Playing Capture the Flag with Co-Workers was Payback

One thing we can always say about our boss is that he can be a pain in the ass when it comes to driving his staff towards achieving success. But even with that, we loved him for the way he always rewarded us after achieving the set goals. Looking forward to these rewards makes us want to do more each time. Although the goals might be individual, we still worked collectively to achieve each of the set goals, because when the reward comes, we also share in the happiness as one.

This was the tenet on which the company was built. In this fashion did we work to win the recent contract that would change the face of the company from a local solution providing company to a global one.

It was mind-blowing for all of us when our boss came to the office to declare that we had been awarded the contract. Champagne was opened. McDonald was ordered, and glass cups were clicked.

It was on a Friday morning. Our boss decided that we should start the weekend early.

“We should go somewhere and have fun,” Peter, the data analyst suggested.

“We should go play paintball to celebrate,” Rita, the HR manager also suggested.

Paintball had become the company’s tradition. It was the way we celebrated whenever we won something big. Although we usually do not close early, so most paintballs we play comes up on Saturdays. We all gathered at the paintball field from our different residences by 9 am in the morning.

Today seemed to be different; what we all had been working hard to achieve had been achieved, and it called for a special celebration.

We all decided we would go play paintball to start the celebration, and then we would find something else to do on Saturday.

The gears we needed were always at the paintball locker room, so we only needed to drive down and start our fun game.

The whole staff was fifteen in number, including the boss, who played with us sometimes and who was going to play with us on this occasion.

The boss got a squad of seven wearing blue jackets against eight wearing red. I was part of the eight that would be seeking to get to the flag before the other team and bring it back to us. The team that lost this game would be the organizer of the party we would be having in a couple of days, while the winning team would relax and only come and enjoy.

I have always known that the boss was a badass when it comes to playing paintball because a team player that he is always manifested in the way he coordinated his team. Just like in the office, the boss knew how to manipulate every situation to work to his team’s advantage. He would always say he was equal to two people, which was the reason why he declined when we offered to make his team eight the first time.

At this cleverness of our boss, we were prepared. He had taught us a lot about team playing both in office and in combats like this, and we were ready to show it.

The flag was placed in the middle of the vast center of the arena where the game was being held.

The strategy was for us all to cover for a teammate, while he goes for the flag, pass it to another person in the team, and that second person becomes the person whom we would work hard to protect so he can bring the flag home.

I was the leader of my team, so it fell to me to make the calls.

“Simon,” I called our project manager in the office “you go for the flag. When you have secured it, pass it to Rita at six o’clock to the center.” I pointed to where Rita would be in case he didn’t understand what 3 o’clock meant.

“Luke, be ready as a backup, in case something happens to Simon outbound or inbound.”

“Got that,” he said.

“But your first priority is to watch his back. We will watch yours.” He nodded.

“Roger that.”

“Tony, you go as a backup for Rita. But do not forget your first priority.”

“Watch her back and make sure nothing happens to her at all cost.”

“Roger that,” he said.

I gave him a thumbs up. “The rest of us will watch your back.”

“Graham, Jude, you are with me. We will maintain a flank to keep our queens in sight all the time. Let us bring down as many of Boss’ squad as possible.”

One thing I was sure of was the fact that our opponent was doing just the same thing we were, and the boss would not be leading the squad. That will be predictable. And he will not be going for the flag either.

To win capture the flag in a paintball game, each team must be able to anticipate the movements of the opponent. It was a fact that there would be a flank man covering for the person going for the flag.

The game started, and quickly make out the position of everyone in the other team except the boss. I concluded he was coming for the flag after all. I had been wrong.

I quickly signaled to the others. “Watch for the head, and he comes for the kill.” They passed the information around.

Unknown to me, he was not coming for the flag like I had predicted earlier. He was reading our movements and making out everyone’s role in my team, and advising Peter, who led the team on how to proceed. His other job was to shoot from long range, while the others proceeded without making anyone the main target.

For others, this might bring disorganization and confusion to that team for not having a point man, but to a team led by Peter and the boss, it was a perfect strategy.

They didn’t go for the flag, they came for us, making sure they pinned the flank men down and all the while, the boss took out the point men from range, pinned down the backup and secured the flag to their base safely.

We lost the game, and we had to carry out the preparations for the party.

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