Scotland Team Build
It is March 2020 and the Senior Management Team at RPS are on a call discussing how to approach the Team Build this year. Tangentially, there is also a discussion about pool car demand for our growing team:
Joe Whalen: “Can we buy pool cars for less than £1,500?”
Everyone: “That’s a terrible idea. Don’t even think about it.”
Joe Whalen: “Let’s try anyway. By the way, see you in Scotland.”
And so, our Scotland Team Build is born.
Dave: BMW 530d with 235,000 miles – cheap but not cheerful
Sven: Volvo S80 – safe Swedish barge
When we set off from the RPS office on Thursday 10th September it was sunny and dry but we knew exactly what we were headed for and sure enough, as soon as we crossed the border we were met with some more typical Scottish weather. On the first leg of the journey we met the rest of the team at Sheffield and took a group photo, which was photo bombed by a certain TV celebrity, who, as ever remains a mystery.
We took walkie talkies with us, to keep in touch with each other and it proved a great way to criticise each other’s driving, naturally. It is worth noting here that Chris has come away from the trip with mild PTSD from Jake’s van driving.
420 miles later, we finally made it to a long, winding, single track road on the banks of Loch Arkaig to complete the final leg of the journey. We had been warned about the sharp bends and blind summits, so naturally Richard was in charge of the rented minibus.
10 hours into the drive and we were getting concerned that our accommodation might not exist, but after an hour, on the banks of the loch, we began to see the first glimpses. It was all alone and surrounded by Munros on every side.
With stunning views out of every window and the nearest shop an hour and 40 minutes’ drive away it really was essential we came prepared because this was clearly a very remote location!
On the first night, different members of the team gave an update on the company’s performance over the last 12 months and this gave the team a real boost, especially since we have continued to grow throughout the pandemic, thanks to our growing client base and skillsets.
New starters to the Business, George and Louise gave a presentation on how they had been finding their first few months at RPS:
“It’s been a fantastic experience getting a summer placement with RPS. I have developed new skills such as estimating which I had a small understanding from university, but RPS has given me a chance to really challenge myself. “
“Joining RPS has been a brilliant move for me. As an SME the versatility of the business has meant I’ve been given the support I need to develop my own professional skills in a meaningful way.“
Harry Potter Train
On the second day we travelled back to Fort William to board the “Harry Potter train”, formerly known as the Jacobite, which took us through the rugged hills and Munros of the Western Highlands and along the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, with views of the Glenfinnan memorial. The destination was Mallaig, passing through the furthest West railway station in mainland Britain, Arisaig. We took our own scones on board, thanks to the inspiration of our Managing Director, an idea much appreciated by all. That evening the team enjoyed spending quality time together and ended the night with some classic team based games, of course competitiveness never got in the way of fun.
We headed back home on Saturday, stopping for lunch at the Inverlochy Castle hotel, where we parked the pool cars next to a classic Bentley. The trip provided a great opportunity for the team to get together and boost team morale. It proved that it can be done…well, Sven survived and was promoted to company pool car, sadly, an interaction between Dave and a lonesome badger in the Northamptonshire countryside was to be Dave’s last fight and we have retired him due to a mounting number of engine, transmission and cooling issues.
Can you buy a company pool car for under £1500? Yes.
Should you? Probably not.
Interview with Joe Whalen –
Joe loves interviews so we took one at the team build where Jake put some difficult questions to him. Check out the video.