London Vision Clinic Staff Take To The Streets!

“Um, excuse me. Sorry – can I just ask – why have I seen groups of pirates, cheerleaders and ancient Romans wandering the streets of Whitechapel today?”

Professor Dan Reinstein, giving his pirate glare

Not the usual question we get asked on an average working day- but today was the exception. Today we found ourselves racing around trendy Spitalfields in costumes of all descriptions attempting to solve an envelope full of clues and tasks. Today was the London Vision Clinic team building day.

It’s not every workplace that would encourage a range of ridiculous activities such as hugging strangers, climbing on top of the lions at Trafalgar Square, asking strangers to give you a piggyback, taking funny photos in window reflections of shops, kissing store mannequins, acting out a scene of a Bollywood wedding… I could go on. These were all tasks to be ticked off whilst unraveling a series of clues that transpired to be the murders of Jack the Ripper. Grisly? Sure, but a lot of fun.

All London Vision Clinic staff were divided into 6 teams several weeks before the event. A team leader was nominated and themes and team names were chosen amidst a shroud of secrecy and conspiracy: dozens of emails were exchanged, covert meetings were organized, hours of internet research on costumes was undertaken. We’re a competitive bunch here at London Vision Clinicand when it came to the high stakes of a team building day, we were all determined to be in the victorious team.

London Vision Clinic Staff On The Day

London Vision Clinic’s Patient Care Coordinators as Bollywood brides!

On the day, there was a great air of anticipation and we couldn’t wait to show off our costumes and see what everyone else was wearing. In addition to the Romans, Cheerleaders and Pirates mentioned above, we also featured Bollywood Brides, Pink Ladies and the 118 guys (you know, from the commercial on television). Our esteemed surgeons Professor Dan Reinstein and Mr Glenn Carp weren’t above dressing up for the good of their teams: they could be found imitating a Jack Sparrow-esque pirate and ancient Roman Gladiator respectively. The links between our costumes and Laser Eye Surgerywere tenuous at best, but that didn’t seem to matter; the only thing that mattered was winning.

Each team was given a yellow manila envelope bursting with maps, clues, lists of tasks, as well as a few rather mysterious items such as scissors, toilet roll, and ribbon. We rushed off in our teams to all corners of the clinic to unravel the mysteries (with the help of Wikipedia and Google of course). The clues, once solved, directed us to the sites of the Jack the Ripper murders, which we had to travel to (yes, all dressed up still), take photos of, and then rush back to the meeting point by 5:30. There were additional tasks that had to be completed along the way – that’s where the piggybacks and canoodling with mannequins come in – and by the end of the day each team had a series of highly amusing photographs to document their success at completing the tasks and solving the riddles.

Upon Completion Day, The Results Were Announced…

Cheery London Vision Clinic cheerleaders at the Whitechapel

Upon completion of the day, we found ourselves at one of the local pubs in Marylebone. Calculating the scores took an agonizingly long time as each team was called up to show their evidence one at a time. In the meantime we contented ourselves by enjoying that well-deserved glass of wine, comparing stories and showing each other all the funny photographs we’d acquired during the afternoon.

Finally though, the time had come. The air was thick was tension and anticipation as Hetal and Majean announced the results in reverse order. In third place were the Bollywood Queens, in second place were the Red Hot Oompa Loompas and in first place were XXV (of which I was team captain, thank you very much!). Of course, there were tears of joy, tears of disappointment and much jeering, cheering, congratulating, and commiserating.

Above all, however, there were plans already being put in place for next year’s team building event… Watch this space!