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"(Office Story): "Wanna pull the airplane?"" Topic

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686 hits since 12 Aug 2015
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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 6:01 a.m. PST

Disclaimer: We know the dance…do it….


My Corporate IT Department out in beautiful sunny Southern California, has gone on a 2-3 times a year "Team building" exercise….
What this means essentially is that those of us that are in other parts of the country are forced to fly 8-12 hours squashed up like sardines in a plane, to get to LA and do half a day or training and meetings and then "mandatory fun", and then fly out the next day.

I went to the first one, which was actually pretty cool. Since then, I have avoided them like the plague.
This past week, we had another one where they wanted me to come out to do "meetings" and then "team-building" to go watch an Angels-Indians game.

I got out of it.
My supervisor (K), wanted to know "why".

"Simple" I told her. "I'm having two days worth of Dental Surgery being done this week."

"Can't you do it later?" She asked me.

"K." I gently reminded her. "This is the surgery that I was supposed to have done this past JANUARY, but you asked me to put off to get the Wisconsin plant going. So I put it off until Feb. Then you asked me to put it off again…so I put it off until March. Then you you asked me to put it off until I did…and then you asked me to put it off until June…due to plant deployment issues. No. I need to have this done."

K: "Oh..okay…yes you are right."

So yesterday. I get an email from Corp.
"Wanna pull the airplane?" it says….

I'm thinking…"Is this some sort of new buzzword or phrase?"….

"This isn't anything like "Here, pull my finger!" is it?" I respond back.

"What?!?..No..NO!!!…" Was the answer….

But no…seems that Corp IT found out that my Indy plant is going to do a "airplane pull" for special Olympics this month, and "they think that it would be great for me to show up and help, and be part of the team, and help represent "Corporate IT"…."


Kind of a "you are invited and will attend" type of things….

So I get to spend Saturday August 29th representing my office folks in California as I team up with other folks and we try to pull an airplane…..

I'm trying to learn the words to "Where there's a whip…there is a way…."

Submitted respectfully,


Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Aug 2015 6:15 a.m. PST

Father Abraham didn't get as much done as he thought. Sounds like slavery to me. Hell, the Army didn't pull that kind of BS.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 6:36 a.m. PST

Will you be fire walking at the same time?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 6:38 a.m. PST

It would be interesting to see a "study" on how effective these team building exercises really are. Something simple, like before and after quarterlies.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 6:44 a.m. PST

Or you could be doing this as part of your mandatory fun:

45thdiv12 Aug 2015 6:50 a.m. PST

Well, at least you have a job to complain about.

dvyws912 Aug 2015 7:02 a.m. PST

Gotta love team building exercises.

I once worked for a company where the middlemanagement hated each other. Pasionately.

So senior management sentr them off on a Team Building Weekend. They came back hating each other even more, but now with an intimate knowledge of each other's weaknesses, and exactly where to slide in the knives…

Maddaz111 Inactive Member12 Aug 2015 7:39 a.m. PST

I was part of a team exercise doing a river crossing.. with planks, poles, and bits of rope.

I worked hard, taking over as leader because our leader had little idea how to do the exercise..

I managed to strand our Least Valuable team member on a piling that the organisers couldn't work out how it had happened.. and got the rest of the team across..

I was involved in a few other exercises, including locked door puzzles, and travelling furthest with empty pockets.. I used to be pretty good at that kind of thing..

I always found that it revealed the weak links in teams better than direct appraisal

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian12 Aug 2015 8:27 a.m. PST

I remember the Leadership Reaction Course in ROTC, I wasn't the fittest, strongest or smartest, but I knew who on my team was and acted accordingly. I think we set the time on a couple of events.

Would love to do that in a corporate environment

Cold Steel Inactive Member12 Aug 2015 8:33 a.m. PST

Rrobbyrobot, which Army were you in? For our battalion family appreciation day, the Bn Cdr wanted each company to have a team compete in who could pull a tank the fastest across the athletic field. The CSM convinced him to switch to an M113 in the parking lot.

And yes, participation and having fun were mandatory.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Aug 2015 9:12 a.m. PST

Cold Steel,
I was in the US Army. Never heard of such a thing as a Family Appreciation Day while I was in service. We were kind of busy training to face the Soviets, or North Koreans. But then, I finished serving during the first Bush administration.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 9:34 a.m. PST

When 'team building' meetings were announced at IBM,
we mid-lower level management types had a chant:

'Gimme a B…Gimme a U….Gimme a L….' etc…

Got to where we were 'disinvited' as a 'team' despite
the wonderful chants we could do…

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 11:33 a.m. PST

Don't forget to wear your came for the BS, stayed for the bear T-shirt

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 12:40 p.m. PST

Just tell them you'd love to come and participate but you are having or had surgery.Get some sympathy!

pmwalt Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2015 5:56 p.m. PST

They're paying to fly you to CA to pull a plane for Special Olympics … why not sit your but in the Midwest and use the funds and donate them directly to Special Olympics --- must be the corporate photo op

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2015 12:02 a.m. PST

Ah yes.
Mandatory fun.
My current employer is big into that.
I'm usually on call on those days or on vacation.
What a bad coincidence!

MarescialloDiCampo Inactive Member13 Aug 2015 6:57 a.m. PST

…a long time friend was invited to go to the mandatory office fun day (back when it was NIS not NCIS) at an overseas location.
He looked at the manager and told him:
"Naw, I gotta go polish my lawnmower"
Needless to say this did not endear him to the management, but as he said, "I never wanted to be a moron manager anyway".

Personal logo svsavory Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2015 8:41 p.m. PST

The beatings will continue until morale improves…

JSchutt14 Aug 2015 3:36 a.m. PST

Team building exercises can sometimes give the less keen employee the notion that authority is equally divided amongst a work group. Like saving Private Ryan.

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