Our office anniversary is April 1, 2013. Many of you may not know this but every year, I close the office on this day and take my staff to celebrate. Sometimes people show up at our office and think that we are playing an April Fool’s Joke because they wouldn’t put it past us.
April 1 is the day when I show my girls how grateful I am for taking a chance on me and helping me build my dream. In 2016, we had a long weekend and April 1 happened to fall on a Friday. The wheels in my brain started to turn and I thought it would be great if we could all get away for the weekend. I flew my girls to Las Vegas and they had no idea what was in store for them.
A couple of them were legitimately terrified of what I would make them do. Some of them thought that we would go skydiving, mud wrestling, white water rafting or have to do spontaneous stand up comedy in front of a large crowd. Instead, I found this great team-building activity that was a completely immersive zombie apocalypse.
We were all given assault rifles, combat gear and thrown into this huge warehouse full of dilapidated houses, crashed cars, and fog so thick you could not see 1 foot in front of you. The commander was talking to us in a pressured speech so that we understood the gravity of the situation as helicopters and alarms were heard overhead. We were given assignments that needed to be completed in order to help the human race free itself of these flesh eating zombies. The set came complete with the most horrific music, seizure producing lights, dark corners and zombie clowns. As if having the clown isn’t terrifying enough you have to make it a zombie.
We were taught reconnaissance and how to clear the room so that our buddies can enter safely. In the process, zombies would pop out of the closet, underneath the bed, the refrigerator, or start climbing into the house through the windows. We had to protect each other by shooting the zombies before they caught us. I was so impressed at how well my staff protected each other. I remember Patty, our ultrasonographer, coming to my rescue and yelling, “I got you, Dr. R” as she was blasting away at a zombie that almost bit me. Without disclosing her age, let’s just imagine someone who is “mature and wise” and likely would not play these games going Rambo on every zombie that crossed her path.
Once we collected all of the important disc drives, computers, maps and documents, we were trapped, the only way out was for one of us to sacrifice themselves to zombies while the others would get out. Without hesitation, I offered to do this for my team and ran into an abandoned school bus so that the zombies would follow me and my team would survive to save the world. Being in the bus with zombies crawling in through the windows and each door was liberating, I was no longer scared. I closed my eyes and knew that I had served a greater purpose. I succumbed to my fate. It was truly an amazing experience and one that if faced with in the real world, I think would play out the same.