After a long day of small talk and forced cardio at last Thursday’s annual company softball retreat, it became clear to Sarah Markowitz and her coworkers that they should all stay merely acquaintances.
“Hey, how much do you want to bet the next guy up to bat is gonna hit a home run?” said Roger, a coworker, moments before Markowitz started tuning him out and singing Fergalicious in her head.
Despite the effort from HR to get the marketing firm to bond, Markowitz’s third inning in the outfield further established that the piece missing from her relationship with cubicle-mate Shannon was not time spent together.
“I just genuinely don’t care about these people outside of a professional sense,” Markowitz said at standard volume, four feet from the rest of her team who were now getting ready to bat. “I’m ready to call it a day.”
Even after working together for more than two years, Markowitz and her cubicle-mates never really made it to the next step in their relationship.
“Softball also seems like a weird way to bond,” said Markowitz. “I just can’t think of anything I’d like to do less with my coworkers. Maybe if there were booze or something?”
Relationships were further exacerbated in the fifth inning when opposing team captain Gary Bateman scored his second home run. Despite previous claims that she wasn’t so competitive, Bateman’s victory dance brought up resentment and disgust in Markowitz that even she didn’t know existed.
“He started doing the floss, and I was so close to reporting him for harassment,” said Markowitz. “I swear to god if he does it again, I’m making us both fill out all of the paperwork.”
But co-workers have a different perspective.
“We can’t believe she actually showed up to this?” said co-worker Sandra Kim in a post-game interview. “I don’t know, she’s just not super fun. This just seems out of character.”
“The rest of us are pretty tight outside of work,” she added.