Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Marginalizing The Group Thang

One of the greatest ordeals on planet Earth is doing things in *groups*.

What can be more exasperating than trying to decide on appetizers when out with 12 people? Or trying to figure out the bill, where you either do an even split or have everyone ante up WHAT THEY THINK THEY OWE? Heck, it's hard enough just to agree on a restaurant and a time!

The golf trips I go on have always been either 8, 12, or 16 guys. The bigger the group, the harder it is to bear. Having learned my lesson, I ALWAYS rent my own car when going to Myrtle Beach, Naples, or wherever the golf is to be played.

Dinner alone is hard enough in groups. But a trip will cover 3 square meals a day, travel arrangements, shower and toilet shifts, differing sleep schedules, cigarette smoke, which TV station should be on, etc. The actual golf is almost never a problem....provided you can agree on teams, the rules, which group goes out first, and how much ca$h you're playing for!

One other prominent feature of the group dynamic is the *cheap veto*. Every clique has at least one or two short-armed constituents that infect all financial decisions. The guys I just went to Naples with all have plenty of money; yet they vetoed Fiddler's Creek because when we showed up they wanted $90 to play. Now all the other courses we played were about half that but this was besides the point (note it's still the off-season in Florida). We're at a course at 10:30am which, as far as I am concerned is already late, walking out would force us to arrange a new tee time AND drive to another course. I say suck it up and just eat the extra $45. I even started an investigation into exactly who wanted to leave but nobody would incriminate themself to my face.

Other stuff that has to be dealt with in *group*:

One guy forgot his prescription medicine. But he didn't have a cell phone ('old coot') or even realize that a new script could be faxed down to Walgreens for retrieval. The next thing you know, 3-4 guys are involved in this mission; I ended being forced to wait at the pharamacy for 45 minutes while they tried to sort of a snafu. This is the problem with renting a car that has passenger space!

Guys lose sunglasses. Others lose clubs. Hunting safaris are seemingly always setting out to retrieve an item or tackle a problem. We all have idiosyncrasies in our personal lives, but when on a group trip we suddenly get a window into each other's.

I say avert your eyes and take the necessary precautions.

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