Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) Team Building - Behind the Scenes

The ACE Team - Wade, Mike, Dan and Ben
Have you ever wondered how companies improve morale and teamwork at remote camps in the gas industry? For the last three years ACE has conducted team building programs across three sites in outback Queensland. The work involves significant travel, heat, freight, long hours and lots of unexpected surprises. This year was no exception.
City driving - traffic, rain and lightning
The adventure started at 6am in Melbourne on a day with so much rain and lightning that the airport was shutdown for the safety of airline staff. The result was that our first flight of the day was delayed by two hours. The airport was so crowded that there was no space in the departure lounge to sit down.
On the floor at the crowded departure lounge
In this photo, Ben and I are making ourselves comfortable on the floor as we wait for our flight. Due to the flight delay we missed our next flight from Brisbane to Roma. We were put onto the next available flight which was then cancelled. So after waiting in Brisbane for several hours we finally arrived in sunny Roma to a sweltering 41 degrees celsius.
Outback driving - sunny and no traffic
Our next surprise was the hire car. We had four passengers and significant equipment so a ute was not a suitable vehicle. We were unable to get the vehicle swapped so we continued on our journey. We were about to drive through a thunderstorm and some dirt roads so we stopped off in town to buy a tarp to protect our equipment. It was disappointing that the Corporate Travel agent booked a ute even though they were expressly told that a ute would not be suitable.
The hire car - not what we wanted
One pleasant surprise was the food at the camp. In a word... sensational. I particularly liked the juice station complete with fruit, vegetables and herbs ready for juicing. The quality and quantity of the food was amazing. For dinner there were six different main course options. The roast lamb and Jamaican chicken were restaurant quality.
The juicing station - a pleasant surprise

We had eighty delegates in the group so we had planned to show our presentation on two projector screens. We had two projectors and a splitter cable but we had to be flexible with our plans when there were no screens available. We improvised by taping two white table cloths to the wall. This worked well and the show could continue.
My front door
You never know what you are going to find when you open the door to your room but another pleasant surprise was a comfortable bed, television and ensuite. The best thing in the room was the air conditioner. Due to the extreme heat this was essential for a good night's sleep.
Home for a few days

The event was very successful and we met all of our client's objectives for the team building program. After another amazing breakfast comprising french toast, croissants and espresso coffee, it was time to head back to the airport.
The breakfast buffet

We knew the drive would take two hours so we planned to get to the airport 60 minutes early. After 30 minutes of driving we received a phone call telling us that the road to the airport to had been closed due to a road accident. I was told by the State Emergency Service that a vehicle had collided with a bull at 3 am requiring the driver to be air lifted to hospital with significant injuries. The road had been closed for several hours so we were lucky to make our flight back to Brisbane.
Road closure
We made our flight - time to fly home. Another successful program, done and dusted.

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