They approached me yesterday, two co-workers I didn't know--the building's not that big, but big enough so that people can work in the same space for years and not know each other.
"The Ping Pong and Air Hockey Tournament is tomorrow. Are you interested in playing?"
"No," I said. "I plan on being a spectator."
They left, I returned to work. I wasn't even sure when the tournament was, even though signs were hung in areas around the building last week. I just never paid much attention. I found out this morning as the competition heated up, the Ping Pong/Air Hockey Tournament had begun.
Most buildings where many people work have break areas. It makes sense--don't want people eating at their desks. Designers design buildings with break areas. What struck me, the first time I went inside the upstairs break room (bigger than the downstairs break room...) was both the ping pong table and the air hockey table sitting unused in the southeast corner of the room.
I actually wondered if anyone used them, or if they were like many sports tables found in people's basements covered with boxes or clothes or whatever else that transformed them from sporting equipment to large shelves.
I soon found out...
They were used.
It's not everyday someone plays table tennis, but most days they do. A friend of mine enjoys the activity very much, but others do as well. The idea of a tournament sounded like a great idea, especially on another day of bad weather. Just taking the employee's minds off their upcoming evening commute is a good reason for a diversion, let alone their own work.
I don't know how long the tournament lasts. I could, of course, look at the signs hung throughout the building. Then again, I could just stay at my desk and wait for all the shouting to go away. Either way, I'll eventually find out.