« Home | Are you going my way? » | Ever the patriot! » | Gather 'round » | Just call me Nosy Parker » | Celebrate the passage of time » | Just for the record » | Somehere, over the rainbow... » | Back down to earth » | So here's the deal » | When the truth isn't enough » 

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 

There's no "I" in team, but there is a "me"

I’ve just been told that I will be going on a 3 day team building exercise with my soon-to-be-ex colleagues. Yippee…. I am so happy. I tried to argue that I am leaving the company soon, but the boss pointed out that I am an employee and a member of the department until the end of this year. Hence, I am going. I actually thought hard about playing the I-know-how-you-get-your-freak-on card (do I get a yay from the congregation?), but then I may need to use it for something more substantial and much more valuable. [Bide your time Chitty and play that card only when you absolutely need it] I am not fond of team building breakaways. The underlying principals that supposedly govern them are good, but let’s face it, people just go along to get time off from work and to behave badly. I can’t even remember half of the getaways I’ve attended. Perhaps that says it all. We will strategize and assign actions, agree on outcomes, goals and the way forward. We’ll get all buddy-buddy and kiss-your-ass with our colleagues, but by the time we get back to the office all will be forgotten. The issues will be stored in a dark cupboard until the next team building getaway. Of course we will have fun too. We will take part in silly, albeit great fun, team building activities. There’ll be lots of boozing, strange and out of character behavior. A few reputations may even be lost along the way. You may even get to like a few people and find out more (way more) about some of your colleagues than you care to know, but that is part and parcel of the package I suppose. Strangely enough there is one event that sticks out in my mind from the last getaway I attended. It was a team building exercise demonstrating the need for clear and effective communication and trust. Each team, consisting of two ppl, had to row a canoe across the length of a swimming pool. One of them blindfolded (the rower?), while the other (your partner) called out directions in getting you across to the other side. Being blindfolded, this was a recipe for a disaster. I knew that the minute I became aware that Rich (my partner) had trouble distinguishing his left from my left and his right from my right. With Rich calling out instructions and by following the sound of his voice, I managed to move forward in a straight line for about the first 2 meters only. Thereafter things just went badly… very badly. By the time I reached the middle of the pool, I was at a friggin right angle to the other canoes in the pool, cutting across their paths as I headed for the side of the pool. People were shouting and screaming for me to get out of their way. Someone even hit me with a paddle. It wasn’t long before collided full on with one of the other contestants. The canoe rocked form side to side; I lost my balance and went under like the Titanic. I swallowed a bellyfull of smelly pool water. When I tried to come up for air, I knocked my head on the bottom of one of the canoes above. Dizzy. My God… I was going to die... blindfolded… at the bottom of a swimming pool at the hand of Sir Richard the Dyslexic. I wondered if one could get Absolut Martinis in heaven, ‘cos if I couldn't, I was going be one pissed-off dead person. And seeing as I swallowed about a gallon of swimming pool water, I was going to walk around with swimming pool-breath for all of eternity. Man that sucks! And then, just like magic, my feet touched the floor of the swimming pool. I stood up and the water only came up to my waist. Fuckit… now that was just plain bloody nasty!!!. Having made peace with the fact that I was about to die and grow wings… being able to stand up was just not on. I wanted people to jump in the pool as they tried to save me, drag me over to the side and give me mouth to mouth resuscitation. I wanted a dramatic TV-style near-death experience that would make my mother proud. I wanted girls to faint and regret the fact that they had not slept with me and would not be able to bear my children. Most of all I wanted Richard to rot in jail for the rest of his miserable life as my untimely death would conveniently be blamed on him. Justice... Chitty style! I exited the pool to much ridicule and hysterical laughter of my colleagues. I hated Richard, who very wisely, decided not to hang around. He may be dyslexic, but the boy is not stupid. Perhaps going on a getaway is not so bad. After all, it is an opportunity to drink Martini's and get revenge on some unsuspecting fool (the boss perhaps?) for the humiliation I had suffered. I always wanted to make my mark in this company… the team building camp could be the perfect opportunity.


Blog Directory & Search engine
Locations of visitors to this page