team-building pole dancing



The following question from Kev wouldn’t be too weird if he worked in a strip joint. But, he doesn’t:

I recently started working at a call centre for a bank. I am nearing the end of my training, and a couple of days ago I met with the team I am to join, and my prospective manager. They all seem perfectly likeable, and my manager – a woman in her mid-forties – is very welcoming. But during this brief meeting she announced that she plans to organise a day of pole dancing for the group, which I do not like the sound of at all.

I realise that in the corporate world this kind of thing is important for team building etc, and as a new member of the team I could perhaps benefit from an event at which I would have a chance to socialise with my future colleagues, but I simply do not want to go. I don’t like doing even vaguely work-related things outside of work as this is not a career I wish to be in for a long time and there are things that I am passionate about that I could be doing with my spare time. I also think that either watching or doing pole dancing sounds completely boring; not because I am a man, but because it’s just not my thing.

I tried to find out when it was to make up a prior engagement, but I was told that the date of the event is yet to be decided based on our schedules.

So, answer me this: What do I do? Do I make up a weak and potentially transparent excuse and not go? Do I go, and have a very uncomfortable, unpaid day constantly thinking about what else I could be doing with my time? Or do I outright and honestly tell my manager that I do not want to go as I don’t think I would enjoy it or get much out of it? Would that result in her making my life at work harder than it needs to be?

Even though we discussed in AMT221 how pole dancing can be an athletic discipline rather than a purely sexy one, this does not seem to be an APPROPRIATE WORK ACTIVITY. Can you suggest an alternative?

If not, and you’re determined not to go, just tell her you have a long-standing spinal or muscular complaint. Pole dancing is physically demanding, and your manager is unlikely to want you to be laid off work with a slipped disc.

Readers, any other ideas? I’m not best placed to help, since I’ve managed to get myself out of all such situations by working on my own since 2005.


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4 Responses to “team-building pole dancing”

  1. Lyn Says:

    Unpaid? Sounds like voluntary to me.

  2. Ashfae Says:

    I’d just say you’re not interested. If it were a dinner or something that’d be one thing, but pole dancing? It’s completely reasonable to not be interested.

  3. Jess Says:

    You should just go. Even though you don’t plan to be there for long, you want your time there to be pleasant and you can get that by joining in and at least trying to form bonds with these guys. Falling out with your boss or just getting off on a bad foot won’t be good for you, and won’t there be other men finding this activity just as awkward?

  4. Sam Says:

    (a) Throw a sickie on the day
    (b) Tell your boss that your girlfriend is a militant feminist and that if you even think about going to stare at women pole dancing, she’ll put your testicles through the paper shredder.
    (c) Have one of those long conversations with your boss in which you break it slowly that it’s a bad idea and suggest other things that are much better. I’d start by asking her why it is she wants to go pole dancing in the first place. (However, prepare yourself for the horror that is a woman in her mid-forties pole-dancing in an attempt to pull a fresh-faced newcomer to her team…)

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