hike? You should take care of that ankle. A sprained ankle can cause permanent problems.

  2. Yup, I did. I know it's bad in the long run, but I didn't want to give up halfway through the course. Adrenaline cancels all logic.

  3. Well done, missy. I'm impressed. Your march of madness is deliciously wrapped in irony since, as you say, most people are injured IN the forest.

    And pssh, permanent injury? Everyone looks badass with a walking cane.

  4. Thank you :)

    Everyone looks badass with a walking cane. Maybe only after 45, though...

  5. It's too bad you got injured but I'm glad it wasn't too serious.

    It sounds like the classes were designed so that you would fail, but that the failure was the purpose of the course so that the lesson was more clear.

  6. Yeah, that's what our team thinks as well


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