Is it okay to bail on a work team-building activity?
August 28, 2014 4:04 AM Subscribe
I feel like I need to skip two work team-building activities that are centered around guns and shooting because the idea makes me uncomfortable...
posted by waywardgirl to Work & Money (35 answers total)
I am the lone female at my job. My co-workers are all older, married men with children, and I am single and child-free. They are nice people, but I always feel like an outsider there, as I don't have much in common with them. I don't go to work expecting to make new friends or anything, but I want to be able to fit it enough to be respected at work.
The team has two "team-building" activities planned: one is a day at a paintball course, and the other is a day at the gun shooting range. I am personally very uncomfortable around guns and around activities that make it seem like guns are fun. I witnessed a shooting where a friend lost a life, and in two other separate incidents I lost a dear friend and a cousin to guns, and I just can't imagine myself spending a day listening to people shoot guns and point guns at each other like it's no big deal. I know myself well enough to know that I would probably be very shaky and full of heavy thoughts and generally weird to be around if I were in that situation.
So, I told my boss and my co-workers that I would not attend the the gun events, but I would join them for the lunch portion of the events. And, it seems that no one really understands my reasoning. They keep telling me that it's just a fun sport thing and they seem to be responding to me as if I am just trying to get a free day off of work or something. It kills me because I already feel unliked at work just because I am so different from my co-workers, and I don't know what to say or do now.
Is it just me, or is this an odd choice of team-building?What would you do in this situation? How can I get my boss to realize that I am not trying to break up the team spirit by not attending? Am I required to attend this because it is during company hours?