Somehow my boss thought I’d had such a good year that I was worth a jolly to the annual Top Achievers Event. Even more amazingly than that, funds were made available and I actually got to go. And so did Kas.
Sure, we had to book the flights over ourselves, but that was a minor point.
So my folks came down to look after the kids and we set off for Gatwick to catch our plane over.
Once we got to Marrakesh we were immediately engulfed in a tide of corporate organization. The company had laid on minibuses from airport to hotel, and they knew who was going to be on which planes, so they were waiting as we came through customs ready to escort us over as soon we arrived.
The hotel itself was some enormous golf resort place called the Palmeraie Golf Resort, which is around the other side of the city from the airport and it took a good hour or so to get there. As we arrived they had already arranged for a nice sit down and a cup of local sweetened tea while we were being checked in, and we had just enough time to acclimatize to our huge room before going down for the first event of the programme – a motivating talk in a huge auditorium. To be honest, it wasn’t that inspiring, but maybe because I’m used to being cynical about work after years of being used to constant change and tightening budgets.
Things picked up for the rest of the evening, by which I mean, there was some food and drink involved. The hotel had a large central area with swimming pools, and they’d split it up into “geographical” zones with a bar and buffet table in each. We were ushered over to the UK & Ireland zone, where our business lead was running the bar.
There was a lot of alcohol involved. And a lot of food. And (strangely) a lot of carved watermelons. And towards the end of the evening there was some live music, which kept us awake for ages – most unwelcome given how knackered we were. Oh yes, as parents of two young children you can guess which side of the coin we landed when it came to that the choice between having a night of partying because we didn’t have the kids, and getting a good night’s sleep because we didn’t have the kids.