As an introvert, I feel like there may be some sort of bias when I say that I don’t like people and I want them all to go away and I want to live in a world where I’m not forced to interact with others. People can be real buttheads sometimes. But I don’t think I’ll ever get that world, so I deal with people in the best way I know how: in severe moderation.
I came across this image, and I thought it described the fun of group projects quite adequately. Most of us will probably remember group projects from school in a rather negative way, especially if your groups were chosen for you. If you got to choose your own, at least you could pick people who you knew would do a better job than Lazy McClassDitcherson. (I suck at names shut up.) But when your teacher chose your groups, you sat awkwardly at the table with people you didn’t know, silently judging most of them. That guy is the class clown, he can’t possibly be very bright. This girl never does her work. That one smells funny. Clearly I am the smartest person at the table.
Some of us hated taking leadership, but we had to do it because otherwise no one would know what to do. All cognitive function would cease to function, and their presence was usually more of a hassle than a help. Eventually you started to think, if only they would all leave so I could do the work myself, then at least I know it’d be good quality. Well it turns out you were a prophet, because that’s exactly what you got to do. All of it. By yourself.
And then the due date rolled around and no one knew what they were doing. Even you didn’t know what you were doing because no one was on the same page anymore and it was a disaster.
With that in mind, I figured we could share some of our favorite stories of dealing with other people! One time I was in a group where everything went mostly okay. Some people didn’t do much, but they weren’t bad. All except one guy who kept making changes without telling anyone else. Then when the day for our presentation came around, he called us ten minutes before we were up to let us know he wouldn’t be there because his license was suspended and could someone else please take his part. The part that no one knew about because he changed it all.
Then there was the guy who assured us that he didn’t need to study or practice because he could improv it all. Then on presentation day he revealed he had no idea what to talk about.
Anyway. People are weird, and I’m interested in hearing funny stories. What are your experiences with group projects? What about people as a whole, whether it be from school or work or just day-to-day interactions? Were you ever the one holding back a group project?