Team Edward. Team Conan. Team Obama. PR team. Company X team members. Are you a team player?
Is this just a way for us fat kids that never made the cut on the softball team to feel like we belong?
I mean, I understand the need for commraderie. I’ve ghost-written plenty of internal communicaes for companies looking to boost productivity and morale and have used the dreaded “team” word to convey that ra-ra feeling. Among my greatest hits are the emails welcoming an unsuspecting suit to “the team.”
We form teams out of the need to work alongside our fellow man to accomplish a common goal. But joining the team of a fictional character or a company? Where’s the competition, the championship battle, the hall of fame?
I can only imagine this has happened because of the rampant use of steriods – oh, excuse me – performance enhancing narcotics in professional team sports. When even the greatest players are suspect, being on a team is the same as drunk dancing in a conga line and classifying the people around you as a team just because they are helping you stay upright.
However, being on a team is still viewed as something positive. As being a part of something great and important. We even write about it in cover letters and talk about it at length at interviews. What is it that we are really saying, though? “Hey, I’m a follower, I’m not going to rock the boat. I’m willing to do anything you need, even if you want me to shoot up 5-hour Energy and snort Folger’s Crystals.”
We should really find other descriptors to say that we’re good with people and have no problem rallying for a cause we believe in without having to put a double zero on the back of our shirt.