Are You A Team Player?
Not if I can help it.
A new illness is sweeping through the corporate world causing havoc and creating what experts call ‘angry job desertion’:
‘Here’s my resignation! Roll it up and put it where you see fit!’
Known as TPSD (Team Player Stress Disorder), symptoms include shortness of breath, racing heart, sense of terror or impending doom and an urge to laugh and cry hysterically whenever you’re in the presence of fellow team members.
Like many TPSD sufferers, I kept my condition hidden for many years, afraid of being found out and forced to work with the living dead (Finance) or in the company’s mental health unit (Human Resources).
I lived a dual life, a private one and a public one. To the outside world I was the perfect team player: I went to the office parties (as fun as a root canal), signed ‘Good Luck’ cards for colleagues I had never met and donated hundreds of pounds to team members who supported charities by doing impossible feats like windsurfing, sunbathing and alpine skiing.
The Team was good like that. One time we collected £300 for Freddie’s charity and then found out he’d quit and vanished with the money. Guess he ‘took it for the team’.
As for me? I took it all in stride. My screen saver was the team photo with caption ‘There’s no I in Team’. My boss would smile and say ‘I wish everyone had your attitude Sarah’. Never mind my name is Sonia.
As for the much anticipated ‘Team Outings’, they were mainly geared to pacify the team’s gorilla grunters wild Cro-Magnon urges. Take the ‘GO-CART Outing’, which was like a Mad Max Movie without Mel Gibson for eye candy. The air had so much testosterone I was worried I’d grow an Adam’s apple.
When the ‘Paint Ball Outing’ came around I walked into a corporate ambush and was shot in the back by the assistant director. Regarded with pity and contempt by the team – I was forced to sit out the rest of the bloodbath. Best team outing of my life.
It all came to a head when George was named ‘Team Player of the Year’. That’s when TPSD really hit me – I just could not believe it! If anyone deserved the prize it was me! OK maybe George was the only team member that actually WORKED … but he enjoyed it! And wasn’t it ME that kept him nourished with Snickers and Red Bulls to keep him going?
I followed ALL TEAM PLAYER rules:!
1. Smile and applaud when boss takes credit for the team’s work (in this case George’s).
2. Never voice your opinions. Unless they coincide with your boss’s opinion.
3. If you have an idea tell your boss first. It might be a good one! Go to point 1.
4. If you have a problem with a team member, never confront them directly. Be a sneak and tell your boss first. Then pretend you know nothing.
5. Create rumours about team members who have been nasty to you.
6. Create rumours about team members who have been nice to you.
7. Spread the truth about who slept with who – especially if both of them are married.
8. If asked to cover for someone while they are on holiday accept graciously and then forget about it.
Soon after George received his prize I decided to seek help.
I am now self-employed and in remission from TPSD.
If you have been affected by this blog please go have a drink.