2006-02-07

Teams are for Assholes

I was a cool lifeguard for like, 10 years.
The first thing you learn in lifeguard class is to save yourself.
I forgot about that for a little while.
Corporate America is rife with messages of Teamwork, Teambuilding, Team Emails, Team Time, Team Team Team Team Team Team.

Teams are for assholes.

From now on, I am a renegade.

I might look like I am part of a Team but I'm not.

I totally deferred a couple of times, because you know... I thought that's what I should do for my (fucking) Team?

I was nothin' but dead wrong.

I caught my Team Lead telling the kind of lie that might not be a lie, because everyone believes that they are correct, right? Okay, except for me, and that's because I'm a damn idiot.

So I catch this lie, an email lie, which pretty much consisted of asking management to help her because I was refusing to do work that she asked me to do.

I got things cleared up with Power Players but she won't talk to me at all. I mean,
at
all.
The boiling point was when I pointed out to her that there was no reason to say such a thing, since umm... it's not true. I pointed out that I needed to talk to her about the deadline she requested because there was no way I could accommodate it. I pointed out that I have done this a hundred times before and a hundred times we have found a deadline we can both accept.
The whole time?
I felt like she was freaking out.
I mean, freaking out the way I freak out.
It was weird to be the person in control of the situation and to actually have the high ground. It didn’t matter that she wasn't going to acknowledge the high ground - we both knew who had it, especially when she said, "If you don't want to do it, just get it started and I'll finish it."
To which I responded, "Have I ever not finished something for you?"
"No."
I walked away and we are not speaking.

She seemed to think that because she is busy, very busy, that she is busier than anyone else.
She's not.
I've been at work for 10 and 11 hours for weeks.
I can't remember the last time I went to lunch.
I consider my little essay to be a break and in case you're not paying attention, I haven't been getting too many breaks.

Tomorrow, we are both out at a client’s all day. She has a Blackberry, which means she’ll be able to check her emails and forward her calls.

I have my cell phone, which means that I will have to use my daytime minutes to check my voicemail and I’m so busy that I have to check my voicemail. I’ll have to direct emailers with an obnoxious Out of Office stating that they better call me and leave a message or wait for me to get back on Thursday.
I’ll also have to make a little phone book to take with me so that I have all of the numbers I’ll need to use during the day, while I am calling on my limited peak minutes, on my beat up little phone that is over two years old and that doesn’t charge very well anymore, for some reason.

And when I told her that she would need to take all of the supplies for the meeting with her when she left this afternoon, at 3:30, she called me to ask me why.
I lied, and this is rich.

I lied and I told her that I had my friend’s PA in my trunk and that the dog would be all over anything that I put in the backseat.
“I don’t know what a PA is. Do I have to take all of these boxes?”
“Yes.”

Hey… what can I say?
A PA was the heaviest and biggest thing I could think of and the dog?
She’ll totally stay in the front seat if I put something ball shaped in her mouth.
The thing is, I had to start thinking about myself and myself?
She didn’t feel like moving the shit in my trunk around. She didn’t feel like trying to maneuver two big boxes into a coupe. She was done with Team.

I am transitioning to a new position and it couldn’t happen fast enough.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels that way but at least I fucking FINALLY got two things that I knew I had earned:
1. The high road. You know, I was actually thinking that a cool video game would be High Road-Low Road. You would make a little Sim-type character and she would set out on one or the other and have to negotiate the pratfalls that are intrinsic. She might even be able to find little places where she can cut across, like say she’s on the High Road and she’s having a hard time with a Keep your Mouth Shut challenge. She could find a portal and suddenly be on the low road and you would make her shout and stomp her feet and cry. As long as she did it to the right person and for the right result, she would advance.
2. The other thing I wanted to validation that my work is good. I got that in one simple question, with one simple answer. The exchange this morning, while unpleasant for me in that it ached with maturity, it was good for me. I was right and there was no way, not one, single, remote, hint of a chance that she could say, to my face, that I didn’t do for her what she asks from me.

Teams really are for assholes because you know, at the end of the very long day?
You have to save yourself first and I should have done it a long time ago, when I suspected there was some behind-the-scenes bullcrap.
On the other hand, and this hand is not about to say that Teams are not for assholes, but on the other hand, maybe it's good that I got proof of the debasement because this way, I got to speak to her with a diamond-clear conscious.
There was NOTHING to do but tell me the truth.
Check and checkmate.
I knew that the truth was that I was very good at what I did.

arizonasarah at 4:02 p.m.

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