Why I Hate Getting to Know You

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in Humour | 17 comments

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.)

Team Building is rubbish
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.

So maybe it isn’t all so bad after all….

Love Miss Cisco XXX

17 Comments

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  1. Marilynn

    I hate bonding exercises. Luckily I don’t have to experience them very often. Poor David hates them with a passion, but somewhat unluckily the company he works for is a bit obsessed with them. He has worked there about 5 years and they do these things roughly once or twice a year. Every year they get worse. Last year they spirited him of down to the Cotswolds to a yoga and contemplation retreat. He was forced to do yoga (on which he fell asleep), no tv, radio or phones. He refused the no phones policy though (the rebel). They only served macrobiotic food. David nearly died of starvation as he couldn’t eat any of it. He was there 3 days. He survived on his ability to sneak crisps and mars bars into his room at night. In short, he hated it as did mostly everyone who attended. How is that good for team building and morale? (Apologies for the rant).

    • Sonya Cisco

      HA! Poor David, and good on him for finding a secret supply of mars bars! But how the hell is that supposed to help his job? I bet it just makes him resent it more!

    • Marilynn

      Oh it does. He dreads getting the letters every year as it’s always something no one wants to do. Just shows that the top execs have no idea about their employees! David says these things stress him out more than his actual work (and he never gets stressed)!

  2. notmyyearoff

    I used to love them because it was a day out of work but now it just feels like a hassle and its all been heard before. At the last one I was at we had to work as a “factory” creating paper planes in the fastest time. Two guys nearly punched each other and started wrestling around on the floor. Many years on that’s still the only thing I can remember about that team building exercise :)

  3. Stacey Corrin

    This reminds me of Good Omens by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchet, with the paintball Team Building session. The only bonding thing like this that I’ve done was via the Job Centre and what a laugh that was – not! Seriously, I’ve never been in a room full of so many people who desperately wanted to be elsewhere.

    Saying that I hate bonding sessions in general and from the sounds of it, most other people do too!

    • Sonya Cisco

      Yup, I am not a fan of enforced bonding, I am very shy and they terrify me, tho once I have been given a chance to warm to someone you can’t shut me up!

  4. Janie P

    My stomach is churning just thinking about the horror of those things. I would easily rather go through childbirth again first. The only good thing about them is that a quick scan of the room to identify other appalled faces serves as a fair summary of the other misfits you’re likely to get on with.

  5. SarahMummy

    That is both cringeworthy and hilarious. Who on earth makes people stay at a hotel at a motorway services?! It is practically being in prison. And dressing up in togas? That would be a complete no-no as an organised activity these days – the were would be some sort of sexual harassment case.

  6. Lynn Fancy

    Hangs head in shame at drunken rubbishness of self – and then laughs very loud as he is really fat and bald now …..

    It was fun though ;)

    We did have a giggle in that shop – naked mental patients, aggressive customers, thieving managers, crazy gun totin’ managers hahahahah you name it ;)

  7. Jo

    I can’t abide team building exercises like that, but I have to say we did a samba band at one of our team building days and it was great (can you tell I organised it) I think getting together and getting drunk is the best option though. You learn so much more about your team. But please don’t expect me to be civil the next day as I will be hungover and suffering and not much use to any one ;) oh and I always get ‘the fear’ the next day as I’ve always said something inappropriate to at least one colleague. oops!

  8. Joanne Brady

    Fucking hate them! I have been known to dodge parent governor training seminars that have an agenda which includes the words ‘team-building’ or ‘role play exercise’, even the ones with free cake. They are a hell pit of sadism that should be shot from the boomiest of cannons into the highest of atmospheres.

  9. Suzanne Whitton

    Ha ha this really did make me laugh! I am usually happy to cast aside my inhibitions and throw myself in (usually wine fuelled) but togas? Seriously? I can totally understand why many people refuse to join in. My son is having a raft building party for his 9th birthday but surely that’s where they should remain….at a kid’s bday party! Great post :)

  10. Emily Foran

    Sounds like absolute hell, I had to go on one of these kind of things in Jersey when working for a travel company and got so drunk on the first night that I threw up in the important management meeting the next day. Still I feel it was a better option than those that got drunk that night and were ill on the plane home.
    These and any kind of office parties are usually best avoided ;) xx

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