Leveling up – Part 6

As the photog was performing a final check of his gear, he couldn’t help but wonder what the party would turn out for his curiosity about Sara and Taylor. The team building exercises they were doing was incredibly good and well planned. The two offices were having a great time and the workshops were very effective.

From a fashion perspective, it was impressive to note that the bigger more conservative office kept their professional decor about themselves. Everyone was dress sharp, fashion savvy, with a comfortable sophisticated flare. The guys were in button down shirts, slacks of various makes. A few had bow-ties that didn’t look dated. Others played the suspender angle quite nicely. One thing you’d get is that they were not shy about how much money they made but weren’t showcasing it.

The ladies were all designer everything. Red bottomed shoes were the main staple. The surprise to many was that most of them wore skirts instead of pants. Blouses varied and showed the individuality of the owners. Hair styles varied also by individual. They all looked like they took great care of their appearance. This was not a shallow display of money. The conversations between them and office mates were significant, productive, and sincere. Very much  unlike other parties that had a lot of fancy wear but very shallow chats

This was in stark contrast to the sister office that favored very casual very relaxed attire that was even a little relaxed by techie standards. No make-up. Shorts. Some flip-flops. Tees. That office came to this venue ready to relax and have a great time as if they weren’t around anyone from work. To their credit, some did make an effort to iron their clothing and look sharper as the days of training wore on. No one made the choice of fashion a topic of conversation or be a distraction from taking selfies and many group photos together.

While all of this was great material for artistic photos, the photog was more focused on studying the lay of the land. Taylor had given him good in-depth analysis of who was who and what the company wanted their photo journal to look like.The only person missing was Taylor. Everyone else made it to the exercises. Had Taylor not pointed out the habits of Chris, not even the photog’s trained eye would have picked up on the very subtle advances he was making towards Sara. This man was skilled in the arts of socializing.

Every team member had the chance to do a training event with another team member. The rotations were built on what would optimize the connection, friendship, and company goals. The algorithm was designed by Taylor actually. The final tweaks to the schedule was made by Chris. He had successfully managed to adjust the template enough to give him a few extra moments with Sara throughout the whole retreat. Whatever was said during those times, only heaven knows, but one thing was for sure, you couldn’t say he was overtly taking advantage of anything.

That’s the little detail that made the photog take more careful notes and more frequent photos of their interactions. The maneuvering was clever. One couldn’t pinpoint anything without looking bad. Thankfully, photos don’t lie. And before the party began, the photog had reviewed painstakingly every single one of the photos that included both Sara and Chris.

After seeing them in a slideshow, it became more clear. Chris did have a crush on Sara and was very smooth about hiding it. He knew just how to maneuver inside her personal space so that to the outsiders, he was just being kind, sweet, friendly, but she was aware of his presence and he was aware that she was aware. The micro facial expressions were very well timed. He knew just how to make sure that she was the only one to receive the message. HR would have no problems with this, based on what Taylor had explained.

The million dollar question that needed to wait until after the party was this…. why did Chris sit this opportunity out. Why would he let his chance to make an impression slip away. Especially when it was also more clear that Sara identified with the culture of the main office more than hers. She dressed more like they did. Talked very comfortably around them. And seemed to really enjoy her time with Chris. There was no hint at all that she even noticed that Taylor was not there. Could it be that Taylor’s ideas about himself with Sara more a bit of fantasy? This in light of the fact that nearly everyone else wondered why Taylor sat out this retreat…even Chris asked….

<to be continued>

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