I always feel like everyone else I know has some great story about going to a corporate retreat--sweat lodges, pontoon boats, severely rustic weekends (a la "Colonial House"). CNNMoney went looking for employee ambivalence to these "offsites" and found it:
A dozen workers at a small international marketing company recently found themselves at a retreat run by experts from an "experiential learning" firm. "They came in talking about the seven cornerstones of teamwork," says one attendee, so each employee was given a pouch filled with seven colored stones that stood for concepts like sharing resources, defining roles, and communicating frequently. Whenever a participant violated a cornerstone during the exercise, others had to roll a stone at him across the table. "Not communicating? Here's a purple stone," says the attendee mockingly. "It was ridiculous. We've worked together better since that silly offsite, but it's probably because we sat around the bar afterward laughing."
During my longest tenure in a full-time position, I have to say I was kind of hoping we'd at least get to do group Bikram or a trust fall. I think "Photoshop Olympics" interoffice emails became a kind of stand-in for enforced camaraderie, though I suppose they fostered a cliquishness for those not cc'd, those with whom we probably needed to do a high ropes course. So, now I'm going to troll for corporate retreat stories.