I had no idea what I was getting into when I answered the phone on my day off. My colleague at the other end sounded out of breath. I first thought that her rapid breathing was due to sinusitis that was taking a long time to heal, but the real reason turned out to be excitement.
“Listen; let’s do a flash mob at work, at the airport Crew Center!
“And by flash mob you mean an assembly of people in a public place, performing an unusual and often entirely pointless act for the purpose of entertainment, artistic expression or satire, and then dispersing immediately after it?” I asked to make sure I had heard her correctly. I noticed that my own breathing was getting rapid and shallow while my brain was saying yes. We would do it.
I then headed directly to the computer to hunt down people who would have the agreed day off. We hadn’t realized it at the time, but the chosen day happened to be National Failure Day in Finland. However, it was no accident that it was very easy to find open-minded crew willing to participate in this joint expression of good spirit.
By the evening, our breathing was symptomatic of hyperventilation and hysteria. I had got my daughter to choreograph a “disco for dummies” sequence of steps, and then driven straight to my friend’s house. After all, we had to make a training video for the participants’ Facebook group page. A living room, some music, two grown-ups, a video camera and lots of laughter resulted in material entirely unsuitable for publication. Naturally, we published it.
There were three of us at the next rehearsal, which, I’ll admit, wasn’t really a great percentage out of a team of more than twenty. We published another video for the missing participants. However, they were only physically absent, as their commitment to the cause was obvious in the comments they had written on the group’s wall.
“Hi, I’m in Hong Kong and therefore can’t make practice…Rehearsing on my own in the hotel room.”
“Greetings from Tampere! I’m training with my dog. He looks happy.”
“Vantaa signing off with morning practice completed; the children appear shocked.”
“How many times do we spin around? It’s hard in high heels. Try it!”
By the third and fourth rehearsals more than half of the team was present, and my breathing became steady again.
We were running out of time, but the goal was in sight.
Finally, we were all present at the dress rehearsal. At the right place, at the right
time, in the right outfit, and in the right mindset: a bit of fun and an element of surprise enhances wellbeing!
For example, like this: