February 27, 2013


I don't understand companies and their mandates. We had a group meeting the other day. I have a small group... there are seven of us, including my boss in that count.

We have been told by management that we MUST have a group meeting every month. Let me state, that we all sit together, we are a tight bunch, like family, and we unintentionally probably have a group meeting of some kind every dang day.

That's how closely we work together.

So in said mandatory meeting my boss said, "We have to have a group event every quarter."

Me: I don't want a group event.

Boss: Of course you don't.

Asst: Why every quarter?

Boss: Some people complained they don't have group events.

Me: We don't need them...

Boss: We don't have a choice. We WILL have a group event every quarter.


GF engineer: Your birthday is next week. We'll make that our group event.

Boss: Wait.

Asst: Perfect!

Boss: No... wait.

Me: I'm bringing quiche!

GF engineer: I'll bring brownies!

Boss: My birthday is not a group event.

Guy engineer: It appears it is now.

Asst: I'm bringing cake...

Me: Done!

Boss: I can't believe this.

Me: Check in the box. Can we go now?

The three men in the group sat back and watched the entire thing unfold as our boss got railroaded.

Our group event was today. We went into a conference room, ate cake, brownies, quiche, talked about our families and went back to work.

I'm not thinking that's what management intended, but I don't care. Who mandates stuff like that? Who mandates having fun?!

And yes, my boss thinks I'm difficult. He waffles between wanting to strangle me and happy I'm on the team. The older I get, the more I want a sign in my cube that reads, "You aren't the boss of me."

Except he is. He just wonders sometimes if I forget...

Posted by Boudicca at February 27, 2013 11:38 PM

Next mandated "hug fest" you should have a campfire cookout with smores and sing Kumbaya (not sure on the spelling). Our office actually celebrates everyone's birthdays that month....it's just an excuse to have cake and kill an hour.

Posted by: Tina at February 28, 2013 05:03 AM

I might have to suggest that. Good grief.

We kind of already celebrated birthdays anyway, which is the funny part. Someone would have brought something in for him. It was a big red easy to do it on his birthday though and declare it our group event.

What a joke.

Posted by: Bou at February 28, 2013 07:07 AM

Does your company do the "Gallup" survey? Ours does and one question is "Do you have a best friend at work?", so that morphs into these events. I hate them because I end up having to plan them, beg for participation, set up and clean up....and then listen to everyone complain.

Posted by: Trudy at February 28, 2013 08:28 AM

They do some kind of survey. I am honest, but I don't write nasty comments. They actually publish our results and last survey, there were some comments about my department that got published, that for me, completely opened up all the gossip and angst in a group I had no idea about. I yelled over my cube to my boss, "Holy crap! Come look at this! Our little group... we look... so GREAT!"

My boss would have organized something. My gf just beat him to the punch, which was a dang riot.
He can check the boss with his boss, "Yes, we did..."

Posted by: Bou at February 28, 2013 08:54 AM

Gah, when I was at Ford they did that crap and then they started that at Collins & Aikman also.

Except when your in a Quality Dept you tend to do those things anyway so it was no skin off our back. At least we didn't have to hide the fact that we did those and got to use company time instead of our lunch times. Win-win for us.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at February 28, 2013 12:46 PM

I go to work to work. I have a family and a life that is my LIFE. Work is nice. I like to work when I'm at work. I like to chat incidentally for a minute or two when it happens naturally, but then I get back to work. It's in my genetic makeup that I'm being paid to work, not to build relationships or sing "Happy Birthday."

I tell my co-workers, "I'm glad you were born. If I wasn't, you'd know it."

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at February 28, 2013 04:47 PM

Nothing I love more than p0wning management when they try to force their silly little mandates with no useful purpose other than to justify their own existence down the worker bees' throats.

Posted by: diamond dave at March 1, 2013 10:01 AM

Good lord, poor QW for working at Collins & Aikman, the company run into the ground by David Stockman.

Yes, that David Stockman, OMB Director under Reagan and graduate of Lakeshore HS of Stevensville MI (just south of Benton Harbor) and MSU (the cow college north of The University).

Posted by: The Thomas at March 1, 2013 10:53 AM

Your use of the event sounds like a good idea. It's nice to have an opportunity to discuss non-work stuff with your coworkers on occasion. It's amazing what you find out that they do in their off time. Especially if you're being mandated to do that anyway. Sometimes you find out about things that your coworkers have done in their past that is really cool.

If you're being required to have group events anyway, then this is "making lemonade" of it. The alternative is to have it used for mandatory training like Sexual Harassment training, or Company Ethical Standards training and the like. While I agree with Joan's mindset, within reason, while I'm on the company dime, my time is their time to use as they see fit (revisit my disclaimer earlier in this sentence).

Even while I was in Special Forces there were times when I had to pick up cigarette butts or strip, wax, and buff hallways to a high gloss. Instead of perfecting HALO formation flying (difficult, more so at night with various things strapped to us), working on double tap head shots in a blacked out room, and other skills that require regular practice to acquire and maintain.

So, nowadays, if it's not illegal or immoral and my boss wants me to do it, I'm okay with it. At the end of the day I still get to go home where my wife and my dog still me.

Posted by: marcus erroneous at March 2, 2013 11:48 AM

So ... How was Ringo's 18th B'day?

Posted by: The Thomas at March 3, 2013 09:58 PM