Why I Hate Team‐building Events

Published: Jun 16, 2018

Team‐building. It’s this thing that companies do a few times a year where everyone fucks off from work for a few hours to “bond” as a team.

And I fucking hate it.

At first glance, such a strong opinion about spending time with your coworkers not working must sound pretty stupid, but you have to understand how these events are put together.


Company: “We’re doing a team‐building event!” they say. “Everyone’s meeting in Old Towne for drinks and rock climbing laser tag!”

The Team: Hooray

Me: Fuck.

And let me emphasize that this is a fucking done deal. Tickets are bought, venues are booked, and a large amount of money changed hands to make this happen. There is no do‐over.

And then there’s me, the wet blanket that gets to go to this smoke and light laced shit‐show and remind everyone just how “team‐build‐y” their little event is as I nurse a beer in the lounge while I wait for everyone to finish.

And that’s if I’m lucky. A lot of the time there’s a meeting where the team’ll suggest various events that might be fun to attend and I get to be the guy in the corner explaining that “just a couple of steps” isn’t fucking accessible.

I get to be the guy who suggests the boring shit that everyone’s sick of (because I know it’s accessible).

The worst part is that it makes me the problem. It’s my job to educate everyone on what’s accessible and what’s not. It’s my job to be “flexible” in dealing with inaccessible venues or activities. It’s my job to comfort everyone when I get excluded because someone didn’t call ahead and ask a few questions.

It’s my job because no one likes to be confronted with the fact there are places I cannot go and no one wants to spend the time and energy it takes recon and research a location to make sure can participate in an event.

And that’s the thing that bothers me the most: the research, the recon, the planning — all the things that go into making sure a single event is inclusive? I have to do that for everything, every day. If I don’t I could end up in a really dangerous situation. The least folks could do is make sure I can participate in an event that they planned.