Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

I asked someone from the Avionté Implementation Team to give me a few details of the recent river trip Avionté sent them on as a reward for all their hard work and the busy months ahead.  You may soon realize there is one thing everyone on the implementation team has in common…and I’m not referring to the joy of a smooth staffing software conversion or implementation.  There is also an omission of my suggested topics on team building, bonding, relaxation and rejuvenation…but I guess that all goes without saying.  Thank you to the entire implementation team for all your hard work and long hours! 

FYI- I took the liberty of bolding a few words. If you’re in a rush, skim the bolded words and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what this trip was all about.  

by Kevin Cunningham 

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port aboard this tiny ship.” I was boarding the houseboat for Avionte’s implementation team river extravaganza, so I was a little concerned that the theme from “Gilligan’s Island” was stuck in the back of my head, and could not be silenced. Sure several of us had boating experience but this was a 50 ft houseboat on the Mississippi River which we had to cross lock and dam, and the crew seemed far more interested in swimming, diving and drinking, than in navigating. If the SS Minnow had set sail for 3 days not to return for years, what chance did the twelve of us have? 

The first night we travelled a distance of about 300 yards and then decide to take shelter in a cove. Going further up river with delays from the lock could have caused us to be on the river within the prescribed “one hour before sunset”, apparently a Bozo no-no. Doug at the helm, grounded the boat perfectly, we set our anchors, ate dinner and proceeded to play. I believe chicken, brats and burgers were on the menu the first night, things started to get a little fuzzy after we pulled out of port. Jim, our corporate trainer’s husband, cooked all the meals and did an outstanding job. Laura and Jim had done all the shopping and did a great job of estimating the food, and underestimating what lushes they were traveling with. Before the first day was over, we had to make an emergency call for more beer

The first rule we unknowingly broke was “no jumping off the upper deck“, but come on what did they expect, putting that thing up there that looked like a diving board. Because the slide on the back of the boat was obviously not enough, people began swimming across the pond to use the slip and slide that was resting on the opposite shore. So slipping, sliding and falling down went on till somewhere around 11 PM just in time for a some drinking games (Bizz Buzz and Tippy Cup). 

Most of the crew was out by 2 AM when the wind kicked up and started blowing cans and boxes all over the place. We scrambled to put them in the boat and then sat back to watch a wild electrical storm which surrounded us, and looked like fireworks. It was awesome! 

Second day has us steaming upstream after breakfast, Laura remarks that she heard what must have been a grizzly bear the night before with loud roaring sounds, more than likely due to Laura’s drinking too much. We met up with John and Brenda further upstream, they had brought with them, via John’s boat, necessary replenishments (more beer). We spent the day in the channel swimming and diving, and we had a blast. Later we pulled up on a beach where we had seen a volleyball net and joined in with the local natives playing volleyball. Near sunset has John and Brenda returning, and us settling down for a peaceful night’s sleep, not a chance. I think it was around 10 PM when someone decided it would be a good idea to race up the sand bank we were beached on. It was about 200 yards uphill at about a 65 degree angle.  About a half dozen or so started up, and fell down in various places on the hill. Sandeep and Scott decided to roll back down, a decision I think they still both regret. Sandeep spent the remainder of the night trying to get the sand out of his bathing suit. I wonder if that is how he got his name. 

Third day left us dropping off more of the crew, now there were only six of us left. We cruised back down to the cove where we spent the first night and relaxed. We waited overnight and returned the boat in the morning. 

So what did we learn from this experience? 

  • 12 motivated people can drink a lot of beer in a short time.
  • It is really not a good idea to have an uphill race in the sand after drinking all that beer.
  • Kevin can snore louder than a jet engine.
  • But by far the best discovery of the weekend was the name of Doug’s first pet, DC. “DC”, what does that stand for we all wondered? “Doug’s cat”. You have to love the simplicity.

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