(SPECIFIC CASE) TEAMWORK : WHAT TRULY HAPPEN AMONG INDONESIAN

October 31, 2014

/ˈtēmˌwərk/, as Dictionary.com defines, is a cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause. Or is it? Being a college student, I am profoundly familiar with that very term and I can say that it is mostly a fairytale for that to work. My most recent experience was that I have to work 6-straight-hour to get an assignment done, with only 2 forces out of 6. One thing you need to know about teamwork; no matter how well the leadership has been delivered or how many efforts have been raised to get the work done, it is utterly useless if the people inside the circle don't even bother to involve. Or to care. Or to present. Or even worse, TO EVEN ASK ABOUT IT. 

I gotta say it first; Indonesian sucks at teamwork. It's a stereotype all right, especially among students, both in college and in high school. And it gets worse, based on the fact that we, Asian, are a grade-chaser. It's widely known that we spend 8-hour a day, five (or even six) days a week, listening to lecturer and/ teacher explaining theories we don't even know the use in real world, all in hope of getting straight A's and a roll of paper stating that we are qualified as an average doctor, accountant, engineer, or architect. So yeah, numbers are important to us. I won't be hypocrite myself; I would kill to get a 4.0 GPA and to see my parents being called to the podium while I am being declared as summa-cumlaude graduatee at my graduation. I would also kill to shout "SEE! I AM GRADUATED ALL RIGHT EVENTHOUGH ALL YOU DO IN CLASS WAS TRANSLATING THE TEXTBOOK!" to some of my lecturers. But then again my friend, it is unfortunate to say that not all Asian are like that, especially some Indonesian. Some of them are like these :

#1 The "I will be graduated eventually" type. They won't be hesitate to be sitting in the same room, hearing the same lecturer explaining the same subject from time to time, all because they can't resist the urge to only look at the textbook's cover hours before test or to skip a class just because their friend ask them to.
#2 The "I will be running my father's company eventually. I'm here only for the degree" type. All they need is the paper to maintain respect, so screw everyone along the way who actually need the use of that paper. 
#3 The "I have no idea why and what I'm doing" type. Basically, education is a mainstream protocol to live by. And maybe to get a job to feed themselves and to pay the bills. "Screw goals, I'm fine with potato chips and a sofa."
#4 The "I am young and restless. To surround myself with tons of organization's activities and circles is a must" type. So basically, the point of going to college/school is to spend most time meeting new people and building circles, you know, experiencing the real deal. Theories? Not that really matter.

Those 4 types above shape a diversity of people who mostly fail in a teamwork and present only as a deadweight to the team. Lecturers and teachers in Indonesia often call them as Free Riders. Their presence is usually unfavorable and mostly useless to the team. Their traits are :

#1 They will come up with whatever excuses to lighten or even to skip their own responsibilities. Excuses like "I'm not good at this," and "I have things to do," are commonly used.
#2 They are shameless in terms of not putting an effort to involve themselves, or (sometimes) even to show up, especially after being asked and led to do so. 
#3 They will act like they care eventhough all they do is ask and throw invitations. 
#4 Or they don't even bother to ask.
#5 Or they will act as the print-guy. "I'm gonna print the papers when it's done. No need to pay me back."

Indonesian, known for their politeness, somehow ditch their Asian's principle (that numbers-are-everything principle) when it comes to Free Riders. In fact, they are giving away their works to them for free, for the same amount of grade proportion, when it's actually them spending most hours doing the work of 4. Thus, they are too afraid to cross the names of those who don't get involved off of the list for these very reasons (or may I say excuses?) :

#1 "I don't have a heart to do so." Your heart gonna sink you eventually if it continues to bear more excuses.
#2 "He is a friend." If you truly are a friend, it's a good deed to lead them to do the right thing.
#3 "It's only a small project, won't affect much." Yeah, but aren't 2 points gonna drop your grade from A to B?
#4 "She's not an expert at this." Well, are you?
#5 "It's my fault; I forgot to tell him his part." Well, isn't he a part of this too? Isn't he gonna get points as well? Then, isn't it his responsibility to do something for HIS points?
#6 "What if it's me?" Then do yourself a favor for not doing the same irresponsible move as they do.
#7 "I'm too lazy to ask their participations because they aren't gonna be there anyway." If you HAVE thrown an effort and they don't respond, then do them a favor by crossing their names off of the list.

I'm sure after reading those descriptions above, some of you finally click. The question is, are you a Free Rider or are you The Truck who gives a free ride?

For some of you who are dealing with Free Riders, I'm not here to provoke you to be a bitch who crosses off names (though I do that, a lot), but I'm provoking you to do the right thing. It's a fair thing to do, and you have the RIGHTS to do so. Learning from my personal experience, let me tell you this : by giving them a lesson, you'll help them to grow more responsibilities, help them to gain awareness and at least SHAME inside of them. You'll also help them build respect among others whom they have 'cheated'. And for some of you Free Riders, try to care. It is your part too and by getting a free ride, you'll learn NOTHING. It's a huge loss, let me tell you that. 

(what I'm writing above is an opinion led by an ongoing stream of habits shown in MOST people, not ALL of them, so take no offense as I'm only expressing my thoughts)
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