Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.



We’ve started a thing at my company where every quarter we throw a party and somebody on our team of 12 shares a talent or interest that he or she is particularly passionate  about and then we play some fun office games. Today was the first one of these. We ordered in some pretty fantastic barbecue and one of the guys brought his snare drum and his practice pad and showed us how he learned to play drums, and then he screened a music video from his long-ago band that he toured the U.S. with. The music, in the style of that 90s rockabilly revival, was terrific, and so was the video, and we were suitably impressed. Like, bowled over.

Then out came the office games. The woman who coordinated all this drew answers from a bucket to the questions of “What was your first job?” and “What is something we don’t know about you?” and then everyone had to guess who each of these answers was from. My first job, for the record, was taking classified ads for the Atlantic City Press, starting at age 14. (That was my first job. My first income was when I started selling comic books through the mail, at age 11.) Something no one knew about me, and that I’m baldly going to confess here, is that I was once in a dance piece called “The Unicorn” in college, a humiliating experience I submitted to as a last-minute replacement for someone who dropped out, displaying a “talent” I promised myself I’d never repeat. Hey, at least I volunteered for that humiliation, right? Being a good sport and all.

Anyway, we also tied ourselves into a human knot that we had to untangle, which brought to mind uncomfortable thoughts about “The Human Centipede,” and we had lots of laughs. But before that, we played a game where everyone had a sheet of paper taped to his back and we were all supposed to write one or two words of what we thought about this person. Then, when everyone had finished writing on everyone else’s back, we were to pull off the sheets and read what had been said about each of us. Some people were “awesome,” “talented,” “reliable,” and so forth. Because I once used the word “bloviating” in our office about someone who had gone on at length in a meeting and four of the guys hustled to look it up, they’ve now adopted that as their favorite word in the English language — and so, of course, someone wrote “bloviating” on one of those guys’ backs. Which got a laugh.

When I turned around my sheet, here’s what it said:

  • Funny
  • Smart!
  • Observant
  • Charismatic
  • Caring
  • Positive vibes!
  • Insightful
  • Amazing!
  • Dynamic

Now, granted, I don’t think anyone was tempted to write, say, “shithead,” because it wouldn’t be too hard to quickly look around and see who had what color of marker. It was nice to see funny — whereas many people throughout my life would have said “irritating” — and, yes, I guess I’m smart (!) and observant, which has also created trouble for me most of my life.

But… dynamic?

I couldn’t have been happier to see “dynamic.”

Because lately, at age 56, I’m not sure I’m always presenting as so dynamic. I’d like to, that’s for sure. And I think I was dynamic — and maybe charismatic! — 20 years ago. But in 2018? Well, it’s nice to see that someone — and no, I don’t know who — thinks so.

Toward the end of the day, when I went downstairs for some coffee, I heard some of the staff still remarking over these insights from others. I volunteered how thrilled and somewhat puzzled I was to see “dynamic.”

Then I added, “But it’s kinda like the Dynamic Duo — Batman and Robin? — so maybe that’s not so great.”

One of the other guys shot back, “I guess it depends on which one you’d be.”



One Response to “Dynamic!”

  1. Dan Says:

    Our office parties at usually involved shooting bottles off each other’s heads at 30′ (This was indoors.) THAT’s when you find out who your friends really are!

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