It Figures!

Voice Card  -  Volume 23  -  Janine Card Number 12  -  Sun, Jan 26, 1992 4:30 PM

Here's another funny one that just happened at work. We have quarterly meetings designed to get people's enthusiasm up called "Quest for your Best," in which we play a variety of teamwork kinds of games and get little prizes with which to clutter our desks!

Friday was this year's first such meeting. The focus was on different types of personalities at work. The Executive Director ran the meeting and had us move to opposite sides of the room, based on whether we thought we had an outgoing personality or an introverted one (I was on the outgoing side). She then had these two groups split based on whether we liked working with people or on our own. I and another "peon" named Ellen chose working on our own.

The Exec. Dir. proceeded to describe the personality types we had described ourselves as, and the type of positions which match. Ellen and I were told we were the director-type; individualistic with a take-charge attitude. I could have died laughing - all our supervisors and managers were in the next group (outgoing, like to work with people) which was described as the supportive, enthusiastic team-type personalities!*

This seems like a classic example of why so many companies are run so poorly - the people with the tenacity to stay in one job long enough to get a management position without being bored out of their skulls are not necessarily going to be the most creative people in the company (or as Ellen would say, "S/He's not the sharpest tool in the shed!"), whereas the creative ones ARE going to get bored if they can't get the job they really want (like me) and will leave, given the opportunity.

* When I told another friend this story, she said that they (the managers and supervisors) are probably so indoctrinated into the "team-spirit" attitude we're all supposed to have that they thought to say they preferred to work on their own rather than with people would be viewed badly by the Exec. Director. My attitude was "What's she gonna do, fire me?!?" Now, I don't think team spirit is a bad thing, but I don't like it when the attitude seems forced or phony, as it does from many of these same people.