Re: Corporate Retreat

Have you ever worked for the government? If you have, you know that about 95% of the time it’s ridiculously boring.

This summer, my friend Laura Mc is working for the federal government. She rightly calls this experience soul-sucking. While the money is very good, she sits around all day doing very little, dying from boredom and refreshing her email.

Jes has been working for the feds for over a year, and while she arguably has more to do, she often experiences similar boredom.

I, not quite federal material, work for the municipal government. And I keep finding that I have absolutely nothing to do when I’m not serving tea. (Yes, that’s right, serving tea for the municipal government… it’s because the museum is City owned and operated.)

While our bank accounts, very slim by the end of the school year, certainly appreciate the four months of good pay, the four months of mindnumbing boredom can really get to you.

This is all compounded by the fact that the internet on government computers is heavily blocked and they tend to monitor you for “suspicious activities.” The only life line between us and the outside world is a very official looking email address at “” or in my case “” But the question is, are you going to risk sending personal emails to your friends while you’re supposed to be working?

Discussing this over coffee one night, we came up with an ingenius scheme. The Corporate Retreat.

We’re in the process of planning an Ottawa Valley bar hop for late June, the Epic Adventure of our summer. Let me explain. While Ottawa is the thriving capital of Canada, it’s not quite the metropolis that Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver boast. Until recently (the last 150 years or so) Ottawa was mostly just farm land. The result is that outside of our capital, there’s an area we call the Ottawa Valley, a series of small farming towns that stretch from here to Kingston in one direction, Montreal in the other. Our plan is to use Kaitlyn’s gas card (she’s coming too, her boredom stems from being currently unemployed) to do a country bar hop. On a Friday night in June we plan to hit a series of small Ottawa valley communities. We’re going to go to the one local bar, take a shot, scope out the locals and move on to the next “city.” Destinations in discussion include the lovely Kemptville, Manotick, Carleton Place, Richmond and many more fabulous places.

To make the most of this, we  decided that we will use our wonderful skills in corporate jargon to send each other emails about this, which we have titled the “Corporate Retreat,” essentially making fun of everyone at various levels of government and the hilarious way that emails are written. And masking our “suspicious activities” from our employers. And of course amusing ourselves at work.

And so I’ve decided to blog about the process leading up to this, using our emails. Which are hilarious. Today I’ll start with the email I sent out on Thursday morning. (Tea Party is our code for our plans on Friday night…) Obviously I have removed our actual email address plus anything else that might incriminate us.


Stay tuned for the progression. It promises to be legen… (wait for it… I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second part is….) DARY!


  • By Kaitlyn, May 25, 2009 @ 10:58 am

    Brilliant. We are so hilarious. ANNNND I’m no longer unemployed! Yippee to that :)

  • By Fae, May 25, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

    Haha, niiiice.

  • By Court, May 25, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

    Ha, amazing! I blatantly don’t give a crap what the government thinks about my boredom-prevention emails. It’s their own fault for not giving me enough to do.

    I do try to use code words for particularly risky words– hence how I taught my very male friend Kyle about the snogging scale. He loved it.

    Good luck with your corporate retreat! Don’t forget to provide gift bags. People love gift bags.

    PS- I always imagine that the IT guys/gals are just as bored as I am and fill their time by sifting through other people’s random emails.

  • By Christine, May 25, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

    Yea, it sucks your soul, I am dying a little every day! (Let me know if you need a DD for you Retreat)

  • By Gillian, May 25, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

    Hee, nice! Good luck with your masterplan.

    See, for my federal workplace… they don’t block or read gmail, as far as I know. *whistles* (but watch me get zinged for it this year) So you can get a lot in via your google reader, although alas, not most social network sites. But it makes for good reading.

Other Links to this Post

  1. Hezabelle » Formulating an appropriate action plan — May 26, 2009 @ 8:02 am

  2. Hezabelle » For your immediate actioning — June 3, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

  3. Hezabelle » All of our planning has led to this… — July 10, 2009 @ 8:23 am

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