How to Survive Team Building Workshops

It’s that time of year again… time for semi-annual office TEAM BUILDING.

@pictou suggested I fake a seizure to get out of the team building, but that is how I got out of the last one and they aren’t going to go for it every time. I’m going to have to start spacing these things out.

This year, team building was hosted by a guy in an orange jumpsuit which solicited several reactions from Twitter. @jbrown3079 asked if I was working in an oil change place, while @Aerten thought he looked like a convicted felon. @debihen confirmed that where she lives, the orange jumpsuit is standard prison wear.

Sorry this picture is blurry. I had to take it fast so the guy wouldn’t see me. I have no idea what crimes this person has committed so it is not a good idea to get on his bad side.

Later, the orange jumpsuit guy started up a bizarre conversation with me about how far a molecule has to travel to get from the center to the surface of the sun. That is how felons talk, I guess.

Each team gets assigned a cell phone. We also had a camera, which I couldn’t figure out how to operate properly because I always take pictures with my cell phone. I don’t know why they couldn’t let us take pictures with the phone. What is the point of technology if you end up carrying around a camera?

The first stop on our long team building journey is to talk to a guy with a briefcase. He had all of these strange patterns displayed out on this table in the middle of Panera Bread. At first, I thought he was going to tell me my fortune. He ended up making us play Boggle.

According to @jbrown3079, I was lucky this guy didn’t sell me a gym membership. @DragonTC seemed concerned I was going to somehow end up handcuffed to the briefcase.

Next, we had to go into Starbucks. Normally, I rather enjoy going into Starbucks. However, on this specific Starbucks occasion, our team was supposed to hold hands in a circle and hum until the person assigned to this bizarre game appeared to give us a clue.

I looked longingly at the people with their coffee typing at their laptops. However, having a nice cup of coffee and wireless access was not in the cards for me. We stood outside humming, as if we couldn’t decide between starting cult or a séance, until this person finally approached us. She then told us a story about a fish.

This woman probably thought our humming was terrible, because it seemed to take her forever to get out there. Maybe she was enjoying her coffee.

I can’t tell you how the story of the fish was relevant to our team building because I was busy taking pictures for Twitter.

This is a picture of hummus. There was beet hummus, and carrot hummus, and also the kind with the chickpeas. I didn’t get to try any of the hummus; however, because we were only in this place to look at the pictures on the walls. Honestly, I don’t know how we didn’t get thrown out. No one wants you in a place where you are looking at the walls and taking pictures of hummus and not even buying anything.


This is the place where @DragonTC said she would meet me with one of those tiny umbrellas that you put in drinks. I don’t know what they cook up in a cocktail kitchen, but I never did find out because this was not one of the places we had to go into to hum or talk to people with briefcases.

At one point in all of this, another team approaches us. Some of the members on this team are VERY enthusiastic about doing an “Inter-Team Challenge” because it would provide the optimum number of points.

Apparently, we would all need to participate in something called a “Dance-Off.” My only response to all this was that I don’t give a damn how many points are on the line, I am NOT doing a dance off. Luckily, our phone wouldn’t let us participate because we were right in the middle of the fish-lady task. However, all of this got me thinking the type of person I should be, or maybe could be, in contrast to the type of person I actually am.

My current attitude towards team building

My current attitude towards team building

Is there something wrong with me because I don’t care how many points our team will get if we participate in a Dance-Off? If I change the way I look at the world around me, would I be happier?

My potential attitude towards team building

My potential attitude towards team building

Maybe instead of taking random pictures of places I would rather be, I could actually participate in the task at hand. I could enjoy the moment. I could bask in the humorous camaraderie of looking ridiculous outside a Starbucks. Can you change who you are by changing the way you look at things? That is exact moment when…… I saw they were handing out DRINK TICKETS.


Oh, wait…. drink tickets!!!

This is me living happily ever after with my glass of wine.

Once you have a large glass of wine, you no longer have to worry about being an entirely different person for the sake of team building. You can pretty much just relax and drink your wine.

Okay, so forget all that other stuff from before about looking at the world in a different perspective. The moral of this story is that if you are ever stuck in a team building, or end up in prison, you can depend on your Twitter friends to help you out.

@debihen will visit you in the big house to check up on your prison tats.

@DragonTC will send you cigarettes to use as currency and a cake that may or may not have a file in it.

@recordpaul will be of no use whatsoever. He will only ask, “Why are you in jail?” Sometimes, you don’t know WHY you are in jail, Paul. You just end up there. The least you can do is quit asking questions and send me cigarettes and some designs for my prison tats.

@edrafalko will point out how many ‘i’s are in random words like ‘wine’ and ‘antisocial.’ This makes a lot more sense within the context that I am not going to provide.

@jbrown3079 will wisely suggest that a vodka bar would be a more practical way of getting people to participate in any type of dance demonstration.

Most importantly of all, remember this: No matter who you are, or what people in real life may put you through, in the words of @DragonTC, “You are (twitter) loved.”


About lgalaviz
All of this hardly seems necessary.

21 Responses to How to Survive Team Building Workshops

  1. debihen says:

    I must remember to thank the Baby Jesus, Buddah, Allah, and anyone else responsible for the fact I don’t have team building workshops where I work. I would’ve been against the Dance Off as well…unless that Gangnam Style guy was the coach and if he gave us cool sunglasses and a flashy jacket to dance in. Then I’d consider it. Nope, on second thought, I wouldn’t. I don’t drink but honey, after a day like that, I might have taken it up. I bet you can’t wait til next years team building!

  2. jbrown3079 says:

    Prison tats makes me laugh everytime I see it. I am not a fan of the team building concept. It seems a huge waste of time, which makes it such a perfect fit for Twitter. I can say if I was there in person we would have definitely wandered off to figure out the cocktail place. The trick, as with most things, would be to make it look like an accident.

  3. There is beetroot hummus? What kind of madness is this?

  4. Aw, you look so happy with your big glass of wine! It makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?


    Although, they could have just skipped the whole team building exercise and given you the drink tickets to start with to achieve the same effect.

    • lgalaviz says:

      I see your point. What could possibly go wrong with a team building happy hour? I’m a lot easier to coerce into doing ridiculous things after a few drinks, except a dance-off. I’m still NOT doing the dance-off.

  5. I agree, orange jumpsuits generally mean one of two things: Prison or you have time traveled back to the 70s.

    That briefcase made me hopeful for you, because it looked like one of those briefcases on that game show where people have to pick the case and hope they end up with the one with many zeros. But he doesn’t look like the people normally associated with those cases, what with being male, so never mind.

    I dislike the idea of a dance off so much that just seeing the t-shirt made my stomach hurt.

    I like the idea of the wine, though!

  6. This teambuilding exercise seemed like a lot of running around and also very confusing. Did you take a van to get there? I think I would have told them, “I forgot something in the van” and then would have gone back to the van and napped.

    It also kind of seems like interactive dinner theater. Once I went to one of those and it was on a cruise ship and the actors kept trying to talk to me when I had a mouthful of bread and finally they gave up on me. The only mystery I solved that day was why didn’t they keep replenishing the dinner rolls in a timely fashion?

  7. Rosie says:

    I would just, over and over, say in my most nondescript accent ” I cornfused. “

    • lgalaviz says:

      I’m going to do this for the next team building. Although, not paying attention because I was off task taking pictures with my phone and typing into Twitter worked to some extent.

  8. Lisa says:

    Damn! I missed another twitter fest?? Also, your team building exercises sound like a lot more hard work than ours. The last one I had to go to involved sitting, pretending to listen to someone, eating a LOT of food and then drinking while others bowled… It was a good day.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go and sulk petulantly for missing out on being able to comment on the cult-esque humming involved by being absent from twitter during all this fun… Also, I’d be careful that your humming hasn’t now gone ahead and summoned some form of demon from the netherworlds, which is completely the secret reason for this “team building” exercise…

    There’s also a chance my nonstop marathon of watching every series of Buffy has warped my opinion on things.

  9. lgalaviz says:

    How do I know if my team building is just annoying, or is the direct result of summoning a demon of the netherworlds through cult-esque humming?

    • Lisa says:

      Usually the sign is in whether or not a demon then rises from the ground where you hum… But it’s not an exact science. Sometimes they use the back door and then a couple of weeks later they turn up at your work and are all “surprise! I’m here to take your soul and your cookies!” And you’re all “but I JUST bought these cookies” and then they’re like “FINE! I’ll just take the soul.” And then you remember Frank from accounting is borrowing your soul at that particular time and so you have that awkward moment when you have to tell the demon to come back at a more convenient time once Frank is finished with it…

      … Or you know, something like that.

  10. Reblogged this on Leaving Normal and commented:
    I am reblogging so I can find this again and laugh as much as I have just done this time. Chapeau dude. You are one funny writer

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