Why Forced Togetherness Doesn’t Work in THe Workplace

If I have my way, I will NEVER set foot in an office to work ever again.

I mentioned in another article that I wanted to circle back on this topic. I especially hope some of my LinkedIn friends take note of this piece. I don’t typically write workplace centered articles, but this is one of the rare ideas I really have been wanting to share for a while now.

*Trigger Warning* This might leave a few hardcore corporate employees including a couple of my former employers a bit butt-sore. Sorry, not sorry. If it’s not you cup of tea, please move on. You were warned.

Here’s where I’m coming from:

I’ve been unemployed (Yes, I call it that.) since July 19th. I call that “Freedom Day.” Since then, I’ve been recovering spiritually, mentally, and emotionally from what was probably the most absolutely horrible work experience of my entire life, no contest. Truthfully, I’ve had a lot of jobs, and then there was the corporate fiasco I last found myself in. I’m still tiptoeing around certain specifics because I’m avoiding legal issues, but I think I can speak to my own personal status without any blowback. I’ve had some rough days and even rough weeks since I was liberated.

There are two things I want to discuss regarding corporate interactions today. The first is why you can’t force people to interact, especially off the clock. The second is a bit more personal, namely why I intend to never set foot in that mess ever again.

“Let’s all sit around a table and discuss how we’re going to save the company big bucks.” It might look good on paper, but…

Maybe that’s what they teach in Business school these days? I dunno. I haven’t been back to college in 20 years and good luck ever getting me in there again. I almost guarantee you can NOT get five people to sit there, and be all chummy with one another and discuss these big corporate concepts if they don’t want to be there. Quite honestly, it’s boring to some, annoying to most, and unproductive on a good day.

My experienced guess is, that out of five people, management will get legitimate engagement from one, maybe two people and the rest are just going to nod their heads at best. Family, I’ve been studying/observing this behavior since grade school. I studied it in Sociology for years. Small groups or corporate teams do not come together in the real world as intended on paper. A cohesive “team” of five to ten people is an anomaly no matter how much team building crap you want to throw at them.

My experience has been that the harder they try to push all their “team building” crapola, the more they’re looking for something else to hang someone with it. Let’s hold hands, have personal shares and pretend we actually like each other/the company. It might look good on paper, but trust me, most people just aren’t into it. It’s a despicable, nasty little management tactic that someone cooked up once-upon-a-when to have more excuses to degrade people on reviews and fire them. I’ve seen it a lot.

Yeah, call me “negative.” Heck, call me “toxic” when it comes to dealing with any kind of a large corporation. My therapist is practically tearing her hair out when the subject comes up. Which brings me to my second point-

If I have my way, I will NEVER set foot in an office to work ever again.

Mark my words, I’m going out of my way to never set foot in an office environment again. I can’t stand the idea of sitting in another “team” meeting. I absolutely detest the idea of another evaluation. I would rather shove raw bamboo in my eyes than ever work on another “S.M.A.R.T.” goal ever again. (And whomever came up with that whole SMART goal thing- I really hope love and light comes your way some day if it hasn’t already…) In summation, you can take that corporate job and shove it.

I am struggling with the cognitive dissonance caused by this. My dilemma is spiritual. How can I resolve being bitterly anti-social when it comes to the corporate world and still fulfill my mission as a lightworker? My poor therapist just loves me right now because I’m a steady client.

I used to really be critical of spiritual advisors who would say, “quit your job and fulfill your purpose.” Yet here I am today. I was fortunate enough to be fired and we will never know why, exactly. (Honestly don’t care.) I’m not rich. In fact I’m struggling to pay for my website and other things. But at least I’ve shrugged off working in the corporate matrix and I’m not going back in.

I advise anyone and everyone- If you are not aligned with your job, please go find another. If you’re getting treated like garbage, unappreciated, undervalued, and underpaid- vote your conscience and leave. Above all, you gotta be you. Tell them why you’re leaving specifically. A lot of people are doing exactly that right now.

Of course I always tack the caveat on of: Do it responsibly. Don’t put yourself and family at risk unnecessarily. Although right now there is probably slightly more of a safety net than ever because of the amount of jobs available in the world. Still, that said, do what you need to do until you CAN break free of the cycle.

There is more to life than, Eat-Sleep-Work-Repeat. You can do it!

Next time, we’ll discuss the concept of “success.” I promise my take is probably not what you think it’s going to be. Til then, take care.

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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