Last night watching the 2014 Oscars, I fondly remembered the occasion when I won my Oscar. It was such a wonderful party! I’m not kidding. Many people know this to be true. I was honored for directing as well as being the author of an original screen play. Or I should probably say many screen plays. Probably about ten.
You see, at one of my previous work places, we were a hard-working bunch of people. Regularly cutting 60+ hour weeks combined with 24/7 availability on our Blackberries. Sometimes we had “strategy workshops” with top management. They usually lasted for two days. I used to run these off-campus events, which tended to be serious occasions with lots of tough discussions. After leading a couple of these, I figured that we would benefit from some lighter fare in between analyzing economic forecasts and world market conditions.
So I wrote a series of humorous, revealing and a bit outrageous skits. While things were not said right out, everyone would know what the issue at hand was. Then I casted the “play”, selecting the actors among directors and vice presidents who had demonstrated some degree of comical talent and ability to laugh at themselves. They loved our secret practice sessions! We laughed a lot and let loose. We made adjustments together and scanned our closets for suitable costumes and other stuff we could use. The funnier, the better.
Then, in the middle of the serious agenda and completely unannounced, we would appear and perform our “play” for the 200+ head audience of high achievers. While we always had some serious observations about the company and its people embedded in the skits, it was mostly just great fun. The audience loved it. And it became a tradition. A series of skits were now anticipated at these events. The casting changed a bit overtime but all of the actors became “famous” in the company. Many did really well. Although we could never establish a clear correlation between acting and being promoted.
Then, after about five years, it was time for me to leave these guys for a new job. So they wanted to organize one more management conference before I left. We played the last skit “directed” by me and got a standing ovation. That’s when the big surprise came. One director got up and said that the “academy” had decided to award me an Oscar for lightening these typically serious events by writing and directing hilarious skits, which they all had enjoyed, blah, blah, blah.
After the nice speech I received my Oscar statuette. It was just like the real one, but made of dark chocolate. It came in a clear case and with a nice “certificate” thanking me for infusing a playful element in management deliberations.
Needless to say I displayed this Oscar in the bookshelf at my new job for a long time. Until the chocolate started turning lighter. An Oscar gets old too. I miss him just a little bit.