Team Building

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is drawing to a close, which makes these reminiscences timely.

Let me just say that I’m not a gambler. Like, at all. If there is a “gambling gene” it’s complete absent from my makeup. It’s not that I don’t approve of gambling; I’ve got no moral objections to it, it’s just not a pastime that I find compelling. That said, I sometimes participate in it as an exercise in camaraderie and team building. It’s the same reason I participate in golf: to be a good sport.

For a work event in Whistler BC two years ago, we were asked to vote on our preferred excursion: ATV riding around the mountains, or golf. Neither appealed to me, but I voted for golf because lots of my co-workers love golf. Everything doesn’t always have to be about me.

One thing Whistler BC has a lot of: bears.

Anyway, I’m no stranger to gambling at work. Years and years ago, working at a restaurant when I was in school, the staff had a very particular way of betting on hockey: For $2 you drew a card from a deck. If the score of that night’s game equaled the value of the card you won the pot, or split it with anyone who had the same value card.

You could spend to draw as many cards as you liked, they were $2 a draw. It was Chef Allan, who was a little crazy, who would sometimes spend $20 or more to cover card after card. He was clearly enjoying himself, but when 80 percent of what’s in the pot is your money, what’s the point, really?

Back to the present day: Last year, I participated in the playoff pool at work, and actually won the whole thing, much to the consternation of my co-workers who are far more avid sports fans than I. How, you ask?

Science. That’s all I’ll say for now.

And this year, going into the second round, I’m still in contention, although anything can happen.

That doesn’t stop my sports-obsessed co-workers from a lot of good-natured trash talk.