I work in a world of collaboration, I’m sure you do too. Teamwork is the ‘new black’ of our age. We’re told over and over teams are important. Companies spend countless dollars converting their offices so they’re wide open spaces with no walls. Consultants and other gurus tell us how wonderful it is to see everybody else in our offices. We should be happy to be freed from the chains of the cubicle. Our liberating heroes and their new teamwork and open space philosophy have set us free. Hallelujah!
Screw that, I like working by myself.
Call me mean.
Call me a curmudgeon.
I may just be the guy that shakes his fist at children and tells them to get off his lawn.
Get off my lawn consultant, and give me back my damn cubicle! Shove that open office space up your………..ergonomic standing desk!
Perhaps this is why I like writing so much. It’s just me and my pen or my keyboard. I only have to rely on myself for the work. I don’t have to be in an office to complete a task. I can sit in a quiet room, turn on music, and stare at nobody except a screen or notebook. I need no wingman or co-worker for this type of labor.
I guess I seriously started seeing this idea in college. Every single class had at least one group project. It was jammed down our throat and we were told this is the way the world works. In at least one juncture during the semester, we’d get put into a team and have to work with others. This group project regularly turned into my project. I’d regularly get stuck with people who didn’t show up for meetings or did next to nothing. I’d say only about 10% of my group working experiences turned out well.
I also had the amazing instance of being stuck in a group with another person who didn’t go to my school. This tool just happened to wander in to one of my grad level courses for a few classes, then left. He was actually put into a group with me for a large project, then disappeared. My teacher for the course told me, “this is bizarre, but Bob doesn’t go to our school, he just wandered in off the street and sat down in our class for a few days.” I was told I would have to do the complete grad level group project by myself. I also picked the topic for Bob, who told me he had a medical background.
I hope one day a cubicle wall falls on Bob, wherever he is.
The Work World And Excuses
I’m dependent upon others where I work. It never fails to put me into a bad position. I have to do the work of multiple people, plus babysit others around me. The only thing I can truly count on is that if I’m not watching what’s happening around me, something foolish will be done that loses us money. I try not to micromanage things, but whatever I put into someone else’s hands ends up half done.
The other thing I can count on is excuses. Excuses come in many flavors and varieties.
Let’s see, there’s the I overslept excuse. That one is popular.
There’s the I forgot excuse, that’s a time tested favorite.
There’s also the you wanted me to do that excuse. No, I pointed at something and told you to do something expecting you not to do it.
One of my favorites was the I would have called, but I didn’t know the number for the office excuse. This one was one of my favorites because the employee had the office number written on his t-shirt he was wearing at the time of the excuse. That one just made me laugh.
Writing Is A Solo Activity No Wingman Necessary
This is probably why I gravitate to writing. My pen never gives me excuses. It doesn’t set something on fire if I don’t watch what it’s doing (yes, that’s happened before). I’m not let down at a critical moment by my pen. I need no colleague or team to pound out an article. Everything is on me. If something I write is awful, it’s on me. If I miss the mark, that’s my fault as well. I’m not tripping over speed bumps thrown down by someone else. If I win or lose it’s all on me. I’m the creator of my own fortune or failures.
Yes, I know what you’re saying in your head as you read this:
The world depends on teams, suck it up and get used to it.
Or you might be thinking:
Maybe it’s just you. You seem to be the one consistent thing in these groups that doesn’t work out.
You could be onto something there, maybe it is me. I am the one shouting at imaginary consultants at the beginning of this article. I do know one thing though, I will continue to escape to writing. The idea of just being able to rely on myself is a therapy the likes of which most will never understand. It may just be one of the only things keeping me sane.
So for the immediate future, you can expect to see articles from me bitching and complaining about something. Well, sometimes I do write about history too. Boring history that will help you fall asleep, no matter what type of chronic insomnia you’re plagued by.
Thank you for reading my ramblings. If you enjoyed what you’ve read, please share. Or hit me with your favorite excuses, I collect them.