Several years back, I was hired to conduct a site inspection for an incentive trip to the Cayman Islands. It was a large company – they had had a meeting planner, but I was to do the site inspection. And the client was coming with me.
He was a very nice guy, but reticent and not very outgoing. The client and I set out on our task at hand – there was a list of hotels to see and we had our usual lunches and dinners. Then the day came for the special sporting activity. Keep in mind that this was for an incentive – in order to properly report on the various experiences that these high-earning attendees might partake in, it would be important that those of us on the site visit do the same. The No.1 activity on the list was swimming and snorkeling with the stingrays. The Caymans are famous for it. So when I was told that the client would like me to participate, I just assumed he would join me.
When we came on board the boat – it looked kind of like a big rowboat – the client was dressed for “casual Friday” – an oxford shirt, khaki trousers, and socks and loafers. He wasn’t even wearing flip-flops. And there I was in my bathing suit, trying to maintain a professional demeanor, assessing all of the safety and risk issues and, of course, the fun factor so I could include them in my report.
The client just sat in the boat the whole time – he didn’t say a word about why he wasn’t going in the water.
Curiosity got the better of the other people on board and they finally asked why this man was dressed the way he was while I was going into the water. When I explained, standing there dripping wet, what we were doing there, the response was, “What a fun job you have!”