Thursday, January 24, 2008


Being in an audience has always interested me. I love listening to people talk, partly because I engage those people in conversations in my mind. They don't know it, but I argue with them, agree with them, tell them related stories, and sometimes help them find just the right line they should say. I guess I interact with people's words.

The other day I was listening to someone, and they used a lot of trite management sayings. The one that disturbed me that day was, "There is no 'I' in 'Team.'" There is, however, 'me' in 'team.'

It's all about me. When people say, "there is no 'I' in 'Team,'" what they mean, I think, is that it is not all about the person. It is about the team. But if you think about it, when people are more concerned with themselves, they may indicate that it is all about me. The height of selfishness.

Then I started thinking about other words you could make with team.

I wonder if the Mets say, "there is a Met in team." Probably not, but those letters are also in team. Baseball, to me, doesn't really seam like a team sport. Everyone is concerned with stats on individual players. The hitters stand alone in the batter's box, and when someone new joins the team, it seems like they can just step in and play. No getting to know the teammates, learning the new plays, and insert other sports-related examples here. I am not much of a baseball fan.

Not sure mats have anything to do with teams. Teams can be doormats, I suppose. Just thinking about my yellow jackets, I suppose.

Football teams eat whole cows before games, I suppose, but I don't think there is anything prosaic about having the word "eat" in team.

Similarly, the word "meat" is in team. And "tea" is in team.

After thinking about all of this, I can't remember what that guy was talking about. I guess his phrase about "I" not being in "Team" sort of defeated the purpose that morning.


Sister Sassy said...

Ok, I have entire conversations with people in my head all the time. lol! I love how trains of thought can totally just remove you from reality.

グラント said...

The next time someone tells you there is no I in team, respond by telling them that you do see "u" (pronounce as you) in "dumbass". Then update your resume, because it's usually a manager who starts conversations like that.

When I write about meeting a hot Japanese woman, I invariably spell it like "meat". How Freudian.

~Deb said...

Ahhhhhhhhh, eavesdropping. Love it. I have this problem which makes my ADD kick in for the person that's in my company.

seattledrizzle said...

I have always been suspicious of the word team as it is presently being used in the workplace. It seems a way to depersonalize the work. Eventually the corporate recycling program becomes more important than how the employee is treated.

My sister had to participate in one of those company team puzzles where you're given a certain number of people in a life boat but the boat won't hold that many so you have to figure out who you will keep. I told her the correct answer is you keep everyone and figure out how to make it work. Anything less and you're agreeing that the company can get rid of you! That's called taking one for the team. Uh-huh.

Leesa said...

sassy: two peas in a pod, we are.

grant: never thought of the u.

~deb: one person's eves-dropping, is another person's "personality"

seattle: or they see someone who cannot prioritize. Not all FTEs are needed at most organizations.