Apr 20, 2021

Smells Like Team Spirit

What if—at work, or with your clients—you told the truth about what really matters to you?

What would you say?

Imagine you’re interviewing for a barista job, and the interviewer asks, “So, why do you think you’re a great fit for Cool Beans Coffee*? Why do you want to work here?”

The expectation, of course, is that you’ll come back with some impassioned statement about how much you “believe” in the company; how much you care about their “mission.”

But we all know the *real* answer—it’s BECAUSE YOU NEED A JOB, bitch! You don’t care whose label is on your latte, as long as you got paid to pour that shit.

This is one of the biggest insults of capitalism—or at least, the one I’m most fired up about right at this minute—this myth of being a “team player,” of caring soooo much about the future of someone else’s company.

We ALL know you don’t really give a shit about Cool Beans* or their “mission.”

The interviewer at that barista job knows it. The restaurant manager (who’s really just an upjumped server on a power trip) knows it.

But we all tacitly agree to participate in this collective delusion, and whoever can pretend the best gets the job. Gross.

What would happen if we just said the truth?

Obviously this would go differently depending on race, gender, body size, age, etc. etc.—nothing exists in a vacuum. And I know a few people who really *do* love their employers (although they’re definitely the exception not the rule)…

In the entrepreneurial world, there’s a little more transparency about all of this. Clients don’t expect you to “step up” and “do it for the team,” because you’re not ON the team. Everyone knows you have your own deal.

But even clients have a certain expectation about your dedication to The Work.

Blah blah blah, nuance.

I’m just saying, I’m so over pretending.

*Cool Beans is my fantasy coffee shop name. And it would be a DELIGHTFUL place to work, by the way. ☕️

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?