It's March 14, which means that the Ides of March is nearly upon us, which is good to remember if someone asks you to attend a session of the senate at Pompey's Theater tomorrow. Also, if you live and work in the United States, then there's not very much time left to break out the abacus and prepare your income tax returns. Unless you file for an extension, the day of reckoning is April 15.
What we really love about the middle of March here at TestOut Continuing Education, however, is that spring, as they say, is when TestOut's fancy turns to bowling. (Is that what they say? Eh, it's something like that.) Yes, every year in March employees from all departments of the company come together at Jack and Jill Lanes to enjoy good food, chat with friends, a throw a couple of games.
The atmosphere is competitive, but not over-the-top competitive. (Nor is it Over the Top competitive, as in replete with straining biceps and songs by Kenny Loggins.) Sure, you might get a free day off by throwing a turkey, but no one is going to lose their shirt (either literally or figuratively) over blowing a chicken sandwich, or seeing a teammate fail to drop the nickel, or get a dinner bucket on the first frame.
Traditions like TestOut Bowl are deeply woven into the fabric of the company, and that makes it a better place to work. There's probably no one surefire means of maximizing employee performance and buy-in, but bringing the whole team together for some light festivities certainly makes everyone feel better about getting out of bed and going to work the next morning.
There's no IT certification for successful management and team building, or at least not one that you can get by filling in circles on a Scantron form. TestOut founder and CEO Noel Vallejo, however, could probably come up with an excellent credential addressing precisely those topics, if he ever put his mind to it. Thanks for another great day at the bowling alley, Noel. Now everybody get back to work.*
* Inside joke. You'd have to work at TestOut to get it.