We were very excited about escaping this particular room as you could hear a waterfall just outside the door – our imaginations ran wild with what we’d find in this new adventure. Little did we know that this experience would turn out to be a monumental test in the managing emotions part of our emotional intelligence. When we entered the room, we found ourselves magically transported onto a ship flooding with water. We had been caught in a massive storm and had to find a way to stop the boat from taking on more water so we could head to calmer waters. We spent the first 10 minutes trying to gain entrance to a door that would allow us to access the controls to stop the water from coming into the ship. Unfortunately, our game master, who we will now call “first mate,” was less than helpful. At one point, one of us had to leave the room to get him to help. Once he joined us in the room, we told him the door wasn’t working (we had spent almost 10 minutes entering the correct code), and he didn’t believe us. So he had us do the code again while he watched (which is what he was supposed to be doing through the cameras over the last 10 minutes.) He was surprised when the correct code didn’t work and left to trigger the door for us.
You would think that the first mate would have learned from his mistake of not paying attention the first 10 minutes, but unfortunately, he did not. Instead, throughout the rest of the experience, he kept sending clues to challenges we had already overcome and had to come into the room twice to deal with other tech failures. We think the room would have been a fantastic experience if we’d had a different first mate in hindsight. However, we chalked the experience up to practicing our emotional intelligence, specifically in managing frustration to keep our minds open to facing the different challenges in the room and interacting with the first mate constructively.