If You Want To Be Considered A Real Team Player You Always Have To Take One For The Team

One Of The Many Lies We’re Expected To Believe

P.G. Barnett
Jan 31, 2020 · 5 min read
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Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

It seems as though I’ve been on a corporate business writing binge for the last couple of days, so I think I’m going to “put a fork in it ’cause it’s done” and give this topic a rest with one last piece.

For now.

If this is to be my last on this topic, I may as well blow the freaking lid off of things with a ranting tirade, right?

So here goes. Everybody buckle up.

The landscape of my company has been shifting for several years now. Even though a large company, it was always touted as being a place where talented people come to thrive. A family working together toward a common goal.

Now, not so much.

Most of those “family members” have left the company. Either by personal attrition or a series of company “right-sizing” efforts, which we’re all pretty much used to nowadays.

Over the last ten years, my company has lost its “family value” operational model. Even worse, it seems we’ve been splintered into tiny silos of self-centered teams who seem willing to do whatever it takes to keep their butts out of the line of fire.

Apparently, each team is supposed to have at the bare minimum one. A team member convinced by mindf*ckery or by the threat of losing their job that they need to “take one for the team.”

If a program goes south, or the last manufactures and sales of our product plummet so far below the profit margin line it will take years to recover, the scapegoat, of course, gets called up to receive the hit, to take one for the team.

And why is this?

It’s because no one on the team dares to stand before the corporate judges armed with all the empirical evidence and take that a*s whupping.

We’re getting called to executive row to explain why we failed again. Hey, let’s get Mikey to do it. He was looking for a job when he came to work here.

Yeah, dear old Mikey. He’s bought off on the fertilizer being spread around. He’s been told that to be a real team player, he has to take one for the team. He’s been force-fed that crap for so long he’s actually proud to take the beatings.

And he either blows a gasket and croaks, or suddenly wises up and leaves, or gets his number punched and finds himself being escorted to his car carrying all his personal crap in a box he had to purchase from the company store.

I think one of the best examples of all this is a commercial I saw on television just the other day.

Picture this if you will.

A small tribe of Neanderthal looking men and women are standing on the shoreline of their tiny island.

Wearing clothing made of animal hide and carrying spears, they are urging one of their tribemates to venture further out into the water to reach another tiny island where they believe fruit and vegetables aplenty await them.

The water between the two islands is infested by voracious sea monsters.

The member who’s chosen to cross stops when the water reaches his waist then turns to face his clan.

He then proposes building something that can sit on top of the water so the entire tribe can cross, gather up all the fruits and vegetables they want, and safely return.

But the tribe will hear none of it, scoffing at his suggestion and urging him to get on with it.

With a shrug of his shoulders, he turns and begins to walk into deeper waters.

The entire tribe begins to chant his name, “Danny, Danny, Danny, Danny…”

A sea monster bursts from the water grabs Danny and pulls him under.

As he disappears beneath the surface of the water, the tiny tribe stops chanting. They all look at one another, and then the elder of the tribe claps his hand atop another tribe member’s shoulder and announces, “okay, Chucky, it’s on you now, mate.”

Chucky sighs and offers a weary shake of his head then heads toward the water.

As the camera pulls back, you see Chucky stepping into the water and the tiny tribe standing onshore chanting, “Chucky, Chucky, Chucky…”

It’s a compelling statement on how we’re all supposed to take this corporate brainwashing bullsh*t and say, “thank you, sir. May I have another?”

The problem is, I’ve heard all this bulls*it before.

How as a team member, you must be willing at times to take one for the team. How there is no I in the word team. We’re lead to believe that to succeed, we must lose our singular identity and be willing to stand there and be assimilated.

And I’m interested in taking care of me and my interests before I start exposing my backside for a team of miscreants who don’t give a rat’s a*s about me in the first place.

So those people telling me I’m not a team player?

Interesting to note is the fact that all of the accusers, every freaking one of them, are no longer with the company.

Huh, and I still am. Wonder how that happened?

Maybe it’s because I wasn’t a team player and wasn’t willing to take one for the team.

Thank You So Much For Reading

Let’s keep in touch: paul@pgbarnett.com

© P.G. Barnett, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Rogues’ Gallery

This is THE place for independent thinkers and respectful…

P.G. Barnett

Written by

A published author enjoying married Texas bliss. Dog person living with cats. A writer of Henry James' stories. Featured In MuckRack. Top Writer In Fiction.

Rogues’ Gallery

This is THE place for independent thinkers and respectful rabble-rousers. Release the rogue in you, break free of the herd and let’s shake things up, together!

P.G. Barnett

Written by

A published author enjoying married Texas bliss. Dog person living with cats. A writer of Henry James' stories. Featured In MuckRack. Top Writer In Fiction.

Rogues’ Gallery

This is THE place for independent thinkers and respectful rabble-rousers. Release the rogue in you, break free of the herd and let’s shake things up, together!

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