Leadership

Office functions: Mandatory fun?


In a previous blog post (Team Building exercises - Are they too contrived to work?) I questioned the effectiveness of artificial team-building measures. Quiet a few people agreed with me but some thought that the practice could be effective in some cases. I guess I just disagree with the whole forced aspect of these kinds of activities. It got me to thinking about an even narrower version of "team-building": required company functions.

Have you ever worked for a company that pressured you to attend company functions, whether they were off-site holiday parties or on-site birthday celebrations? I used to work for one. Once the company's CEO made it very clear that if anyone missed the holiday function set during off hours "without a good excuse," he would take note of it. The implication was that it would not be good for your career. He announced the party well in advance so no one could, as he said, "use the 'couldn't find a babysitter' excuse." I don't know if it was his way of being congenial or whether the action stemmed from some kind of power trip, but it ultimately had the effect of your mom saying, "You're going to eat that broccoli and you're going to LIKE it!"

Ironically, his edict indirectly enforced camaraderie among the staff when we all bonded over being angry at his insolence. But that was clearly not his intention.

Those of us who resented the pressure referred to it among ourselves as "mandatory fun."

Since I will be celebrating a birthday this week, the team I work with is going to take me to lunch. It is not something they're forced to do (although, you'd think with my personality, that would be the case). There will be no balloons or singing waiters (if there are, someone will die), but just a good old-fashioned get-together of people who spend a good portion of their lives only a cubicle wall apart. We'll spend the time talking and bonding over work problems and family matters.

At my old company, they used to celebrate everyone's birthday with a cake and a big gathering of the department -- to the point where someone would come up and drag you out of your office to go join in if you forgot or decided to decline because you had work to do. I usually went of my own accord; after all, people, there was cake involved. But I know of cases when some people were clearly disgruntled at having to stand there and sing Happy Birthday.

So does your office practice mandatory fun? Is forced frivolity part of your company culture? If so, let's talk about it.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

52 comments
missmoss
missmoss

How about office parties and gifts for which employees are expected to pony up cash? My boss arranges expensive luncheons and wedding gifts -- then bills us! As an aside, I'm an atheist. My family doesn't celebrate Christmas, much less Easter. Do you think I could breathe a WORD of this to my (Midwestern) co-workers? Not a chance.

ron_browning14223
ron_browning14223

I worked on project out off down and they wonted to have weekly get-togethers every Friday. I wonted to go home and to attend I would not be home to mid-night after a 60 hour weeks. I said one more and hear is my notice! This happen several times over the years, as a contractor. Two jobs wonted a whole week-end a month! On their time that's one thing, but on my time no way!

eyefullcower
eyefullcower

Our "Manditory Fun" got so out of hand we had to attend an outdoor birthday party of one pet employee's child in chilly mountain weather. The kids were the ones invited to throw baseballs at the "programming clown" seated over a horse trough. But being the unruly "Office Space" crowd that we were, we asked the kids if we could show them how to toss the balls. After the shivering clown had been dunked more than three times in ten minutes, the CEO marched up, demanding that we "enjoy ourselves" on another venue. We all chose the metal-shafted darts, intending to miss the balloons and scoring on the "chief sales dufus" for a yelping prize. Fortunately for our group, we were never again invited to another "mandatory fun" event. Okay, hey, at least the part about the clown was true!

BlueKnight
BlueKnight

I used to have a boss that insisted that all his staff attend "his" Christmas luncheon. I put up with it the first two years I was there, but then I decided that since I'm not really a "party person" I wasn't going to attend any more. Why do I, or anyone else for that matter, need to attend some stupid lunch just to make some stodgy old guy feel good. Even though it was obvious (to me anyway) that it was all for him, in his mind, he was seeing to it that "his people" would have a good time. It's my lunch hour, and I'll do what I want on my time. I never attended another of his lunches and everyone was fine with that... and he never said a word about my not being there. All that said, there are managers out there who abuse their position of authority and force this kind of thing on their employee. In some settings this can be illegal. If you're forced to join in such a function and you don't like it, stop going. If it will jeopardize your employment, then that's not the kind of place you want to work at in the first place. For the "big wigs" out there who insist on having these "parties" to supposedly improve morale and relations with employees... you may as well beat your staff, because that's basically what you're telling your employees by making these mandatory and making note of those who don't attend. Employees will not like you any more because you hold these functions, usually just the opposite. "You will attend, and you will like it" is NOT a way to improve morale or your standing with your employees.

fcarr
fcarr

This kind of clueless management behavior was one of the funniest things lampooned in the movie Office Space.

smichael
smichael

Mandatory - never a good thing when related to non-business activities. If you're employees WANT to participate, then external events (if not too often) are a great way for people to get to know one another external to the daily work (pressure) environment. Management leaders MUST be aware of who does and doesn not like to participate, and should never force the issue, if they aren't, they need to find another occupation. Stong teams look foward to these outings together and deserve them. Weak teams just look at them as another opportunity to complain about something they SHOULD have more control over via empowerment if it exists. If you don't feel a part of your team, then I encourage to find a job elsewhere as your career is too long to not be happy where you live "most of the time".

LawrencRJ
LawrencRJ

I once had a transfer in a goverment job with a promotion. It was around Christmas time and most of my days were spent viewing videos (and taking notes)explaining the details of system programming on a mainframe computer that I was unfamiliar with. On the afternoon of the Christmas party I had a headache. I was gung-ho enough that had there been no party I would have struggled through the training flicks in spite of the headache, but I could not see any virtue in attending an Office Christmas Party with a bad headache. So I charged sick time and went home. The next day I was brought into the boss's office and "counciled" for taking sick time when, being a new employee, the Christmas Party was an important function for me to get aquainted with fellow employees. I told the boss to "kiss my butt" (using somewhat less polite terms) and I transferred back to the lower position where attendance of frivoloties was optional. It was the only time in my life that I got to appreciate what it would be like to be in prison or living under a dictatorship. Freedom is SOOO precious!!!

highlander718
highlander718

First of all they are definitely NOT MANDATORY as in you are not required by the law to attend these things. If your career is jeopardized by not attending these evenets, I guess you don't want a career in that company anyway. On the other hand, it is the nice thing to do, to show respect and some interest for your colleagues when they celebrate their B-days, and to make the "extra effort" to show up for the once a year Christmas Party. After all, you are with these guys for most of your time, it doesn't hurt to socialize a little bit.

guillenkma
guillenkma

The honest truth is that if the company you work for is hosting "Mandatory Fun Days" and you don't feel compelled to attend, the company climate is NOT one that fosters team building. When employees feel they are valuable contribution to the team, the company, the team and the employee all benefit and "company outings" become something employees look forward to. That is the way it is at the comapny I work for. If you don't experience this, you probably also have underlying issues like; individual agendas, lack of trust and micromanagment. Not to mention, overlying issues like; lack of professionalism, lack of proper business conduct and poor performance.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Especially the off hours get togethers. We do have casual lunches for birthdays. Most people look forward to such, but some don't. What is unspoken is people (not the bosses) do notice when you don't socialize at all.

jdclyde
jdclyde

If the company throws a Christmas (winter) party, it is good for your career to attend. If you choose not to show, it is your choice, but yes, it will be noted as not being part of the team. At least make an appearance.

JamesRL
JamesRL

No such thing where I have worked. I have encouraged people to attend events, both my staff and my work friends. But mandatory is not in the vocabulary. I would suggest if you want to become management you should attend everything you can, to get to know people and be seen. But forcing people to attend things they don't want to? Thats can bring down the people who want to be there too. James

clendanielc
clendanielc

Funny you are describing the place I work at. You have to be there no matter what. I left early one event and I had a three hour meeting with my boss about the importance of the birthday parties and the off hours parties. I am really starting to learn if you work for a company that follows the "You are going to eat your vegetables, and your are going to LIKE it!" then the company has a huge issue with keeping personnel. There been a couple times where it was either fix the crashed server or go to a office function. Chose the server and had another meeting on the importance of the office functions. YIKES!!!!!!

JamesRL
JamesRL

One of the large companies I worked with was very involved with the United Way, to the extent that we were tha largest single employer group and we often provided leadership to the campaign. Senior Management was heavily involved and they took it seriously. A big part of the campaign was raising awareness. You might not contribute at the end, but there is no question that you would not be unaware that the company supported the charity. One year one of the senior campaign organizers managed to convince the president (of a company with 19 billion dollars in revenue) to sit in the dunk tank. He inturn commanded his directs to make sure they showed up to take turns. He taunted them to make sure they continued to try if they missed. He didn't taunt those he didn't know but he did encourage those with close but no cigar throws to try again. All in all very entertaining and successful. We all felt the president was human and was willing to do his part to help meet the goals. Another year he took pies in the face. James

gcostigan
gcostigan

Or at least I think it's different. I have was with one company where a 'mandatory fun event' was announced and after the announcement several groups of people were approached and told privately that they didn't have to show up. It turned out that the dis-invited were the un-cool, the less fashionable, the people behind the scenes who kept the technology going to make everyone look good. After the event was held, and upper management found out what happened the party organizers were encouraged to look for oppotunities elsewhere. At the company I am currently at, I was walking past one of those birthday celebrations people pull together for people born in the same month. One kind soul tried to invite me in, not knowing then that I had been inadvertently snubbed on my actual birthday. My point is that sometimes people are using the "mandatory fun event" label as ways to look like they're inclusive when given a chance, they wouldn't be.

Tig2
Tig2

I do not feel a need to sacrifice my private time- of which I tend to have little- for the company. Bottom line- they pay me to do a job. I do that job. I do NOT have to socialize with them in order to do that job. My family is important to me. Fund raising is important to me. Supporting the 3 Day and the Komen is important to me. Team building on MY time- for which I am not paid- is NOT important to me... especially if I am forced. Failure to attend a "feel good" event is reflective of nothing more than my priorities. And since it is MY time, I get to choose my priorities.

GSG
GSG

...that I don't care if people notice that I don't socialize. If they come right out and want to make after hours functions mandatory, then they need to hold them during business hours and pay me for my time. If they want to fire me for not attending, go ahead because there is nothing in my job description that says I'm required to attend an after hours party, and I'll be getting my job back. I was being pressured this summer by co-workers telling me how fun the summer picnic would be, so I finally told them that if they consider fun to be 110 degrees with 100 percent humidity, by the lake infested with mosquitos carrying the west nile virus fun, then go ahead, but I'd already said no, and if they asked again, they were bordering on harrassment. I was told later by others that they wish they hadn't gone because it was miserable.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

when out in public and definitely would be lit at an office function. I don't really feel like I know the people I work with and believe I could easily make an a$$ out of myself, just like I do here, if left to my own devices.

lmelanson
lmelanson

Could be worse, in the military, my husband is not only "strongly suggested" that he go or else be brought up on charges. He was also ordered to pay not only for himself but also for a veteran. He would have gladly paid is asked, it was the ordered part especially since the commanding officer had forgot to budget for the event. The uncooked Cornish hens were to die for.

ascrubber
ascrubber

There's two sides to this issue. a. the server would need fixing anyway - today or tomorrow (r sooner if a customer needs). b. Office functions should NOT be a burden - you should have a chance to get to know others in the organisation on non work grounds. I've been on both sides, and as basically a tehnologist, sometimes have felt 'You shall have fun' functions a bit pointless. Thats UNLESS you feel comfortable with the management and their attitude during AND after hours. Each manager should be on the look out for his/her staff even when they are having Mandatory Fun, both to make sure they dont go too far, and to make sure the more reserved are not feeling left out. Its a sign that they have a clue about managing people, or otherwise (in which case they should revert to what they do well). If there are any on my troops who feel I'm not including them in the real fun, lets have a coffee on my dime to see how we can fix it. PS: there is a difference between a hard manager and a poor manager. One of my managers (in early days) was a hard manager, but my best work mate. He was a good manager, and good with people (No I didnt get away with anything either!)

GSG
GSG

This is an easy one... If it's a during hours birthday party that I don't want to attend, I will have a system that is having an issue. I don't say it's down, but will say I found a problem and I'm on the phone with the vendor. It's very hard to prove that there isn't a problem. If it's after hours, then I will be conveniently sick, and if anyone asks about it, I'll give great details about the texture, frequency, etc... In the summer, if it's the company picnic (i.e. hell with food and salmonella), I use my severe allergies as an excuse (I truly have them)not to be outside in the 100 degree heat. If it's a holiday party, such as a christmas party, then play the "religion card". They shouldn't be asking about your religion, so all you have to say is that your beliefs don't allow for that type of function. You could always have a death in the family as well.

Paul R.A.
Paul R.A.

whether you wish to participate or not you need to or you are viewed as not being a "team player". So unless you have a certifiable religious reason that can stand up to HR scrutiny you better or your performance measure will drop. This amounts to a $5.00 a quarter tax and additional amounts if for some reason I cannot schedule meetings when the mandatory birthday lunch is held since we need to chip in to pay for that. Our manager likes it because it gives her a way to get an idea on how old everyone is without breaking any HR and Government anti-discrimination regs. = remember in the us if you are over 40 you are covered by age discrimination laws.

terryma
terryma

At my job and position, I am 'encouraged' to donate some money to our annual Christmas party. This money is to pay for the spouses of the lower level people so they don't have to pay. I don't mind paying for them because I like them. My boss encourages us to attend the function but we are not required to. We do all sit together as most of us don't care to spend an evening with people we don't know. We also do a BBQ at his house in the summer, attendance is optional and there are no repercussions for failing to attend. My husband's company enourages attendance at both the summer BBQ and the Christmas party. Its a small company so failing to attend is noticed as every one is expected to attend. The owner is a single woman, without much of a life outside of work, so she forgets that some of us would rather spend time with our families. I am looking to advance, so we do the 'proper' thing and attend (and talk to upper management) company 'fun'ctions, he does not want to be in management so we tend to make an appearance and leave early or sit with the 'fun' people at his 'fun'ctions. I guess the big difference is I like my boss and co-workers, his boss is a different story.

DadsPad
DadsPad

I was at a small company that had a mandatory team building project. It was away from the place of work and on paid time. One of the more memorable ones was cooperation in Circus Training (high tapezze). Another company was very large and had a company picnic every spring. Was not mandatory, but was such a family event that your family would want to go. The picnic was held in the zoo with live bands. The best one was held on company site (they had a very large area between two buildings). There was the normal rides, but include a magician and other acts from Las Vegas. They really went all out. There were other fun events, mostly held by the 'real' workers. But most were as others described. Mostly an excuse for the 'in croud' to gather and exclude others. Otherwise were just an excuse to drink. Which did not become very interesting to me as I became older. Ony at one company were they mandatory.

Shellbot
Shellbot

the place i work in, we have cake in the kitchen if someone is leaving..the whole building will go..if they want..if you don't, no matter. The team i am in will go for lunch for birthdays and stuff..but we all choose to go as we get along fine and its a good laugh..we don't really have after hours activities.. now the last place i worked..holy moley.. if it was your birthday , cake was got, and EVERYONE had to attend and SING..but whatever, not the end of the world.. now, in the summer we would have team building stuff, mandatory..be at office by 7am, get bus to middle of frikkin nowhere and have activities all day, then dinner, and drinks..the last one i attended was ok..archery, clay pidgeon shooting and horse riding (ughhh)..after 10 pm when all the p*ssies went to bed the rest of us stayed up till 6am drinking our faces off...then treasure hunt the next day, home sat evening at 7.. and the xmas parties..usually on a saturday, usually across the country as well..everyone got drunk and made @sses of themselves..i don't drink more than 3 at company funtions..so not so fun for me..the last xmas party..3 of the girls got into thier pj's and did a strip tease in the funtion room (which had about 10 other companies partying as well)..i clearly recall a bra landing on the boss's head..classy..we got asked to please not book with that hotel again. or how about the time my supervisor puked on the dancefloor..or one of the bosses started a food fight.. before i left that place, i refused to go to the last xmas party and when i was told otherwise, i threatened to take them to the authorities for harrassment.. team building my @ss

sleepin'dawg
sleepin'dawg

will enjoy or not enjoy these things. On the way up I sometimes felt obligated to attend certain functions at a few companies. I admit ; I didn't feel like attending a lot of those but surprisingly they often proved useful in hashing out some minor problems that we often didn't have time for in the normal office situation. [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

Menace65
Menace65

We have plenty of functions at my company and I'll be damned if I'm going to attend them in my off-hours. We do celebrate birthdays in my immediate department, but we try to lump a couple together as much as possible so we don't have as many (a coworker and I actually share the same birthdate). Basically, I attend what I WANT to attend. We have a lot of really nice folks where I work, so it's usually not a hardship to attend a function, but if these were made mandatory, there would be an uproar. I think it's harder for those in IT sometimes to socialize with their end users as it's inevitable that we'll be asked some kind of work question. I do dread seeing some of the end users who I know will come up with something because they "just happened to remember a problem when they saw me." I'd rather go into a corner with my cronies, drink some beers, and make fun of everyone...is that so wrong? ;)

Smilodon
Smilodon

Last department I worked in the newly hired manager scheduled a Christmas party at a nearby restaurant where everyone was required to wear a (prefereably funny) hat. I had already requested time off to go out of town. While there was no issue made about that part, I found this idea to be demeaning. If you decide amongst yourselves to do something like that with your work mates that is one thing. I felt like they would never have done this with folks at the management level. It got me motivated to transfer to another department where I have much better opportunities. Now when we have a group outing, almost always at lunchtime, I am happy to go but it is not mandatory.

jdclyde
jdclyde

on if your looking to advance or not. You are not currently looking to move up in a company, and so taking this approach will not hurt you.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Our company has alot of events, but nobody is COMPELLED to attend. Many *do* attend, because they WANT to be there, and this company is all about people having family time.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

It's not that you'll be fired. It's that you'll be continually passed over for promotions, etc. Even when you don't attend the receptionists party. Someday he or she becomes a manager and never forgives you. It's just part of office politics, you can never completely escape it. For many of us geeks we probably don't care because we don't want a promotion. That's OK too. As for the picnic. It sounds like your company should have them in the spring or fall instead of summer. That's what we do in Phoenix. Last summer I went with my Dad to his 50th High School reunion in SW Arkansas. It was around July 4th. Very high temperatures and humidity, ticks, chiggers, etc. Dad wanted to see the small farm where he grew up. We wondered through a thicket of saw grass, thorn bushes too tall to see over and too thick to see more than a few feet. Eventually we found the creek, muddy and mosquito ridden. Pulled off at least a dozen ticks when we were done.

faradhi
faradhi

I stopped drinking almost 15 years ago. Mainly because I thought it made me an a##hole. Low and behold, after 15 years sober, I am still an a##hole. I guess the big difference is I don't want to be. Oh well. Progress....

jdclyde
jdclyde

Haven't you ever read any of the Christmas Party guides on the internet on how to keep from getting yourself fired at a Christmas party? :0 And especially don't drink enough to spank the naughty monkey..... [i](sorry, that never gets old.... ) :D

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

I guess it's just one of the unfair things, but I would hate to think my career would be affected by whether or not I attended an off-hours company event. I've known people who attend every event they can, but they're not that good at work.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I'm not at a point in my life where I would find people puking to be a fun event. Now the bra on the other hand..... My boss works a 6 hour flight away from me. When he is in town, and invites me to dinner - it is a work thing and I must go. We don't spend the whole evening discussing work, but there will be a work related discussion of one kind of another. James

Fregeus
Fregeus

...i had a more direct contact with the general user community. I use to answer "sorry folks, I'm off the clock right now". Some understood, some didn't. I personally find it rude if someone comes to you with a professional question in a social event. Social events are to relax and enjoy each other. As far as i know, that's far from how work feels. That's why i never ask medical questions to Doctors i meet for example. These people have the exact same right to relax as I and they deserve the time as much as I. If you don't like it, tough!

guillenkma
guillenkma

Your statement, "I'd rather go into a corner with my cronies, drink some beers, and make fun of everyone...is that so wrong?", is just plain wrong. It does not help team build, it is unprofessional, and immature. You should consider ways in which you can positively contribute to the team effort. by Menace65 | 09/25/07

bradfiel
bradfiel

My company has a pinic every summer. We have to give money to help buy whatever BBQ they pick out and are then asked to bring "our favorite dishes" I have to drive 30 miles, pay for park admission, bring food and money. They hold the picnic in July and it will be at least 102 degrees. I hate it and see it as a waste of my time and money but I usually show up because upper management is taking note of who showed up and who "donated" the most money for the party. They also ask us to "volunteer" to bring food to accompany the meat I already paid for. They also give out prizes obtained from vendors by way of a drawing, usually the managers "win" those freebies.

fdmundo
fdmundo

People higher-up in the company are always looking at who's going to be "promotion-eligible" and part of that is determining who they feel personally comfortable with. Away from the workplace, you can tell dirty jokes, pat somebody's ass, call one of your vendors an ass-hat, etc. How you handle that kind of B.S. determines whether you're eligible to become part of their peer-jerk-group.

GSG
GSG

The thing is, I don't want a promotion. I'm happy doing what I do, and I'm lucky that people have realized that I have these skills and that I would not be a good team leader or supervisor. They also have realized that there are limits to things I will tolerate. I will attend a function or two per year, but they will be of my choosing, and I will not spend more than an hour there. I admit that I did attend a charity function for several hours last year and had lots of fun, but it was free, dinner was provided, I was with a group of co-workers that I consider friends, and I let it be known ahead of time that I was not a designated driver and not to even ask me to drive anyone home because we were all adults and if they got drunk then they could get a hotel room. If they chose to drive drunk then that was their problem. They agreed, and fun was had by all.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I left one company after 7 years employment to take an important project at another company. After I left, my boss followed his former boss to another firm. They heard I wasn't happy and called me in to work for them again at the new firm. Three years in and the big boss gets a lateral. Cuts are coming, and I know it. I've done the math and know my boss has to lay one of his staff and I know the other managers have longer tenure and my position - strategic planning, could be absorbed by my boss and others. The day comes and my boss lays me off, almost lost his composure. There is no way I could have prevented the layoff, and I consider him a good friend. He invited me to the usual christmas lunch even though he had laid me off in October, His strong references helped me land another job. Of course there are companies that work differently but good companies don't let relationships overcome logic. James

detours
detours

True. And on the flip side, it's easier to lay off the head-down, on-task invisible man than the one you see every day. A few years ago, my old boss was told to pick one person on the team for a layoff. As she told me afterwards, she picked the guy with the worst work ethic, who just happened to sit near the VP and had become his hunting and sports buddy. But on riff day, I was the one they escorted off campus. I can still see the look of shock on my boss's face as I passed her office. The VP hadn't even told her. It would have been hilarious if I hadn't just lost my job. I'm still not very social, but I'm not the invisible man anymore. I participate in most team activities and make sure upper management knows my name.

jdclyde
jdclyde

And someone that the management LIKES is going to advance faster than someone they don't know. Has nothing to do with fair, just human nature.

Shellbot
Shellbot

hey sweetie.. work work work..thank god for TR :) ughh..is that like a dinner with just you and him..or are there others? if others cool, if not..yeck..not fun :) anything new? will pm, you sometime later today to say hi!

Fregeus
Fregeus

Sounds interesting, I'll be sure to check it out. :-)

eyefullcower
eyefullcower

Hey, Bear! This is a really, really "tai chi" subject - (no excuse for the palidy on words), but my reply to your comments is the title to the book by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, MD. It answers your comment TO THE T! The by-line on this New York Times #1 Bestseller is: "Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini". It's definitely worth a glance and more than several chuckles! Enjoy! and thanks for the "stop techie Q's at partys" comments. Huu-Yeah!!

Fregeus
Fregeus

...going to the Christmas party is against my religion ;-) hehehe

Shellbot
Shellbot

ya, its not quite the norm for america..but in ireland there are some who do it like that. a lot of hotels have "packages"..dinner, dance and a room for X per head..a lot of companies do it..it can be fun..but not when it takes up your weekend and gets out of hand like so many do.. its common enough in my circles anyways

highlander718
highlander718

to have the XMass party taking up the whole weekend 3 hours away from home ... You should've mentioned the conditions prior, we are talking regular7average Xmass gatherings here.

Shellbot
Shellbot

if i am being forced to go to some stupid xmas party on a saturday night 3 hours away in another town..(meaning i have to get up, get there, get ready..and spend the night..not getting home until sunday afternoon) that means spening a weekend with people i see every day, eat sh1tty food and pretend to have fun..i'd go into the corner, drink with my cronies and make fun of others as well. team building you say..?? how about the time us girls held the managers hair back while she puked for 20 mins, does that count?