I spent Sunday night trapped in a car for 4 hours.

But it could have been a whole lot worse.

I’d driven across the Bay to meet my friends Amy and Tara for dinner and a show in Oakland — we’d each invited our husbands, but they’d all declined, so it turned into a “girls’ night out.”

When we left the theater, we walked together (safety in numbers!) to Amy’s car, and then they drove me to the lot where my car was parked, a few blocks away.

I was looking forward to a leisurely 45-minute drive home, and then climbing into bed, when Amy said, “Is that your car—the one with the broken window?”

It took me a moment to understand what I was seeing: the driver’s side window—shattered—a four-inch webbing of glass still clinging to the top of the doorframe.

[Cue sound of screeching brakes.]

The direction of my night was about to take a dramatic turn.

While Amy filed the police report on the website from her phone, I assessed the damage and called AAA.

After much problem-solving as a team, we determined that the most sensible thing was for me to just sweep out the glass and drive home…

…until I cranked the ignition, and discovered that the vandals had stolen my catalytic converter!

Back on the phone with AAA I went.

The good news? I was eventually able to get a tow truck that could take my car all the way home.

The bad news? It wouldn’t get my car home until tomorrow… and we had to wait four (4!) hours for the truck to arrive!

Four. Hours.

It was 2:00 AM before I was finally en route home, in the passenger seat of my husband’s car — he’d driven across the Bay to pick me up. (Yes, multiple people’s sleep routines were disturbed thanks to those anonymous car vandals.)

As it turns out, three girlfriends — even very tired and cranky girlfriends who did not want to be there — can turn four hours of waiting for a tow truck into a pretty fun experience.

We shared confidences.

We played improv games (yes, in the car!)

We made fun of the AAA hold music.

And in the end, although there’s nothing ideal about sitting in a car for four hours on a dark city street, waiting for a tow truck to arrive (and I really, really wanted to go to bed)…

It could have been a whole lot worse.

And beyond that, I actually had a blast laughing with Amy and Tara.

(Tara even quipped that maybe I’d stolen the catalytic converter myself, just to get some extra time with them! 😉)

A Captive Audience

The whole experience made me think about the learning experiences organizations put workers through.

Onboarding trainings. Off-sites. Leadership and team development. Skill building.

Often attendance is required — participants are effectively trapped in a meeting the way Amy and Tara and I were trapped in that car.

The last thing you want in that situation is the equivalent of a content blast.

Boredom is your enemy!

6-hour PowerPoint® might be easy to put together, but it never helped anyone retain information.

Instead, savvy leaders understand the importance of making learning fun.

That’s exactly why I use my play-based F.U.N. Method™.

Need some hard research on the effectiveness of play at work before you’re willing to commit? Stay tuned — that’s what I’ll be sharing next time!

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If you’d like to experience some brain-friendly exercises that activate learning while building connection, come to my next Non-Boring Virtual Meetings Learning Lab.

Interested to learn more? Message me to chat about how I can use my signature system to help your employees infuse connection, joy and delight into virtual meetings, trainings and events at your workplace.

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