There is an I in Team…Or is There?

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Of all there years of working in both team and independent environments I have always hated the the team environment though I understood the many benefits of it. I hated it because I always felt I could get so much more accomplished on my own. The reasoning came from the fact that I always had the laziest of lazy people paired with me that would slap their name on my project and say they helped when in actuality they literally would come about on the last day and try and do something.

Some people would say if only you would work better in a team you would get the concept…but when you have 2 weeks, a month, or some other long length of time to work on a project and the ‘team’ decides to come together in the final moment of the project to work on it having not brainstormed one piece of it prior to that I will not work with you.

Now if you brainstormed ANY thing with me within the first few moments and we agree to come back within the last moments because it is simple but somehow proves to be harder than we anticipated well then that’s a hurdle to come about at that time. But that was a team effort. Not me making the plan or me enforcing/ finalizing the plan.

Recently, I have been known to take on entire team dealings just to reduce such anxiety because I do not like deal with tight deadlines because of said lazy people. It drives me insane. I am a person that if I have a month the get something done it is usually done within the first 1-2 weeks and turned in so that if there is problem my boss can look over it and has plenty of time if necessary (which usually it’s not) to send it back for edits. This makes everyone less stressed and very happy!

We are all very accustomed to my style,  within my team, LOL. I love my current team because we are a self-managed team that works independently of one another on tasks and come together on our tasks and each one knows our tasks. We all know each person’s strengths and weaknesses and play to them well. We enjoy each other’s company.

HOWEVER….there is always a person who comes along and tries to screw with that notion. We recently had that snake in our garden of eden if you will, lol. That piper among lulling falsely. This person had us all fooled. They came in and inevitably greatly disappointed us in the end…But let me start at the beginning.

We allowed the person to come in as a part-timer to do some work with us. We have plenty of part-timers who help our team. We consider them as part of our sub team like a network of webbing that supports our main team. We also enjoy them and all they do with and for us. They are integral to who and what we are as an organization. This person seemed amazing at first. They came a time of need and subbed as we needed them taking up the slack where we needed it most. The clients loved them. However, there was a minor glitch at our sister location with one of our staff…they did not seem to take note of said awesomeness as I had…hmmm well this was strange. They did not welcome them as I had either. They were not being team oriented. Tsk. Tsk. I hated that their experience was not so great there, but they only had to be there that one time. However, they would need to go back there to pick up their ID. But luckily they could avoid that staff member.

Everything appeared to be fine for a few weeks. Then They needed to miss a day at my site. I was a bit disturbed by this as it was already agreed upon and the calendar had gone out to all of our members. The reason was a conflict with their other job…But not as disturbed maybe as I should have been because it was a in a way a first offense as I sort of shrugged off the other issue. I thought to myself though they agreed to this date they really should not break our agreements/ commitments because of such this was already arranged and it was not an emergency and we told them as much. It’s just plain unprofessional. Especially when we confirm things from month to month and we are already in a pinch due since this person is subbing for or regular person.

Then the person asks about 11/24 the Tuesday before thanksgiving. This should have thrown a reg flag but it did not. I simply stated again that we have already sent out the schedule and could not change it at will like this to the members and that the class would be happening. This questioning about the class happened 2 more times in different ways on different days. My red flag finally went up! But it was too late. They missed the class of course and I was miles away on vacation. I had a hunch something like that would happen though I prayed it wouldn’t. The evidence was stacked against them. They now missed a class because of work, then said they were outside waiting for someone to open a door but left before anyone could open it the next week and then the following week this week said they did not know they were on the schedule…That gave them 3 strikes. Unfortunately, for them there was email confirmation of 3 dates stating that they were going to work the dates. Moreover, if they had picked up their ID within the 4+ weeks they had been working they would not have had an issue getting into any doors when needed. Though no one is sure now if that was ever the case…but I digress.

What this all really means is that when you say you are are going to do something everyone relies on you to do your part. When you are part of a team the team relies on you. You make others look bad when you do not do your part. She in part made me look bad as the Coordinator, and then I made My Program Manager look bad, who in part made my company look bad and then our Parent company. None of us like to feel like this. We know that it will show up on our survey as if we have control over this…

Moreover, it affects the way people look at culture. When you say one bad apple spoils the bunch it is sadly true. Some people look at one person and will stereotype them in an environment. they will say they all have an attitude. Or they are all prone to violence. I have been written up behind a stereotype sadly and was very irritate by it. My boss at the time apologize for it deeply but it taught me a serious lesson on where to go to vent, LOL. Black women can only vent in private in their offices behind closed doors ESPECIALLY in corporate settings. When I did it in the locker room talking to my co-worker about an employee who we would no longer be using anymore a few years back after she caused me to work from open to close (5:30a-8p) a member stated that I had an attitude and though I was not talking directly about anyone in the locker room she felt my conversation was inappropriate and told my boss. Though my co-worker who she could not see was having this conversation with me and they knew it was her in there with me (who happened to be white) was left unscathed in this disciplinary action…

You learn quickly what you do can affect those who come after you so you try hard to set the best precedence. So to see someone come in and act the way they did in this situation was quite disappointing to me. Moreover, seeing more and more homeless people in this world and that age coming at younger rates, you would think it would dawn on people that this is very serious at that it will become harder for future generations to get jobs if we keep acting as if the world OWES us anything. The world owes me nothing…I prove that I belong here in my drive, ambition, and creativity. I work hard to be me and stand apart but above all the a model of love and greatness! It can take a team at times to do that and at times it takes a piece of that team. So there is an I in team because I am a piece of a greater good! But I will say that not everyone is sadly! Which are you?

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