Today an external company has been hired to allow all us sedentary office staff to have some FUN (it’s import that we have capitalised FUN – not merely ‘fun’ mind as that doesn’t have the same brainwashing connotations, that whole ‘Hey team, we’re all in this TOGETHER’ vibe).
I realise that I am a cynic of the most jaded kind.
Whenever I am told that I have to do something I feel rebellious and want to run a mile. If there is one sure fire way to antagonise me then it is to snap your fingers at me – I will never be a waiter.
And if I am told that today I have no choice other than to have FUN, then rest assured while there will be fake, plastic smile on my face, if you look closely you’ll see my eyes nervously darting to the left and right, looking for an opportunity to dash out to the toilet, where I can have a moment of silent reflection on what my life has become.
It’s all for a good cause – team building. And I suspect that it might in fact be effective – otherwise why would so many companies spend such extravagant fees on hiring these ‘team cohesiveness’ groups to force us to be jolly and cooperative. I suspect the fancy meal and alcoholic beverages in the swish hotel at the end of the day might play its own part in boosting team morale, but what would I know?
It’s not like I won’t actually enjoy the day as I probably will, but building a bicycle as a team, or solving a puzzle through cooperation makes me want to cry.
The people running the course will be young, bubbly, energetic and attractive and potentially hold a repeat prescription for anti-hyperactivity medication in their back pocket. There is something strange and desperate and shrill about these people. There will be a slightly hysterical note to their every proclamation.
If they stop having FUN for a single moment then the whole house of cards that is their life will come crashing down around their ears, and the reality of their existence will become apparent – that they are in a grey office estate in darkest suburbia with a group of dour middle aged people; forcing them to sing Kumbaya together. And that what waits them when they finish for the day is a microwave ready meal in their shared accommodation. In Navan.
But for now they are OK. The artifice remains secure for the present.
Today they can bellow at the cowed office workers ‘Aren’t you having FUN?’
‘Yes’ we will meekly reply.
‘Aren’t you EXCITED?’ they will roar.
‘Yay’ we will whimper.
And a little piece of my soul will die at every whoop of FUN that I am experiencing.
But the food and drinks in the ritzy city centre venue later are hazy mirages – the carrot to tempt us along.
But after the refreshments I can go to the theatre to see how tonight’s performance went. That will be real, proper, actual, unadulterated fun. Fun with a small F.