11 (Fri) December 2015
with all staff
At the WPRO Annual Year-End-Party (YEP), the highlight of the evening — the raison d’être — are the performances staged by all the divisions in the office. Every year has a theme — this year : fantasy. The performances are typically theatrical song and dance numbers, with costumes and props and make-up and the whole nine. A panel of external judges votes on a winner. Serious stuff.
Our division takes YEP more seriously than the rest, to the point of obsessive insanity.
The first concept meeting was convened on the very day that the theme was announced back in August.
By the end of September, we had a script, the storyline reflecting the division’s mandate to promote healthy living.
Scene 1 (to the theme song of Game of Thrones) : royal banquet, everyone feasting on red meat and processed meat — this intro added later, a self-deprecating reference to that silly report released in October (see generally 6.301 Chicken).
Scene 2 (to “Sugar” by Maroon 5) : while everyone devours cake for dessert, symbolized by dancing with spoons, KE (our nutritionist) walks across the stage flashing a sign informing the audience of the WHO recommendation on restricting sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons per day (FYI : a can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons).
Scene 3 (to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson) : everyone collapses, dead from diet-related noncommunicable disease (see generally 6.224 NCD Risk Factors), then arises as zombies to do a few moves from the “Thriller” video, only to collapse again.
Scene 4 (to “Staying Alive” by Bee Gees) : KE tosses fresh fruits to the fallen bodies, who rise reinvigorated, disco grooving.
When the victory was announced, we stormed the stage to celebrate, jumping and screaming with abandon, tears a-flow, for what seemed like eternity.
For me, it was a bittersweet end to an amazing two years working with the most dynamic and passionate professionals that I’ve ever had the privilege and pleasure to know. Come January, I’ll be transferred to a different division, working on health systems, where I’m fully confident that my new colleagues will also be dynamic and passionate, but it just won’t be the same.
Case in point, the DHS performance was inspired by Harry Potter, gloriously cerebral in concept, abstract and academic — a worthy 2nd place finish.