Friday June 18, 2004

The Cheerleader

The following was my response to a writing prompt from Daily Writing Practice.

The Cheerleader

I have discovered, at many companies where I have worked in the past, that the marketing and human resources people (in league with receptionists, department admins, and some project managers), take on the role of company cheerleader, setting up "games", "activities", and "Fun! events" for the employees. Unfortunately, I'm a software engineer; we don't tend to appreciate this sort of games. We tend to get twitchy whenever someone says the fateful words "Come on! Let's Play! It will be Fun!".

No, it won't. Can't I just go back to work now? I have this project I'm... Sigh.

I remember distinctly one offsite department meeting I attended many years ago,to celebrate (and discuss) a recent software release. The "cheerleaders" in the group decided on a "Fun!" exercise - we would break into groups and do Skits! (I haven't liked doing skits since elementary school).

To make the skits more "Fun!" they wrote topics on slips of paper; each group was to choose a slip of paper. Our slip of paper said "You have gone through the System 7 tunnel; what do you see?"

Excuse me?

The members of my group looked blankly at each other. OK, System 7. Mac OS System 7. Recently released. Not our product but... OK. But what does it _mean_?

So two of us went to find a cheerleader and ask.

Us: "What does this mean?"
Cheerleader: "Well! You Know! You've gone through the System 7 Tunnel! So! What do you See?!"

No help there.

We went back to group to let them know we were basically on our own. So we created a "skit" involving system 7. (Is it a "skit" if only two people move or say anything?). We did it, we thought it was silly but we did it, tongues planted firmly in our cheeks.

The two groups following us folded; they said we were too tough an act to follow. For days afterwards, our fellow engineers would walk by, say my "infamous" end line from our skit and break into laughter.

I don't know how the cheerleaders felt about our result.

The Cheerleader ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 18 Jun, 23:37 Pacific | «e»