Ever since I was a young girl I have loved team sports. I was always a terrible loser and an even worse winner, but I always had a downer on my performance, not others. I am highly self critical and self effacing and over the years I have tried to focus on the good I bring a team and not be negative. These days I am much more positive, which helps me work with others, but I have always sought to be an awesome team player and the success I’ve had proves I can do it.
Why then is this concept so hard to grasp for others? There are a few examples in my life that stand out – they range from work, to hobbies and to education.
To begin with work then – I rose through the “ranks” at work and eventually was going to be training as a manager. As an honest and hard worker I always stuck up for the little guy and tried to have everyone treated fairly. It was while sticking up for those being bullied that I was bullied myself. Instead of trying to work as a team the managers tried to smash us apart. The result was me leaving and a few months later the place getting closed down. Needless to say those managers are no longer employed.
Then we come to my university years. In my second year we had a group project, there were 8 of us in the group. Time and again two of the group met or arranged “group meetings” at times only suitable for them. We had a mother and two disabled people in our group and these meetings were always either last minute or when people could not make it. In the end they decided to do all the stats for the group, but insisting they take all the credit. The rest of us met up without them, this pair had wanted to finish early so they could go home for Christmas two weeks early. This, by the way, had been booked for months, so they both had always intended on finishing early and tried to manipulate the group into rushing. Anyway, we met, we did our own stats since theirs were wrong and we met with our supervisor to tell them of this terrible lack of teamplay. They were told they would get credit for their stats and we would for ours, and as it turned out they got ZERO since theirs were wrong. We passed that part of the project easily. 6 heads can be better than 2 if you learn to work together. One of the girl’s who worked apart from us never finished her degree and the other got third class degree.
An online experience was with my Dragon Age game, where a group of us were plotting together. The plot was expansive and involved about ten people, but again, two members decided to plot on their own one night, making decisions for all the characters involved. They went ahead and posted IC, forcing our characters into this plot. I solved this by pushing their plot away from the main one, and eventually they both dropped it and left the site. I have erased all of their actions and the rest of us have agreed OOCly what happened, so we solved the issue together. Once more there was a need to repair the damage of two selfish people.
My most recent experience involved lack of communication, selfishness and a serious amount of lying and pettiness. It was the most dysfunctional team I have ever been on and it makes me sad to see it deteriorate. Again, members of the team spoke privately and made decisions others had to conform to without consultation. Why ask people to help if you are just going to ignore their opinions?
I am not someone who will tell you what you want to hear, I will tell you the truth. I am not looking to be popular, I am trying to do things and people who fuck with communication and try to break up teams are not conducive to success. It is rather ironic that the person who was the most destructive and underhand is head of communications.
What has happened to teamwork, people?!! Why can’t we all just work together and work towards our common goal without resorting to underhand tactics?