What Kind of Group Mate Are You?

This is not a quiz or anything you usually find in blogs, or in another case, things you actually and intently look for in the internet. This is rather something that merely describes the different kinds of group mates we normally encounter or become, when it comes to, obviously, group work.

So, what kind of group mate are you?

Group mate #1: The Leader
Ironically, the leader is the person led by his group mates to lead them. The leader is the person whom everyone asks, “What’s the plan?” And being struck by the lightning of responsibility, the leader finds a way to answer his group mates. Some leaders take the initial initiative (yes, there’s such) and some take the initiative when everyone’s blah. Most leaders have this subconscious way of putting his group mates into the right jobs, where they perform best. The leader utilizes the group in the most effective way, in the best way he can. Ideally, this should happen. But sometimes, when shit happens, leaders end up doing the bulk of the job. Most of the time, leaders get bossy. They make commands a lot of times. Leaders tend to push themselves, as well as their group mates, well, to do the job. Leaders secretly take notes on how each and everyone is doing. But he’s never ever ruthless – he usually contemplates whether he’d be honest and expose some of his group mates’ irresponsibility or just say to himself, “the project’s done anyway.”

Group mate #2: The Responsible Follower
There are two kinds of follower: the active and the passive. Both do the job well, but the difference is: the active gets to be more critical – more contributing. The active somehow helps the leader move forward – he just doesn’t take orders, he asks if there is. The active follower always makes himself available, never ever complaining. The passive group mate is not less, compared to the active. The passive group mate functions well when it comes to “assembly line” type of job because he’s always willing and cooperative. He rarely questions his responsibilities, does his job well and relates well. It’s just that it’s a mystery whether he likes what he’s doing or he’s already dying inside, in pain. But whatever happens, the responsible group mates are the key people in a group. They are the nervous system of the group. Without them, the leader will commit suicide or kill his group mates. The responsible group mates serve the proof that indeed, our planet still has hope to get better.

Group mate #3: The “At-least-I-showed-up-and-helped-a-little” Group mate
This is the half-half kind. This is the type who’s half-hearted, half responsible, half selfishly lazy. This kind of group mate function in his own time, in his own choices, in his own commands. This type helps out, but he doesn’t devote his time completely. Yes, he attends meetings, helps out during work hours, but he doesn’t go EVERYTIME. It’s quite difficult to differentiate him from #2 but there’s a slight difference: this type always have had the vibe that he’s only doing things for the sake of completion. The “At-least-I-showed-up-and-helped-a-little” group mate shows up often, functions well, but you won’t feel his extra willingness, extra effort, nor extra time. He’s very much like #2, only without the extras.

Group mate #4: The Provider
The provider is the group mate who says to himself, “I gave them money to buy stuff, I guess I won’t be much needed for labor.” I guess it’s self-explanatory already but I wish to blab further. This type of group mate is usually Rich Boy or Rich Girl. They have the wheels (And the gas. Oh gas!) to drive and buy materials. They are like 24-hour ATM machines always ready to give money, but rarely available to “manually”/”hands-on-ly” help his group mates. Of course he’s integral to the group because he’s got the bucks, but aside from it, what else can he do? It’s somehow a restatement of the harsh reality that often than not, time is bought. Time for work and helpfulness is bought, replaced by abundant materials. The Provider somehow casts this sense of confusion to everybody – whether or not he was a good group mate. But I must say, a group is just like a family. It’s just not enough being responsible providing material needs, but one must be also sensitive to provide the help and moral support others secretly seek.

Group mate #5: The Absent
Oh, I can’t wait to talk about them. Well, like the Responsibles, there are two kinds of absents: the perpetually absent who never ever shows up, and the one absent during work time but arrives in the most strategic time to make the impression that he did something. You may think we all should be sad for the first kind because he doesn’t help at all. Period. But isn’t the second one make us internally bleed in anger and disgust. Isn’t it such a relief to secretly imagine ourselves strangling them and actually making sausages out of their flesh? Okay, that’s gory now, but basically, the second kind is much more worse. Imagine everyone (from the Leader down to the Provider) working their butts without any sight of the Absent. And when everything’s done, he arrives and acts as if nothing happened (or as if he did something to greatly contribute to accomplishing the task). It’s quite revolting that the Absent even dares to talk to you, sheepishly say his shiny, plastic sorry for not being “there” because “he didn’t mean to”.

So, who among these are you?

Pangarap kong magka-cellphone, dalawa ha.

May nakasakay akong babae sa dyip. Naka-uniporme siya ng pang-hayskul, may dalng bag at ilang piraso ng antorium, Valentine’s Day kasi. Halatang nag-aayos siya dahil may blush on siya’t nakapulbos pa sa mukha, na hindi naman kakulay ng kanyang balat. Ilan pang metro ang itinakbo ng dyip at may sumakay na bakla, tila mas matanda sa kanya, at maski sa akin. Nakapambahay siya’t ang tanging dala any ang cellphone niya. Binati niya ang babaeng napanghayskul na uniporme. Magkakilala pala sila. At nagsimula silang magdaldalan. Hindi ko alam kung swerte akong naupo sa estribo dahil maari kong makita ang iba’t ibnag lugar na madaraanan, o malas ako’t tila mag-isa akong makakarining ng usapan ng babae’t bakla.

“Gragradweyt ka ba?” bungad ng bakla. Hindi raw gragradweyt ang babae, sagot niya. Pero hinanapan ko siya ng kahit kaunting kalungkutan ng sinabi niya iyon, pero hindi siya talaga nalulungkot. Nalaman kong magkaklase pala sila dati nang itanong ng babae kung kailan muling papasok ang bakla. Takang-taka ako dahil mukha talaga siyang mas matanda sakin – bakit maghahayskul ulit yung bakla?

Napatagal pa ang pag-uusap nilang dalawa tungkol sa hayskul at hindi pag-gradweyt. Tila normal na lang sa kanila ang hindi grumadweyt. Katakut-takot na palitan ng komento sa mga guro nilang hindi nila gustong pasukan dahil “pangit” ang hitsura, pati na kung ano raw ba ang kahalagahan ng chem. At physics sa buhay ng tao. Nagkakwentuhan rin sila tungkol sa mga lalaki. Ubod ng sigla ang kwento ng bakla ukol sa kanyang boyfriend na binigyan daw niya ng cellphone, sabay labas ng dalawang Vodafone – isnag puti, isang itim. Napaisip tuloy ako, astig ito ah, di siya gradweyt ng hayskul pero may dalwa siyang Vodafone.

Naalala ko ang tatay ko. Sa tuwing tatawagan kasi siya, namamatayan siya ng baterya sa cellphone, pero di siya bumibili ng bago asi raw mas maraming babayaring dapat unahin – tulad ng pag-aaral ng mga kapatid ko. Napaisip ako tuloy, diba naiisip ng babae’t baklang nakasakay ko sad yip ang hirap at pagod, dugo’t pawis na binubuno ng mga magulang nila para lang sila pag-aralin. Bakit ganon-ganon na lamang nila bigyan ng halaga (o di binibigyang halaga) ang kanilang pag-aaral? Bakit mas mahalaga pa ang text at friendster kaysa sa chem at physics? Bakit parang mas mahalaga pa ang magarang cellphone at gwapong boyfriend kaysa sa kanilang kinabukasan?

Bakit kaya?

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Plug: Manood kayo ng At Home Ka Dito bukas, February 18, 10 AM. Kasama ko si Yeng Constantino at nag-make over kami – at nagcustomize ng chucks!