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Chapter 5: Team wasn’t built in a day

Dear Journal

I am still here at the “team building 2010” and still fighting the urge to stab Mr Berkley with my “Crystal Lakes Conference Centre” ballpoint pen. At least doing so would put it to some sort of use, because it sure as hell doesn’t write as can be evidenced by the etchings in my piece of paper and clipboard.

We are supposed to be writing down moments when we felt empowered in a team and then to discuss these with the group. The examples my “empowerment” my team mates have given range from the boring to the mind-numbingly boring. I don’t know if wizards or scientists have managed to measure boredom (probably in tears), but I’m pretty sure I am reaching a lethal dose.

Thankfully we decide to take a break for lunch before it was my turn to share. I’m not sure stories of slaying dragons would fit it after Doris’s story of how she felt empowered by being able put pictures of her 17 cats on her desk…

So we were sheparded towards the buffet table where a veritable banquet of food awaited us. I just hope they have those tiny little cocktail sausages with the mustard sauce. For the love of all that is good and holy in this world let them have those damn sausages. As people grab plates and join the queue there is the strangest dynamic as everyone edges closer to the food. It’s like an uneasy form of panic as you see all the favourite dishes depleting rapidly and the fishcakes remain untouched.

It takes quite a bit of manoeuvring and agility to finally get a plate and join the line and as I do I am met with a most joyous vision… COCKTAIL sausages! They have them?! This day might not be a complete waste after all. But as the line edges forward…painfully slowly; that panic sets in. The sausages are depleting rapidly and people appear to be piling their plates with those tasty little links of deliciousness. Oh for the love of… now someone just rejoined the line after already dishing up! Just to get more cocktail sausages… I start to grip my plastic knife tightly as the urge to kill rises.

I am now just out of arms reach of the cocktail sausages, just one more person… and then horror upon horror Mr Berkley asks to speak to me. That stupid little imp-man I swear that if I miss out on the only joy available on this stupid team day…

He takes me aside to ask me how I am enjoying the day so far at which point I am overcome with a great panic as I see the last two sausages staring at me from the plate. I am at a total loss of words as I way up the pro’s and con’s of plunging my plastic knife into Mr Berkley’s eye socket.

As he reaches to the plate of cocktail sausages and devours the penultimate one, I sigh and die a little inside. That’s it Mr Berkley, you just made “The List”.

Out the corner of my eye I watch as Doris takes the final sausage and… DROPS IT ON THE FLOOR! I die a little inside as I watch it roll under the table. I will look for it later, but mark my words Doris, you too are on “The List” you and your stupid cats!

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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in journal

 

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Chapter 4: Team Building

Dear Journal

Today appears to be slightly different from most days at Centrifico Technologies. Today is team building day… what that means exactly escapes me at the moment, but I do know that it involves dressing casual and in sensible shoes – as per the electronic communication I received yesterday. I wasn’t sure what encompassed “sensible” I simple wore my steel greaves. (Which I soon regretted when I heard we were going to the beach.)

There were no ties or collared shirts as everyone wore luminous green garments with the words “Team Building 2010” on the front. Mine is several sizes too large and could be better put to use as a tent. Everyone was then funnelled into massive steel carriages in the Parking lot. Our “driver” was a grotesque creature named Piet, who stunk of cheap ale and even cheaper aftershave.

The trip itself was rather uneventful, I sat next to a young lady from accounting, named Sally. She seemed interesting for the first minute or so of our conversation and then she began to talk about her work at which point I realised that perhaps my job is not as bad as I had originally thought. It was difficult deflecting her questions as to what exactly my job entailed, but I simply quoted a few of Mr Berkley’s chants about “the exciting, dynamic world of customer service” and this seemed to do the trick. I could see her eyes glaze over, similar to Eddie the coffee dwarf whenever I said the words “trend analysis diagnostics” or “routine customer service reporting”.

All the while I couldn’t help but think that while everyone was away the offices were completely defenceless against any attack from the hordes outside. Defenceless, except for the traps I set up in my cubicle for the Wizard who lives in the air duct above me.

When we arrived at the beach, we were separated into groups which appeared random but later I noticed that there was a definite aim of keeping each group equally racially diverse… at least one troll, dwarf and imp in each group. Mr Berkley was the self-appointed leader of our group.

We were tasked to complete an “ice breaker” which initially got me a little excited. “Finally! Some action!” I though to myself, until I found out that this so called “ice breaker” involved introducing yourself and “something interesting no one knows about you”.

As each person took their turn in introducing themselves and something interesting about them, I couldn’t help but think that the word “interesting” obviously has a very different meaning here at Centrifico Technologies. It seems that no one finds killing dragons and saving damsels in distress as interesting as Mr Berkley’s story about how his cat gave birth to 20 kittens.

Team building sucks but at least it’s not work

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in journal

 

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