Why I Hate Getting to Know You
Not you. I LOVE getting to know you. I hate getting to know you games. Team building. All that malarkey. My daughter had a day of it today, raft building as a bonding experience. Now I have bonded with many things in life- my children, bands, biscuits, my daughter’s school shoe after a superglue incident, but none of them involved making a floating island of some sort. The only time I will bond with people over making sea worthy platforms is if I get marooned on a desert island after a plane crash a la Lost. (which incidentally I lost all interest in so have no idea if they ever made a raft or all got eaten by polar bears.)
|The fortune cookie of truth.|
In my time I have been subjected to many of these group getting to know you sessions. And I have detested every single one. They invariably involve sharing stuff with the group that you would rather not. Or some sort of sport. Or outdoor activity. You know where I bond best with people? Over a pint (or several), preferably next to an open fire in a good pub.
I once had to go on a three day training course at a hotel situated at a motorway services. The only escape was to go to the garage and buy a scabby pie or some such. First night there was a scavenger hunt, involving finding items throughout the building, including people having to strip down and wear sheets as togas. Classy. I hid in the bar for most of it, because I am both rubbish at joining in, and only good at humiliating myself in front of strangers when drunk.
The following night they had us all out in the carpark, where a large length of thick sailing rope had been looped in and out of itself. We had been required to bring our pillowcases. I half hoped they were going to fill them with treats like unseasonal Santas, but no they wanted us to put them on our heads and then blindly work as a team to unravel the rope. Now I need to be earning considerably more the ten grand a year I was on before I am prepared to dress like a member of the Ku Klux Klan who isn’t allowed to use the scissors, so I feigned asthma and declined.
Variations on the team building theme continued for the whole three days of our stay, and on the final night there was a big meal and a free bar. This particular version of hell took place when I was 21, and that was the average age of the group. It will be of little surprise to you lot, that if you spend seventy two hours forcing a mixed group of young people to make arses of themselves in the name of bonding, then get them all drunk, the result will be a majority of the group forming far closer relationships than the bosses had intended. Not me, I had a beloved at home waiting, I just stood back and laughed while the big cheeses panicked at what they had inadvertently created. Oh and then spent the rest of the night talking the girl I was going to be working with out of trying to drunkenly travel 100 miles home at 2am in the morning when it turned out the object of her affection had a girlfriend at home. Although I guess the bonding worked, as almost 20 years later she is still one of my closest friends.