Smells Like Team Spirit

Here we are now! Entertain us!

Two words that, combined, strike fear into any member of the trusty nine to five work force: Away! Day! There you are, in a conference centre owned by a well known manufacturer of sanitary towel bins. They also happen to own swanky, corporate buildings where managers go to die teambuild. The aim of the game is not to do a David Brent, of course. Best to leave that part to the professionals. A madcap facilitator is duly hired. To kick things of, there will be an icebreaker, during which we will have to do amusing things like a bizarre version of British Bulldog, brainstorm of what we dreamt last night or to write a list of songtitles that remind us of work (I wanna be Sedated, Toxic, Money, money, money, to name just a couple of the hilarities that emerged).

Onto the serious stuff now. I want you to smash this tin of beans on your finger now. You what? Sometimes it is good to take risks. Yeah, and sometimes it isn’t. Cue the natural volunteer. The one you see jumping out of the seat at the circus when the magician asks for someone to hurl knives at. Turns out the tin of beans exercise is actually pretty lame and there is no way anyone could possibly injure themselves, as long as the tin does not line up with your fingers. If it does, it was a risk not worth taking, because your pinky will be flattened.

Or have you done the one where you have to smash a two inch wooden board? Neither have I. Egged on by peer pressure, one brave soul after the next, none of them Karate experts by any stretch, daringly follow the instructions (it’s all in your head, you can do anything you want. Imagine this board is something stopping you from achieving … of aforementioned madcap facilitator. Oddly, most of them do smash the boards. It’s only afterwards they dare nurse their sore hands, wrists and fists. Is that what they call going the extra mile. I think not.

Then there is the school of thought stating that you need a competitive environment to bring out people’s true character. Like, say, a treasure hunt or a trampoline-off. Some people have a more prevalent (Just one to go, team! Go! Go! Go!) competitive streak than others (Can we go to the pub now? We don’t even know what the prizes are?). For a second it feels like being at school again, when you were last on the bench to be picked for a basketball team. You didn’t care then, why would you care now? It might be a better idea to just go to the pub. In Vino Veritas, and all.

Soon we’ll all be off to abseil, climb mountains, walk over fire and eat maggots. In the end, we shall all be united by all these mindboggling, trustbuilding and spiritual experiences, raring to go to enter some more data in that computer in a unified fashion.

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