You might not be an Olympic athlete, but it doesn’t mean you don’t like to win. From sales contests to employee recognition and awards, there are a lot of ways people “win” in the office. But as everyone knows, competition doesn’t have to be formal, or even acknowledged, to be a competition nonetheless… and for every competition, there’s a winner (and a loser). Here are a few of the silly, funny, and downright crazy “competitions” that crop up in the office.
The Bathroom Dash
The event: Making it out of the company-wide meeting after the meeting is over, but before the hordes reach the bathroom doors.
The competitors: Everyone who had that second cup of coffee or that big bottle of water during the meeting.
The winner: The lucky guy or gal who avoided casual conversation about the meeting, their next project, their kid’s softball game, or anything not related to getting to the bathroom.
The loser(s): Everyone left rushing to another floor or wing of the building.
The Responsibility Relay
The event: Identifying a project in its beginning stages and successfully maneuvering so you don’t get assigned to work on it.
The competitors: You and your team—but look out! The judge in this competition is your manager, and you must maneuver undetected or risk a penalty.
The winner: The lucky soul who gets to walk away responsibility-free while saying “Well, just keep me in the loop.”
The loser(s): The team member that joins last. “Anchor leg” in this intraoffice relay usually means you get the worst tasks.
The Java Pour
The event: Managing to eke the very last full cup of coffee out of the communal coffeepot, but without emptying it so you have to brew a new one.
The competitors: The morning coffee crew and the mid-afternoon caffeine fiends.
The winner: Whoever gets that last cup and sprints away leaving a quarter cup in the pot.
The loser: The next person who comes up to get a cup. Actually, the real loser is person who took the last cup. Just brew a new pot, will ya?!
The event: Trying to find that one sliver of time on 6 people’s calendars without having to browse all the way into the next business quarter for an available slot.
The competitors: Administrative professionals and project managers make up a fierce pool of competition for this event.
The winner: The proactive professional who confirms that the 2:00 block on Henderson’s calendar was just a decoy and can be scheduled over.
The loser(s): Everyone who’s stuck browsing 3 months ahead for one measly meeting. Alternatively, everyone who’s sitting through all those meetings so long after the original request they don’t have clue what’s going on.
The Five O’Clock Sprint
The event: Bearing some similarities to the Bathroom Dash, the Five O’Clock Sprint is a a “distance event” requiring a lot of training and planning for its athletes.
The competitors: People trying to beat the commute, those with strict daycare cutoffs, people whose brains shut off at 4:00, people who came in at 8 a.m. or before—this is our largest competing crew yet.
The winner: The person who manages to get out the door and in their car before the parking lot gets jammed.
The loser(s): Whoever heard those dreaded words: “Do you have just a minute before you head out for the day?”
Recognize any aspiring athletes to these distinguished events in your office? What other “events” is your office medaling in this Olympics season?