The Team – (PowerHouseCreatives Contest) – “If I were…”

in story •  9 months ago 

The Team

“If I were you, I’d pay attention.”

It wasn’t a suggestion. It was a warning as well as a threat. Because if you messed up just one thing, your ass would be grass. If you didn’t already know this, you’d find out soon enough how not paying attention would add to your misery. After that one lesson, you’d make certain to always pay attention going forward.

Of course some never pay attention, or if they do, some will then try to exploit it in some way. It was odd, because no one wanted to be one of those guys, yet those guys would be freed from any responsibility for their actions, while the “team” would be forced to serve out the punishment for them, while they just got to watch, and then were told to “thank” the team.

Are they really incompetent losers or sneakily clever scam artists?

Without a doubt, this kind of guy was hated by everyone else on the “team.” So what was the point? How could such a person possibly be good for the team? Each of his successive screw-ups would just make the team hate him even more, as it would mean more punishment for them.

The loser does serve a purpose in being an example of the kind of people to scorn, hate and detest. It doesn’t matter that he’s still young and shouldn’t be expected to know everything about being an adult, especially when the intricacies are still mostly unexplored.

If the basics are a difficult climb, we shouldn’t expect advanced skills.

The point is to build cohesiveness within the team. The team would actually be better off without the bum, but since he is still part of the team, the other team members must share in the negative outcomes arising from his lack of responsibility, rather than angrily rising up against him and bringing about division within the team.

It didn’t work out that way though; or maybe it did. Either way, to the team it hardly seemed beneficial.

One was particularly troublesome to the team. Well, he actually wasn’t part of the team, but a problem child that was brought in from another team, and was now starting on their third attempt to get him to shape up.

Remember that this team already had a chronic slacker and now they had to absorb the addition of an even worse example; a trouble-making bum.

Those running the show had to have known what would happen. They’d trained them after all, and they’d molded the team to their liking. And of course, they knew the complete, past record of the loser.

Tensions naturally built up until finally, the team decided on a blanket party to teach the problem child a lesson. A blanket party first, then a scrub down with hard, abrasive brushes, since the guy also refused to wash. Something ultimately went wrong though.

As he fought and squirmed and kicked and screamed, the guy was smacked around and then transported, still blanketed, to the shower room for the scrub down; but with all the kicking and screaming one of the guys holding his legs lost his grip and the guy fell and broke his leg on a commode, breaking it as well.

Who, (or possibly what), is really at fault here? In any other scenario, would the same thing happen?

There was an investigation and the facts came out. No one tried to lie about what had happened; it was an accident that happened while they were engaged in acts that were strictly forbidden under the policies of the organization.

It could be said that the organization put undue pressure on the team by bringing in a proven two—time failure of a louse after weeks of training had already been accomplished, despite the fact they’d had their own loser to put up with in the first place.

It didn’t seem fair, either to the louse with the broken leg or to the guys that were expected to cope with two losers, (when one is quite enough), with the second one being brought in late and being known to be a repeat failure and trouble-maker. Those making the decisions caused the division.

Nothing at all positive resulted from this “experiment,” but much negativity did. The louse with the broken leg was sent somewhere else, and the guys involved in throwing his blanket party were punished. Division was created when the team saw its guys get punished over the louse.

They deserved the punishment, but perhaps the case could be made that the crime for which they were punished, had been forced upon them by those who should have known better.

The Team © free-reign 2019

This story is based partially on events that I witnessed.

Sources for images used in this post:

Blue Angels: Image by Dave Griepsma from Pixabay
Lisa Simpson Loser Graffiti: Image by Steve Howard from Pixabay
Person On Ladder: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Detective: Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay

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Isolation and casting the louse out would take too long but is always the safer route, ;) a route I employ with great patience in many aspects. I do not, however, involve myself too much with teams I have never been good with that cause' I expect to be the least, but also do not trust the others to do things properly. I did do quite well in sports teams but I think if you have your place and not doing it to the best then wtf are you doing. In real life, though a formal team structure sucks - when responsibilities are too rigid and narrow - general main responsibility + is bit better - because there is also a lot of flexibility involved you must know your work and the others to an extent to work seamlessly and then ostracizing someone becomes a piece of cake because in fact who needs them? I think that is how I see many people at some point.

I like how you kept the whole story quite abstract/generic not anything specific but almost stereotypical.

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It's very encouraging, what you wrote about the story being abstract, and that you like that aspect of it. I was trying to tell this without identifying the actual setting. The root of the story is actually based on an incident that I happened to witness part of, when I was in basic training. The "team" was my platoon. The organization was the U.S. Army.

I didn't make it inside where he broke his leg - it was a crowded scene. I basically saw them carry him in there and that was about it until someone came out and said what happened. The guy was a real POS though. I believe they dishonorably discharged him after the incident. Thanks for the tip! :D

Good he did get what was coming, the others just got punishment I assume to save face. I like how you use POS because if you and an E after the O then it is a proper Afrikaans swear word ;)

Haha, it must be a really bad one, that you didn't write it out but just alluded to it. So what does it mean? I'm afraid to write it, lol.

It is effectively the Afrikaans version of C*nt , with the flexibility of F*uck , even though we force the usage, it has a satisfying hard P sound which makes it quite satisfying to say just like C*nt. Although at the most barebones and crudest we use Po*s to insult many a mother. Although there is no translation I think you can get the gist from this vid ;) haha

Ok found this one he explains in english

Ja/Nee then the little bliksem runs away 😊 - can confirm @free-reign, a very expressive word, just don't say it out too loud!

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Ah Management having their way with the peons. Again. For sport.

They have to have something to keep crackin' the whip for, don'tcha know. :)

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Interesting post that really made me think. Scenario is quite familiar. I may have seen something quite similar yet unrelated here. Such is life. 😉👍

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This story is built around something that I saw happen when I was in army basic training, but the same situations take place in normal life as well, maybe just not as loudly. Thanks for reading and please forgive me for taking so long to reply!

This story reminds me of a few work situations I have encountered. Troublemakers and people who don’t pull their weight are surprisingly difficult to deal with. They have a lot of built-up skills around things like pretending to be team players even when they’re not, and showing up and doing just enough that it almost appears they are doing their part. Meanwhile they may be doing half the work of the rest of the team, or worse — causing strife and division in the team, or back-stabbing. I have seen it all. Eventually it usually gets resolved one way or another, but there is a lot of damage done along the way.

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Thanks for reading! Yes, even though I saw this particular episode happen while going through basic training, I agree that situations like this happen a lot in normal life, and having worked in an office setting for over 30 years, I've seen it there too.

I think the way both entities are structured, they perhaps over-encourage the blending of the ne'er-do-wells into the mix of good employees, (or soldiers), the idea being the good will rub off on them, while the chance of this actually happening is nearly zero. Instead, the bad almost always stymies the good that was already there.

There’s always a louse n every crowd. Good luck in the contest @free-reign.

Yes, and sometimes even more than one!

Thank you @redheadpei, and good luck to you as well!

Get the louse out the house then everyone will work happily ever after!

Nice on @free-reign

Yes! The only problem is, organizations (especially the military) cling to the idea that if you put a loser in with good people, the good will eventually bring them around. So they keep doing this over and over, Ad infinitum.

There's at least one on every team, and if not, then you're the louse! 😁

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Haha, that makes sense - if you can't spot the louse, the louse may be YOU! Good one!

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If you can’t get ride of the louse , remember karma is a bitch ALWAYS

Yes indeed, and the guy in my story, (and I think most of them are like this), seemed to have something compelling him to bring more and more bad karma onto himself. What a crummy way to live!

Deep into Team business we went :) Everybody should do better next time.

With the loser gone things got better. A couple of the guys got in some trouble, but the loser was gone for good. Thanks for reading!

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Oh man you remind me so much about my own army days in the infantry.
So seldom that there are no bad apples in the basket.

How right you are my friend. In this case, we were really overwhelmed with this guy, as he made our original loser look like a real go-getter, lol. It was like he had to have actually had training to be such a negative addition to our platoon.

Yes, I agree as it can be quite upsetting, especially when everyone else are trying to do their best. Nature teaches us to discard the weak, but in our humanity it is not so easy.

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Much food for thought there. I feel the pain of the group dealing with the loser. Wasn't a good situation for anyone!

Thanks for reading @blueeyes8960! It's one of the worst memories I have, in learning life's lessons on just what kind of people there are out there in the real world.

It's funny today, in that this is the third post I've come across that discusses a similar core: relationships and how to deal with them. Now, granted, when a team is expected to perform at very high levels, having a slacker placed within it is definitely a morale-killer and probably should not have happened in the first place. I actually feel bad for the poor louse who was thrust into that situation when he clearly shouldn't have been in the first place.

I agree, and that's why I never really "got" how the military minds came to the conclusion that planting one of these losers into each company, and each platoon will somehow build unit cohesion.

To make it even more ridiculous, the loser is never vindicated as some gem that was just hidden due to some misunderstanding; the others are still gonna hate them no matter what.

Howdy sir free-reign! Sounds like those two losers should have been washed out instead of burdening the team with them! Is this a military situation?

Yes sir, Jonboy! It's a recollection of an incident I saw occur when I was in basic training. The supposed benefit of having one of these jerks in your platoon is that they make the unit more cohesive, more likely to "stick-together." I and lots of others never understood that concept. I still don't, lol.

That sounds crazy! lol..and it didn't work there in your experience right? I mean it just pissed everyone off!

Nope it didn't work. I guess the physical attack is what they were looking for; maybe even trying to make it happen. I don't know if they still do this now or not, but at the time my observation took place, the draft was still going on.

Summer football camp for 2 weeks was pretty rough. Basic training (8 weeks) was football camp on steroids rough, especially for the spoiled mamma's boys. :)

  ·  9 months ago (edited)

lol..spoiled mamma's boys. Yeah they love to shape them up! What branch of the service was this?

The U.S. Army.

I have felt this way on numerous occasions in various organizations. Perhaps I am not an organizational man, but there always seems to be that one--or sometimes, a few--individual who just drags the whole thing down. And it doesn't matter how much effort everyone else puts in, the weight gets heavier.

This was a darn good write up.

Thanks! I agree. I really don't understand the logic behind the organizations' leaders that continue to insist that situations where you have these destructive people as part of the team or group, actually helps the group to grow as a whole in some way.

I can relate what you are saying here..
It's difficult sometimes being in a team like that.
If there is ever a remedy, I would like to opt for it

I think the only remedy would be for organizations to stop thinking this way. :)