Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Team Building? Oh No!

I was reading an article on the Internet this morning about corporate team building experiences which went terribly wrong.  I absorbed the article with glee and laughed heartily with every horrifying story.  It's not that I enjoy other people's misery, no - not really.  It's just that I can empathize with it on so many levels.  You see, I came from the corporate world before settling into my homemaking responsibilities here in suburban Colorado.  My husband, Eric - God bless him - is still immersed in it.  When I was employed, I was a supervisor of a small group of individuals and had to plan the outings.  I completely understand how team building days can go badly.

Personally speaking, I was never a "team" sort of gal.  I was a sit-in-the-corner-leave-me-alone sort of employee.  Sure, I talked and laughed with my co-workers.  I had lots of toys and gadgets to keep my brain occupied during long, tedious conference calls, but seriously - I despised office politics.  I hated dressing up for work when I sat in a cubicle all day and worked on Web content.  I had no interaction with the "outside world" so why be miserable in uncomfortable clothes?  I came to the office, worked my butt off, and expected the same thing from those around me.  This was never the case.  All I heard was whining. 

"Why is she making more money than me?" 

Really?  First of all - you shouldn't know how much she's making.  Secondly, she works harder than you do.  And finally, how late do you show up for work every day?  How long do you take for your lunch breaks?  What?  You're not a salary employee??  Wow!  You had me fooled!  Heeeellllooo?

Scheduling a team building exercise with people who complained or didn't like one another, well that's easy (sarcasm).  BUT THAT'S WHY IT'S DONE, RIGHT?  To assist co-workers to co-exist efficiently and peacefully?  Hell, I'd rather be stapled to a dry erase board and shot with poison tipped #2 pencils than to endure the agony of playing miniature golf with a bunch of people I wouldn't share a tuna sandwich with - and I don't even like tuna.

Speaking of miniature golf - I'd like to close this blog with a team building story which went terribly wrong for someone whom I love very dearly; my husband, Eric Potts.

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Many years ago, when my husband, Eric, was quite a bit more conservative (uptight?) than he is now, he along with a large contingency of his co-workers attempted to build a stronger and more cohesive work group over a challenging game of miniature golf. 

My dearest has always been very competitive.  Even a friendly game of Cribbage between us can turn into a blistering, bitter competition counting and rechecking the peg moves and card points.  He was no different on this fateful afternoon.

To be honest, my husband has never been a good golfer.  Even the simplest of courses have always eluded him.  If the hole is a par 3, meaning the ball should be hit into the hole within three shots minimum, it can take Eric upwards to six, seven, or even more possible attempts before being successful.  This was the case in front of his manager and friends.

Needless to say, he was mortified.  By the time Eric reached the 18th and final hole, he was thoroughly demoralized.  As he attempted to putt the ball for the tenth time merely inches away from the hole, he missed badly.  My normally calm, mild-manned, never-uttered-a-bad-word-at-work-goody-two-shoes husband raised his miniature golf club over his head and screamed in front of everyone..."FUCK!" 

Oops.