Teamwork

Flameblow
Flameblow

Is there any job out there that doesn't require you to be a """""""""""teamplayer"""""""""""?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfSTJSqCy5E
Spamalot
Spamalot

Sucking dick

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

No job is like that

Be an entrepreneur if you don't want teamwork desu

cum2soon
cum2soon

I can't tell you how much I hate the teamwork meme.

Teamwork in school is flawed because group projects are, I believe, more about teaching teamwork than accomplishing a result. Yet, because you are graded on that result, it becomes a platform for extortion. And because that result is graded the same whether all contributed equally or one did almost everything, it's a poor vehicle for teaching teamwork.

Now, in the workplace, there's less emphasis on teaching and more on completing whatever task is deemed too big for one person. The problem there is poor management that cannot delegate work correctly.

Let me give an example. You work in a grocery store with ten people. There are ten sales displays that need to be torn down and rebuilt each week.

Do you assign one display to each employee?

Or do you assign ten employees to work on one display at a time?

Unfortunately, the latter is how so many projects work in software development.

The immediate problem is that you're always waiting on somebody else. Broken down, all processes are sequential. If you want a button to show records from a database, that could be five jobs (analyst guy waits on approval guy waits on interface guy waits on programmer guy waits on database guy). Any changes go through all of those people too. And all of this is subject to telephone game theory.

Additionally, nobody really has ownership of a discrete process or in-depth knowledge. When a change request comes in, they have to drag all of these people into meetings to figure out who does what. When a bug report comes in, it bounces from person to person, who all, except the last one, say it's not in their scope.

iluvmen
iluvmen

@cum2soon
Further, that lack of ownership destroys initiative. Nobody, except maybe the manager, gets credit for a project (but blame spreads downhill of course). Nobody has enough access to understand, let alone improve, a process. And other peoples' messes constantly land in your lap because dur hur we're all in this together. And this destruction is not limited to the development chain, no, it extends out into the user base. Those people get saddled with an application that does not work and, from their perspective, a development team that either cannot or, worse, will not make it work. So why should they put in any effort for the company either?

Taken together, the company-wide teamwork, which is inherent regardless of stupid management fads that come and go, is damaged. If an organization is sufficiently damaged, it drives away more than just us folks that prefer to work independently but those who actually like teamwork and see that it isn't working there.

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@iluvmen
Another problem, that sort of ties into the second one above, is no roadmap visibility. Management, which often does not understand development, is selective in who it reveals details of anything to. That leads to lots of problems integrating all of these pieces because some of them can be working from different assumptions. Then everybody gets hauled into meetings about communication which, A) aren't the developers' fault, B) aren't really going to be corrected as long as blame is misplaced, and C) detracts from work time, meaning that deadlines slip and bugs fuck up more data.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@kizzmybutt
The irony is that almost nobody is actually against teamwork. We all can think of a job that's too big for one person, like building a railroad or putting out a forest fire. But what is often sold as teamwork, to say nothing about the term "team player," is so far from that concept that it may as well be called something else.

Evilember
Evilember

@kizzmybutt
Its almost like a business should be questing to find its current state above all as no logical improvements can be made to a state if its not known

RumChicken
RumChicken

@Sharpcharm
Keep going, this is great.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

Masters of doom is a great read comparing the outcomes of John Carmack's and John Romero's respective software companies.

Carmack kept ID Software as small as he could because he knew with each new employee more communication and coordination cancer would begin to grow.

Romero went and instantly hired everyone he could find and the organization instantly turned cancerous. It produced one of the biggest messes of all time Daikatana.

Meanwhile, ID continued to crank out huge successes.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

As I think more on this, I could almost compare some projects to writing a novel. Yes, writing a 500-page story is a big job that will take one person a long time. But can you really throw more people at such a task and still expect it to be coherent?

But let me address the term "team player" because I hate that so much.

When you're on a team in sports, you're expected to do your individual best. While a chain is only as strong as its weakest line, team members can cover for each other's shortfalls to some degree. But it's still important for everybody to push themselves because that raises the floor.

Even school group projects, in a warped way, work like that, where one smart kid will work ten times as hard to cover for three slackers, if only to avoid being punished for slacking along with them.

In a corporate environment, though, "team player" takes on a completely different meaning. A "team player" never dissents, never stands out, never blames others, and never stands up for himself. There is a psychotic focus placed on the team above all else.

On a sports team, everybody is motivated because they want to win (win/lose is a universally applied status). Even if you suck or everybody who signs up plays, you have to at least try. Nobody can be "just along for the ride," even a "useless" position like right fielder. Even if you sleep in right field, you have to be wake up to bat. But unmotivated people can hide in the corporate world and obfuscate if they're found out.

On a school project, there is a uniformly applied grade at stake. The slackers will never stop the smart kid from busting his ass to save that grade. There is no such equal distribution of grades in the corporate world. People skilled at hiding or lying can shift blame so that it doesn't fall on all or equally.

Methnerd
Methnerd

@Raving_Cute
Perversely, outperforming others in a corporate work is perceived as an attack. If you were a real team, the good players or smarter kids could help even out the bad players or slower kids. Because what's really important, to a team, is winning the game, getting the A, shipping the application, etc.

But in a corporate environment, a weak teammate drags everybody down because nobody can exceed, correct, or blame them.

Let's say Tanya is completely inept at designing user interfaces. She can't spell. She can't align elements. She can't do anything client-side. She doesn't test anything. And so on and so on.

So the product ships and it turns out the user interface is riddled with misspellings (Saave, qui t, Deleware, etc), two of the buttons don't do anything at all, and there's a checkbox that gets chopped off but affects actions (say, "delete permanently" instead of going to the recycle bin first).

"Who misspelled the fucking state that we live in?"
"How the hell did it permanently delete all of those files?"
"Why doesn't the Update button update anything?"

If you so much as imply that it was at Tanya at fault, you're not a team player.

Because it's never pointed out to her, Tanya may not even recognize the problem (she is, after all, pretty dumb). Because she's never criticized, much less punished, Tanya has no incentive to learn to spell or test her work. Moreover, people who _don't_ already know that it was her never find out and keep giving her more of the same work which she continues to screw up, either out of ignorance or freedom from consequence.

DeathDog
DeathDog

@Methnerd
So, we've established that you can't speak up, because you would be arrogantly lording over her your ability to spell or any other variation of "creating a hostile work environment." Even if your suggestion is super benign, like suggesting that somebody review her work or even switch responsibilities with her, now you're "attacking" management's decision-making ability. If either of those get out, now you have a (completely undeserved) reputation of not working well with others or not taking direction.

At the same time, you reputation is ALSO damaged by NOT doing anything.

If the company has a miscarriage (the product goes nowhere), other prospective employers will be asking what the hell you did the last three years. If the company delivers a deformed baby (the product is terrible), other prospective employers will associate it with you. What answer do you give them that doesn't risk putting you in a bad light (including "not a team player")?

Inmate
Inmate

@DeathDog
If there's one thing I won't do, it's take the blame for others.

Most of this, so far, has been from inside the team. But the employer is really harmed a great deal too. The employer has a mediocre team producing (or not) mediocre work. If you scare off, fire, or cow the more capable people, that's the best that you can hope for. Your best is mediocre. And if you suck up all the mediocre (at best) talent...who's that leave for your competitors?

There are some fields that maybe somebody good can get out of control, like a trading firm where some hotshot runs off with the client list. But some fields attract alot of autistic or altrusitic (depending on your point of view) people. If you're willing to make just a few concessions (don't micromanage them, push through a raise now and then, etc), they'll pay it back a hundred times over.

Then you might have a team that can actually do something.

Skullbone
Skullbone

@Inmate
What do you do for a job?

Keep venting, I'm reading it all and it's highly entertaining. I agree with all of it.

eGremlin
eGremlin

@Skullbone

Considering his rage, I'm guessing IT-related stuff.

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

Teamwork. Teamwork! TEAMWORK!!1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfSTJSqCy5E

iluvmen
iluvmen

@Flameblow
All of them

They only emphasize the 'teamplayer' part to see how pliable you are and how likely you are to accept shitty hours.

Sad, but true

likme
likme

@iluvmen
Really? I'm looking through all these youtube videos and I see every last one of them saying "one of the most important character traits is being a teamplayer".

This greatly worries me, I fucking hate teamwork.

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

@Skullbone
I was in software development for several years before shifting into an operations role to get away from that. While there's still a great deal of unnecessary chaos and inefficiency, I'm far enough removed that I can just play dumb and cope with it.

@eGremlin
Oh you haven't seen rage.

I just don't think much of organizations that need help, seek out experts, micromanage the fuck out of them as if they were children, and then cast blame. This "team player" garbage is just the latest excuse that they use when unemployment or recruiters question their burn rate.

Used to be, society just sort of accepted that smart people, particularly in computers, were a little eccentric or kept to themselves. Then that "brogrammer" crap started and suddenly everybody had to be super social or else.

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

@Spamalot
Actually that is a team job. You have the sucker who is needs to have top notch sucking and swallowing skills and the person getting sucked who needs to stay hard, be pretty good sized, and cum

takes2long
takes2long

@New_Cliche
So how do I avoid all this bullshit about teamwork? Or how do I pretend I'm a teamplayer?

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@takes2long
I operate on the premise that such an environment is a trap. Its purpose is to ensnare and then injure you. So the preferable course is to avoid it entirely.

Now, if you want to cope, you need to fake sincerity. If they're drinkers, pick a popular beer as your "favorite" and be able to choke down a bottle if necessary. If they're into some dumb TV show, read the Wikipedia entry and pick a "favorite" character (bonus points if they're written out, now you have an excuse to be behind). You see where I'm going with this. You don't want to say Michael Jackson is your favorite musician and not know any of his songs.

Also learn a lot of ways to say "I'll get back to you on that." People that can't or won't do anything will accept that over and over.

To maintain your own sanity, have projects going outside of work. I wrote software for my side business. Kept my skills sharp and gave me the sense of accomplishment that I wasn't allowed at work.

hairygrape
hairygrape

@Sir_Gallonhead
Thanks for the tips dude, let's hope I'll never actually have to use them.

RumChicken
RumChicken

@Flameblow

It's a buzzword.

Lunatick
Lunatick

@Flameblow

Doin your mom.

Well on second thought, the gangbangs require teamwork.

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