How to Survive Team Building Workshops
January 11, 2013 21 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”