Show them who's boss

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Get back at your managers for overusing all those sports metaphors. Take one for the team and challenge them to some ‘friendly’ competition, says Laura Dannen

First published on 19 Jan 2009. Updated on 27 Sep 2010.

You hear the words ‘Go for gold!’ daily yet receive a coffee voucher in lieu of a Christmas bonus – no wonder you have all that pent-up aggression. But rather than taking it out on your boss at the workplace (and getting fired), try these healthy ‘corporate outing’ alternatives instead.



LASER TAG
Best for: managers vs staff
Laser tag is like a video game come to life and the ultimate way to level the playing fi eld – there’s no blood, little sweat and (hopefully) zero tears involved. There isn’t even an age limit; with Combat Skirmish, a five-year-old can take on a 50-year-old. First, you get your choice of laser gun (there are 12 types and sizes to match your taste and mood) and then break into two teams. The mission: to duck and fire until the sensor strapped to the chest says ‘ouch’ too many times. But what exactly are the advantages for the staff? Well, all those Halo pros can decimate their bosses by shooting while diving behind a bush, and then tossing a ‘grenade’ (yes, additional weapons are available) to finish the job. Victory!
Combat Skirmish (6779 1031, www.combatlasersingapore.com). Minimum 10 people for a corporate booking, $60-$75 per person.

PAINTBALL
Best for: investment bankers and consultants It’s been a rough last couple of months for the fi nance industry, and bankers probably need more than just wussy laser beams to vent their frustration. It also takes a pretty agitated person (or a former NS-er) to say, ‘Let’s hit each other with high-speed paint pellets that cover us in blue goo and leave golf ball-sized bruises on our bodies! Yay!’ There are several paintball options around the island – and even a legitimate Paintball Association of Singapore – but we suggest that your company check out Red Dynasty in Yishun. The arena is huge – about the size of a football pitch – which makes it easy to convince your boss that it can serve as a metaphor for the global economy, and that each manoeuvre represents a market strategy. Then pull a ‘United States’ and shoot him or her in the back.
Red Dynasty Paintball Park, Bottle Tree Park, 81 Lorong Chencharu (6755 7537, www.weplaypaintball.com). From $25.90 for 50 paintballs per person. Also try www.paintball.com.sg or www.crossfire.com.sg.

GO-KARTING
Best for: showing up your wunderkind chief To quote one of my co-workers, go-karting at Kart World in Jurong is ‘dangerous! But fun’. That element of thrill, combined with their childlike curiosity, will draw the young, overachieving head of staff out of the offi ce for an afternoon. Kart World isn’t actually dangerous; it has a proper track and drivers wear helmets. But there’s defi nitely a freewheeling atmosphere and you can rip around with just a basic knowledge of driving: one pedal means ‘stop’ and another means ‘go’. Don’t get so close that you see the whites in your boss’s eyes, but do take every advantage to cut him or her off, simply shouting, ‘Oops, sorry!’ as you whizz by and laugh gleefully.
Kart World, open field, Yung Ho Rd (behind KFC) (6266 2555, www.kartworld.com.sg).

BOWLING

Best for: You vs your boss
A bowling alley is a prime place for a grudge match: it’s wrought with tension as all eyes are on one player shuffl ing slowly towards a narrow lane in another man’s shoes. One’s backside is constantly under scrutiny, as is his form when he tosses a ball that weighs as much as an old computer monitor down a narrow alley, sending a thunderous rumble throughout the room. Why aren’t more movies filmed in bowling alleys? Such drama! Anyway, anyone can be good at bowling and anyone can look awkward doing it, so this sport is a great equaliser if your boss follows an intense ‘love thyself’ mantra. SuperBowl has bowling alleys dotted around the island in Hougang, Marina Square, Jurong and Mount Faber, so there’s always an opportunity to redeem yourself outside the offi ce, knock down some pins, and (with luck) knock back a few pints once the game is over. Remember, it’s all in the name of good fun (www.superbowl.com.sg).

By Laura Dannen
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