There’s a running joke around the office about sunshine and Ervin’s arms. Basically, if the sun is visible, so are his “guns” (arms). It just so happens that in addition to Ervin’s arms, we had some actual guns out on Monday, too.

As our quarterly quell kickoff activity, we pulled together 22 Rustici Software assassins to play paintball. It was an organized display of stealth and agility, and if real guns were involved, I’d be terrified.


Exhibit #1:

There was an absurd amount of planning from both teams. On Chris’s team, The Asymptote Killers, teammates were provided with a map for positioning and attack routes. We were also assigned battle buddies, with whom we developed extra tactics. Before battle started, we were given the following orders by Chris: “If your teammate is taken down, avenge them.” And so we did—with excellent accuracy.

chris strategy

Exhibit #2:

Andy’s team, Muerte por Pintura (Death by Paint), had no fear. They won the first few challenges purely by being ridiculously gutsy. Bmiller and Tim sprinted through open ground to grab the flag—getting pelted from all sides. Throughout all eight challenges, their sneak attacks reminded me of lionesses stalking prey. Their tactics worked—Andy’s team was the overall winner.


Okay, so it may sound like this was the opposite of team building as we delighted in shooting little bombs of paint at each other. But, my favorite part of the day wasn’t actually the shooting, it was what came after each round ended.

Instead of complaints about getting shot, tears over forming welts, or sourness about losing a challenge, there was laughter and high fives all around. Compliments and praise for shooting someone in the face? It kind of reminds me why this place I work is so interesting (and awesome).

You don’t have to be on the same team, you don’t have to have the same goals. The one thing that’s constant is support and appreciation for producing good work and being excellent.

paintball gang