The Boomerang

It was something mentioned around the water cooler in hushed tones. There was a wall of boomerang infamy that hung in a pictured row of mugshots next to the conference rooms. Who was going to get hit next? It made all the new hires nervous. Were they going to come back alive? Would insurance cover any injuries sustained on the excursion? No one knew when it would happen or where the Boomerang would take you on its promised magical mystery ride.

That’s the whole point. Office routines of endless meetings and deadlines can superglue even the most creative SWAT team into a rut. The Boomerang is a way to shake things up for one person on a small scale, making them ambassadors of excitement for the folks back at their desks. It was a travel concept that our creative director, Heidi, carried back with her from a long ago trip in Australia, home of the original weapon of ancient lore. There, the office Boomerang worked like this:

An unsuspecting person gets “boomeranged” or selected for an adventure that takes them away to the outback, something completely un-work related. Days later, when they return to the office, they’re refreshed and energized with tales from the outside world. For Sequence, the idea got adapted for our location in fabulous San Francisco. People have been whisked away on amazing adventures, all reachable within a couple hours. Las Vegas by plane to visit the Zappo’s Shoe Factory? Sure. A Segway tour of wineries in Napa, complete with helmet? Check. Horseriding along the Pacific Ocean? Kapow.

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The first Boomerang set the bar really high. Literally. We took our resident writer out of his desk and by 10 AM, had catapulted him miles up in the stratosphere on an airplane, poised to jump out for a tandem skydive.  Others have stayed on land, but barely. Stephanie learned how to twirl balls of fire in fire dancing class. Karin became a trapeze artist for a day. Bin kayaked frosty shark-infested waters.

Karin_BoomerangThe Boomerang doesn’t care if you’re a designer or an accountant. When the envelope with the instructions shows up on your desk one morning, just know that your calendar has been cleared and a cab is waiting for you outside. If you thought you were going to finish up that important assignment today, too bad. The clock can start ticking again once you’re back from outer space.

And me? I was the recipient of 3 Boomerangs in one: golf lessons, flower arranging class with a roomful of Japanese senior citizens, and a ticket to one of the most moving documentaries you’ll ever see: Wasteland. Not a bad way to make a random day into a much more riveting one.

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