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As you may have noticed (and if not, why not?!), we have just opened up a competition to win one of 3 fabulous Leading Brains HBF Team profiles. To win this magnificent prize, all you have to do is tell us your most entertaining team ‘horror story’ (link). It could be anything from The Boss from Hell to complete dysfunction – and everyone loves a good horror story, right?

To kick us off, I want to share with you today not one of my personal misadventures (of which there are many), but a true horror story I read in the news over the weekend. 

It all begins when a well-meaning team club together to organise a gift for a colleague. These chaps all work together at a defence manufacturer in France, so they decided that their team mate would be the lucky recipient of a demonstration flight in a fighter jet.

Now I know there are those of you out there who would think this is a brilliant gift, our unlucky friend however, at the ripe age of 64, had never once expressed an interest let alone a desire to fly as a passenger in a fighter jet. On this occasion though, he just felt he couldn’t say no. The chaps had obtained special ministerial approval and he didn’t want to seem rude after all. So just 4 hours after having this surprise gift bestowed upon him he found himself being hurtled through French airspace at eyewatering speed. And then he accidentally ejected himself from the cockpit.

Yes, you read that right. As the pilot was levelling off to cruise, unused to the unfamiliar sensations one experiences as a passenger in a military jet, he groped around for something to grab onto for security. What he grabbed in his fear and panic though was the ejector seat handle. It appears someone or something was looking out for our chap that day though as his parachute deployed and he landed in a field with only minor injuries. In a further twist of remarkable fate, despite the fact that both occupants are supposed to be ejected when either one pulls the handle, the pilot’s mechanism failed and he was able to land the jet safely. Quite the exiting day.

There are many other details to this story (which if you would like to read in its entirety, there is an article here). He was not adequately mentally or physically prepared for the experience and some important steps were rushed or omitted. But what is important to our angle on the story is; what on earth were his team thinking? Best case scenario they really thought it would be a good thing but just didn’t know their colleague at all despite presumably having worked together for years. Worst case scenario they pressured him deliberately into doing something he was terrified of with dramatic consequences. Either way, something is definitely not OK with this team!

Think you can beat this one with a story of your own? Drop us a line on this form here and tell us your best (worst?) team horror stories. The top 5 will be featured and top 3 will win a prize, the competition will run until the end of April. So get writing – we are waiting with baited breath!

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