Comfort Zone

Team building exercises - some people love them, others ... not so much

Fiction, Short Story, For Adult Readers, Quick Read
Dyslexia Font
Michele Clark McConnochie

Sep 22   ●  3 min read   ● 

She chewed her biro, and read the evaluation form. “On a scale of one to five, five being highest, how much did you enjoy this activity?”
“On a scale of one to five, five being highest, how would you rate yourself in terms of team participation?”
“What one thing did you learn about yourself following this activity?”
That I hate team building activities.
“Give three words that describe how you felt at the end of this activity.”
Cold, wet, grumpy.
The hateful facilitator Penny started to speak, punctuating her words with flailing arms and by leaping enthusiastically around the room. Oh no. She was debriefing. Lisa tuned back in as she realised her name was mentioned.
“And I felt that the rest of the team could have helped Lisa more, since she’s new and obviously shy.”
Lisa believed the phrase “new and obviously shy” was a euphemism for “rebellious, bad-tempered know –it-all who’d rather build a team in the pub”. She sneaked a look at her watch. Only two days, three hours to go, and better still, only another fifteen minutes until the bar opened.


Terry grunts. Lisa is supposed to be leaning back against him, and taking their weight with her legs. Their challenge is to sit back-to-back, link arms, and support each other into the standing position.
Instead, she’s sitting there like a trifle. Quite a heavy trifle. He hisses instructions to her, but she gives up immediately, flops to the side, rolls and stands up. Kindly, he blames the weight difference between them. By the look she gives him, he realises she thinks he is calling her fat.
Terry sighs, and focuses on Penny. He is nodding at her words, and tells her that when he looked into the tiny cosmetic mirror that he found hidden in the fountain, he realised it meant that the solution to the world’s problems lay within himself. Surreptitiously, he is hoping she will jump into the fountain herself, so that her lycra outfit will cling even more tightly to her figure. He starts to imagine it, then he tunes back in as he realised his name was mentioned.
“And I really valued how Terry supported the less able members of the team.”
Terry believes the phrase “I really valued how Terry” is a euphemism for “I’d really value him buying me a drink later”. He sneaks a look at his watch. Only another half hour until the bar opens.


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