I don’t like them most of the time either. I did have one great experience on a team builder though. Our manager took us to a nice resort in La Jolla Ca (near san diego) for three days. We each got our own room, meals and drinks paid for and all those kind of great perks. Yea, we had to sit in the team building lectures and do their little activities…but overall it was a lot of fun.
Of all the crapola I endure in my efforts to remain gainfully employed, “team building” is by far the most hated. This stuff universally just sucks frog balls. Keep your stupid little games and activities and just let us do our jobs and go home to stuff we actually enjoy.
Also - and I know I’m an old grouch - anything billed as an “experience” is almost always an ordeal.
I remember the punch line of the Dilbert strip about a team building exercise “we think of it as a force reduction thing.” I read that about the time I went to one where you fell backwards to be caught by fellow team members.
I’ve noted that real teams never go to team building exercises - they don’t have to.
Mine was close, the weather was nice, and it beat working. I was a manager and had to pretend I was interested.
I used to have to plan team building activities. Planning them is even less fun than participating, mostly because you know everyone is going to hate it, but you can’t talk management out of it. Plus you have to spend months on planning it, and faking excitement for whatever you’re going to inflict on the team. To top it all off, those activities ain’t cheap, either. I’m glad I don’t have to do that anymore.
I got to hose my boss’s boss down with paintballs. Worth every minute of the other bullshit, I can tell you.
We had a completely voluntary white-water rafting weekend thing where the “company” got us a half-price deal, so although there was some “team building” BS going on, it was still fun at a discount price.
The only job where I’ve ever had team-building, the two team builds consisted of: 1) a tour of a nearby winery, including tasting; and 2) a “racial sensitivity workshop” that consisted of a cookout and a screening of the film “Driving Miss Daisy.” And I got paid for the time. Give me as many team builds like that as you care to.
A few months ago my boss sent around a survey on whether my co-workers and I would like to do one of these crazy team-building dealies. We all pointed out that generally after work on Tuesday nights we just go over to the closest employee’s apartment and all get drunk off our asses, which is cheaper and way more fun than anything he could plan.
He bought the beer for the next get-together. Best. Boss. Ever.
Our company headquarters is in Phoenix. The 10 IT Managers (of which I’m one) from our offices around the country went out for a 3-day meeting. The meeting included traipsing out to the desert in 100 degree weather to do a ropes course. The ropes instructor got bitten by a scorpion before we could begin and had to be taken to the nearest medical facility. The rest of us had to stay there for 2 hours until they decided they couldn’t find a replacement instructor and we got to go drink beer. THAT’s when we did some real team building.
I haven’t worked for a company that does this for quite a while, but the last time I participated in it, it was worthless. One of the activities was to “speak freely about the company”, so i made the statement that said company made the mistake of believing it’s own propaganda. The President immediately jumped down my throat and started to argue with me, and it was all downhill from there…
The line is actually “a headcount reduction thing” (which I only know because I happened to read that exact strip last night.) I’ve never had to do a team-building exercise as part of a job, but I did have to do some for other things. One was a church camp (don’t ask) when I was about 15. Possibly the worst was when they set up a situation where there was an imaginary bus crash and they then went through like 30 people, giving varying injuries. Not great, so far, but not incredibly stupid. What was incredibly stupid was when they then said that we had to get every single person out of the area and go some distance (half a mile or whatever, it doesn’t really matter.) That had me, and several other Boy Scouts, strenuously objecting to that and pointing out what a stupid idea it was to try to move all those injured people unless we absolutely had to (and, if a bus crashed, rescue ought to be possible fairly quickly) and that it would be much better if one or two people with the most minor injuries go for help while others begin first aid. We continuously complained and pointed out what a stupid idea this was for the entire walk.
The team-building crap at my work is actually fun and you don’t have to participate. We do a softball game once a month. The tiny little receptionist surprised everyone by hitting a grand slam home run once.
But the real team-building exercises we nearly all participate in is pranking one of the other offices in our building. They in turn prank us back–so about 2-3 times a month we get a hilariously nasty surprise. That’s the most fun I’ve ever had working a job (we do nothing dangerous or extremely humiliating, just silly). And usually we all go to the same bar after work and congratulate each other on our individual offices’ cleverness.
At my last ‘team-building’ experience, on site, no perks but bad coffee and donuts, one of my table mates was excused after the first 10 minutes and told to go home. He had the “wrong” attitude. My regret was that I didn’t get excused too. My attitude was way “wronger” than his, og damn it. :smack: