Getting Out

Four words strike terror in every breast here in my place of work. Four words: Human Resources Annual Retreat

The HRAR is an all-day affair that "explores ways to foster new ways of working together, improve communication and create a healthier culture" here at the office.

It's tomorrow. All day.

I've been thinking of ways to get out of it. So far, I've not had much luck. One very clever co-worker had the good foresight to be Jewish, thus ensuring himself a free pass for the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah. He joked, "You'll want to consider converting to Judaism for at least a week this year!" He's off today and tomorrow. Now that $125 ticket to the local temple is starting to look like a bargain.

They're going to make us do "exercises." Otherwise known as "ways to waste an entire day of peoples' existence." They've asked everyone to bring a picture of themselves for an "exploring the self" exercise. I shudder as I write it. (If they ask us to take off our shoes, I will make a beline for the door.) I have no idea what this will entail, but I've printed up a picture of myself that I use for concert fliers and don't mind being passed around to a bunch of co-workers. My boss is planning on enlarging his driver's license picture 200%. I really hope somebody brings in a wall-sized framed portrait of themselves in oils. That would just about make my day!

As if this weren't enough, the itinerary of the day starts with something called "positive reinforcement." But we're unsure as to what they are positively reinforcing. Maybe the concrete barriers between their employees and the nearest exits would be the smartest move.

Last year's retreat was futile, but bearable. Only problem with this year's retreat is that the powers that be are feeling ambitious. And ambition and retreats are kind of at loggerheads if you really think about it. The corporation meets the convent, kind of a thing. "Let's really get in there and work hard at having a relaxing time." Right.

I already have people requesting my presence at their table; people who cannot bear the thought of serious faces oowing and awing over the poster competition they will inevitably make us do outlining our specific department's contributions and goals in the corporation. If we get to make any acronyms, I'm going straight for swear words. "This year we are focusing on 'Friendly Uncompromising Clientele Knowledge' " or "Since last year we've increased our 'Stellar Handling of International Teamwork' by 10%." I just hope I don't get in trouble. Like last year. When I shot out a barb and the whole room erupted into laughter. My boss didn't care for that much. (Sometimes that theatre degree can bite you in the butt.)

So, this year my watchwords will be "Save it for the Blog" and "Smile and Nod." We'll see how it goes... *sigh*

We'll see.

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Anonymous uncle jim said...

do i hear you saying that you feel vulnerable at these events ["ways to waste an entire day of peoples' existence."]

stay lose and cooperative;
be a contributor;

13/9/07 09:47  
Blogger Tara said...

Those retreats sound like an introvert's nightmare.

The last thing I went to was a staff meeting over at Dave & Buster's. We had food, drinks, a little chit chat and a slideshow pep talk, and then we received 10 dollar game cards for the arcade. It was one of the best staff meetings I ever went to. And you know me, I hate meetings. But this one was special.

Good luck with "the exercises"!

13/9/07 11:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"HRAR - It only sounds like fun."

18/9/07 23:29  
Blogger Barry said...

Sounds absolutely Dreadful!. How did it go?

4/10/07 13:00  
Blogger k_sra said...

It went ok, Barry, thanks for asking. The post after this one has the details.

8/10/07 08:48  

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