December 17, 2009

Retreat! Retreat!


I went to a work retreat the other day. I think I've vented about these things before... Specifically how the word "retreat" is used to lure you into a false sense of fun. Really, it's just a day spent absorbing office lingo and trying to bond with your co-workers. Total pain in the ass, if you ask me.

I already know I'm not cut out for long-term office work. Any of you who know me personally probably find it surprising I've lasted as long as I have. Come to think of it, you don't even need to know me personally to have figured that out.

I long for more hands-on, creative and flexible work than what I'm doing. But what I'm doing pays the bills. It lets me do music without being flat broke.

At this retreat, we were asked to write up some suggestions to improve some project and help us achieve some abstract goal. I drew a fire-breathing dragon on my little card, and wrote "Sorry, but I've got nothing interesting to say about this."

Later, one of the managers made a speech about horizontal management. My brain interpreted this as a euphemism for sex, and I giggled to myself for half an hour.

You see why I'm not made for this stuff?

As far as I understand it, work retreats are supposed to make you feel part of a team. They are supposed to make you feel like you are doing something useful... Working towards a common goal.... Being productive.

Without fail, however, they make me feel like stabbing myself in the eye just to get out of there. They remind me why I will one day quit. Go back to school, make music my main focus, become a full-time nudist.... Anything but this.

In other news, I got my awesome stylist to dye a section of my hair hot pink. You should see the looks I'm getting at the office. :)


zoom said...

I went to a retreat once and it was awful. It was all about everybody working together to identify the weakest link in the organization, which the powers that be had already decided was the communications department. It was a witch hunt. With psychological tests and everything.

The food was pretty good though.

Anonymous said...

Horizontal Management!! Snort! That's as good as "debriefing".

Nat said...

I need to learn how to draw dragons. I hate retreats. In fact, every single retreat I have been too has led to me finding a new job. (Case and point.)

There was a poster at work about a "horizontal management strategies" course, I chuckled. Pretty sure we have horizontal strategies down... at home at least. ;) (Got busted too... explained it as well.)

will never look at a debriefing the same way again.

Hannah said...

Y'know Stella, I could have created this post. We are SO similar, its frightening!;) Working in an office is about trying to survive in an environment where bullshit and immature politics reign. It totally sucks, but as you mentioned its no fun being a "starving artist" either, so we have to put up with it. But look at it this way, there are a million other types of jobs that make office work look like a dream!

P.S.I want to see a picture of your hair!:)

Stella said...

Thanks folks.... Nice to see I'm not alone in my distain for work retreats.

Next time I should grab the mic and say, "Actually, THIS is how you manage horizontally...."