"How did the interview go?"
"Well, an interesting individual there. A classic indoor cat."
As the cat-loving woman I am, they spoke to me.
"Kristin, I need a new person for the team. Preferably a senior. It would be nice to have an outdoor cat."
Despite my intuitive understanding of cat behavior and their inscrutable ways, I had to understand what my colleagues meant.
It turned out that the indoor cat is most content by themselves, for themselves. Sharp and soft, often both shy and sociable.
You can trust the indoor cat; they are vigilant. A highly respected figure in the environment, one that must be handled with care.
The outdoor cat, on the other hand, thrives where the action is. Preferably with others. They hunt. Fight. They flirt and show off. They like attention.
I have a weakness for both. And at work, they each serve their functions.
The outdoor cat wants to go to parties to see and be seen, while the indoor cat gets easily sweaty.
We must cater to both. In truth, pleasing everyone is a very difficult task. As the saying goes, you can't please everyone, but we try.
Soon, we're going on a trip. Out of the office, out of the country. Out to see each other.
It will be family time with loved ones, a family reunion with the rest.
The purpose is to get to know each other, to relax. Together. A kind of clever paradox. Taking a break with work.
The schedule needs to accommodate everyone. I feel the pressure. I grumble and growl as my keyboard heats up.
The agenda is packed with work and play. And free time. So that we can all nurture our inner indoor cat between the activities.
There must be food for Mons.
And food for the IndoorMons.
Indoor cats typically think it can be too much of a good thing (read: too much fun). So they often choose to skip trips like this. They don't want to be so cheerful, so excited, so focused on work and community.
Despite my outdoor cat nature, I understand them well. A sauna with the boss can get stuffy even for the healthiest of souls.
In the planning of events like ours, I often hear, "and then we need some team building."
Do we? No. We don't.
I become mildly obstinate. We don't HAVE to do anything. Traveling and experiencing together IS team building.
We don't have to play tug of war, solve complex puzzles, or climb mountains to build unity. Often, just coming together is enough.
An astonishing 80% of our employees choose to spend a weekend with their colleagues seconds before the holiday rush begins. I have deep respect for that.
The fact that three out of four choose leisure over organized activities doesn't bother me at all. I consider it a sign of health.
They want free time. With each other. Now, that's team building!
Alone time is a rare treasure for those with commitments up to their ears. I sincerely wish them that.
Perhaps they'll buy a Christmas gift, maybe they just want to talk or sleep. Good for them. May they enjoy themselves, whether they're indoor, outdoor, or somewhere in between among us.
PS: You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.