Last Friday we had our annual department building activity, which was supposed to take up two hours during lunchtime (a grand Christmas buffet completed with two log cakes and turkey was provided) but ended up running overtime by more than an hour. We had loads of fun. We played our own “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” with Christmas carols, which unfortunately I truly suck at but thank to my group mates, we actually won this game, as well as the ancient “The Pyramid Game”. Does anyone remember this old TV game show?! It was hosted by Benedict Goh! Darn, that was such a long time ago that I had really forgotten how it was played, but the memory was refreshed pretty easily. Because the stuff that we had to guess were mainly company-related and three out of four in my group are the newest in the company, naturally we came in last.  

I had bought small Chirstmas gifts for my team and two other colleagues from another team within the department whom I’m closer to, so I gave them out after the day’s activities before some of them go on leave the whole of the following week. Anyway my Christmas shopping was swifter than a Ferrari. I had the intention of buying the same item for everyone because not only would it be fairer, it would also be easier for me since I’m not that familiar with all my new colleagues as yet to know what each and every of them would paricularly like for a gift. I already had the shop in mind, so when I was in town last Sunday after a buffet lunch with my girls, I popped into the shop when the rest of them went insane at the Mango nearby (Mango sale!).

I was out of that shop, which was too small and awfully packed with ladies like sardines in a tin, within fifteen minutes. I was actually kind of proud of myself. I got practical gifts which were at the same time classy enough, and it was a pretty good deal that didn’t burn a hole in my already thin wallet. I got the ladies in the office Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream:    

I got two of the bigger boxes which contained six tubes each of a different scent, and a smaller box which had three tubes of the same scent. There was a marvellous discount with UOB cards!

I wrapped each tube up nicely. A total of thirteen gifts.

The funny part was that there was a lucky draw for the department building activity where presents were prepared for everyone. The committee started off by giving away the 20th to 18th presents. Which were Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream! Yes, the exact things which I had bought! My heart sunk when I heard the committee announce those three presents! Cyn who was sitting beside me then and was with me that Sunday when I made the purchases gave me a small kick under the table and a knowing look. I just shook my head in despair. When I distributed my gifts at the end of the session, I apologised to the two colleagues who already got the hand cream during the lucky draw and made sure that they got a tube different from what they already had.

If you thought that was funny, wait a while more.

When we got back to our desks, our boss took her gifts out from her office and started distributing them out to us. When she passed mine to me, she laughed and said, “Our team is going to have very well moisturised hands.” I thought she was referring to my gifts and laughed. When a colleague, the first to open up the boss’ present, saw what was hiding within the wrapping, she laughed out loud and drew out a tube of Crabtree and Evelyn hand cream from the package (which also had a book, a candy cane and a handwritten card)! Yes, my boss bought us the same hand cream too!