Last year around this time, I posted about my first foray into the workplace hockey pool. It was confusing for some readers, who thought that “hockey pool” was a new-fangled type of sport in which you played hockey underwater and in retrospect, while that would be a VERY cool game, especially if there were sharks, I can see why it’s not in most people’s vernacular. So this year, to clarify things, I’ve titled the post “My Hockey Fantasy”. Because it’s about my fantasy hockey team, obviously, and not what you were thinking, which was most probably dirty, knowing you as well as I do.
Just like last year, the fantasy draft took place at a lunch meeting, and it was a bit of a relief because I had had several meetings that week, and they were all pretty serious and whatnot, and I had made a couple of lovely gaffes that haunt me as I write this several days later:
My own team meeting:
We had been advised that, to increase staff engagement, we should begin our team meetings with an icebreaker of some kind, like a TEDTalk or a mindfulness exercise, but I had neither of those things ready on short notice, so when everyone sat down, I was admittedly scrambling:
Me: Welcome, everyone. Bienvenue, mes amis.
Everyone: Good morning! Bonjour!
Me: I’d like to kick off this week’s meeting with a joke. What’s brown and sits in the middle of the forest?
Everyone: What? Quoi?
Me: Winnie’s Poo.
Me: I apologize. It’s the only joke I know.
Team Member (whispers): Je ne comprend pas. Qu’est-ce que ‘Winnie’s Poo’?
Team Member (whispers): Like the bear, but his poo.
Team Member (whispers): Ah.
Me: From now on, I’d like YOU to all take turns starting the meeting with a mindfulness exercise or a fun activity.
Everyone: Good idea. Oui.
A Meeting with Procurement
Director 1: So the other day I was at a symposium and the presenter had ‘walk-on music’, you know, like the way baseball players have when they come up to bat. It was great. The next time I present something, I want to walk on to ‘Celebrate‘ by Kool and the Gang.
Director 2: Ooh, what a great idea. I’d want something with a country vibe, like ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie’.
Me (without hesitation and already imagining my grand entrance in my head): I want ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’.
Me: It’s by Def Leppard. It’s got a great beat…
Procurement Guy: Anyway, let’s look at these RFBs.
So suffice it to say that the Fantasy Hockey meeting was a real relief. The previous year, I’d come late to the pool, like I literally walked in after it had started and the ‘Commissioner’ had to create a new team just for me, which he cleverly called ‘Suzanne’s Team’, much to my absolute disappointment. This year, before we started going around the table with our picks, I asked if I could change my team name and was assured that I certainly could. And if you know me at all, you can guess right away what I picked:
Me: Player One. My new team name is Player One.
Commissioner: Player One, it is.
Everyone: Nice. Sweet.
Because there is no judgement in the hockey pool. And then every time it came around the table to me, the Commissioner would say, “Player One, who do you choose for your team?” and I would say, “That guy there with the hyphenated name. You have to be a really confident player if you expect the commentators to say all of THAT.”
As you might know, I don’t choose my players based on anything like skill, points, or ranking. I choose them based on how much I like their name, or hair. I also try to stack my team with Toronto Maple Leafs because Canadian people are very optimistic and also deal with disappointment well.
A couple of days later, I was at our all-staff meeting and I was already a little distracted because there were presentations and one of the Directors did indeed have her walk-on music, and while she was talking, I was sitting at a table with my team in a lovely reverie, fantasizing about walking on to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” OR “Sugar How You Get So Fly (the Robin Schultz remix)” which would ALSO be very cool. Then out of the blue, the Director said, “Of course, this might be a straw man argument, and Suzanne will let me know if I’m on the right track.” Now, let me tell you that I honestly have no f*cking idea what any of that meant, but I am nothing if not quick off the mark, so I gave her a big smile and two thumbs up, like “You are good to go” and it was TERRIFYING.
During the break, still shaken by the fact that now everyone at the secret agency thought I was some kind of expert in debating, I went over to see the guy who is our hockey pool Commissioner on an unrelated matter, and suddenly he said to me very ominously, “By the way, don’t get too comfortable ON THE TOP.” I was quite taken aback, and about to respond that being on top is never really comfortable, when I realized he wasn’t talking about me being the new go-to for our Director on matters of rhetoric but he was, in fact, referring to the hockey pool. Apparently, Player One is currently in first place. Cue Def Leppard.
Fun Fact: Ken just read this post:
Ken: I was at a meeting the other day and the Minds-On was a video about a Canadian woman who came face-to-face with a cougar in the woods. She didn’t know what to do so she pulled out her phone, went to iTunes and started playing Metallica to scare it away. Then we had to say what song WE would use in the same situation.
Me (without hesitation): Beastie Boys, Sabotage.
Ken: NO WAY! That’s what I picked too!
Both: High five!!