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Go Ape

Hi guys,

I know I haven't posted in a while but I have been reading and keeping myself up to date.

I could do with some advice though.

Work have decided to provide my team with a team building exercise, and my team leaders have decided to do a Go Ape outdoor adventure course for the day. I don't feel comfortable with it, my main issues being that there are no medically qualified staff at the centre and one of my biggest triggers is tree and grass pollen. I did disclose this after my last major attack left me out of work for a month.

I don't want to cause much of a fuss, but I don't want to miss out on a 'reward' and would get a lot out of a bonding experience. They were less than understanding and completely unsympathetic when I returned to work, but I feel the risks for me are too great and wouldn't want to be in their hands should I be stuck in a forest struggling.

16 Replies

hi solitaire

remembering that safety comes first, especially in relation to asthma and how severe it can be... you defo need to say something! is there anyone you can talk to?

go prepared i.e. meds, nebs etc.and work out how far local hosp just incase.

i am due to go brownies pack hols in 2 weeks - same situation with pollen, i am the first aider :S but i am doing as i advised you to do, going prepared and ensured that people i trust that i am going with - 1 person in particular - is aware of how serious my condition is and how quickly i go downhill. she knows me well anyways so is already aware which was helpful.

just incase anything should happen, you maybe okay, but at least like i say, you are prepared :)

x x x


Thanks Snowy,

I will hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

I'll see what they say, and judge for myself whether the gain outweighs the risk.


Very tricky one - surely not everyone in workplace is up to such a strenuous activity (quite apart from you)? For myself, I would probably decline to take part on account of my asthma, but you indicate that you would like to be involved.

When my teenage son went on a week long activity camp with school, GP put him on a short course of steroids a week before. Also increased his Seretide inhaler before and for the duration of the camp. You could check it out with your GP (if you have time) and see what he suggests. Also, make sure you take an antihistamine before you Go Ape and take a couple of reliever inhalers with you - again ask the GP for a spare if you havent got one. Take your spacer as well. Good luck with it.


Hello Solitair

If it was me, id say thanks but no thanks, well thats the clean version anyway.

The main thing is, you would be putting your health in their hands & judging by the response you got when you were last ill, i wouldnt trust them to take care of a slug!!!

Just how i see it, but no matter what, you should put yourself first.

Perhaps you could suggest being rushed to hospital when you cannot breath as a team building exercise & see how many of your colleagues fancy trying that :)



Totally agree with Howie. My hubby went on a work's 'team building' day a few years ago - to Alton Towers. That's more like it. Most of the staff dispersed and did their own thing - he ended up on a few rides against his better judgement but wasnt sick, and said he quite enjoyed the whole day in the end.

When I was at work 15yrs ago, there were a few 'team building' weekends - involved building rafts, putting up tents, assault courses ect. I was 'asked' to go but firmly declined, saying my health wasnt up to it.

I assume your work colleagues are fairly young Solitaire - ie 20/30s. I can't see how older people could cope with Go Ape - it's climbing through trees on ropes isnt it? I think you are perfectly within your rights to say you're not up to it, but if you do want to go, check things out with your GP. And don't forget your inhalers and antihistamine.

Edit. Just thought I'd better say I know older people could manage Go Ape but it wouldnt particularly appeal to them.. am I digging myself into a hole with this one?? Better stop.


Thanks guys,

I'll admit my first thought was along the same as Howie's, then I thought i'd find some advice (thank you all) to make sure I wasn't being overly cautious.

I personally feel the risk is too high.

The other thing that bugs me about the way they've come up with this shows a massive lack of foresight and planning on their part. Angievere there is a gentleman who is older than the rest of the team. while he jumped out of a plane he emailed me as soon as we were told this asking if I was up for it as he doesn't like the idea either.

Example of the attitude I face.

I have been part of the team for 7 years now, after my admission, I returned to the office to be told not to expect any sympathy from anyone as they had all been busy while I was in hosp. One member of the team I used to call a friend didn't speak to me for a month after I returned. When I did have a couple of smaller attacks after, all my team leader said was that if I go home I could be penalised for it. When I complained to my manager about the dismissive attitudes I was working with, she said I should get over being ill.

I cannot trust these people with my health.


First of all, if you don't feel you can partake safely don't do it. Second the company you work for sound like a bunch of bullies, and that alone would make me question anyone's safety regardless of health status. And I know the job's market out there is pretty tough right now, but if it was me I was seriously question whether I want to work for anyone who behaves like the company you work for.


Thanks Katina,

It is something I'm working on, work has actually been worse than that. Months before my admission their neglectful behaviour caused me to be signed of with stress, they refused to help me. I work as a programmer and my skills are out of date, another thing I'm working on. Before this goes off topic and I start ranting, I need to look before I leap, which I am in the process of.


Solitaire, My first thought on reading this? Been there. After which, I decided to be a temp. Working in similar environments kept my experience up to date. Vacancy came up few months later in one of the nicer companies I had temped with. Permanent job. Cross fingers for similar outcome for you, should you decide to go. x


Thanks Grannymo,

I made the decision, I've been fighting the fear and will take your advice and look into it.


Hi Solitaire,

I went to Go Ape a few years ago in my previous job and i had to support a student who didn't want to take part in the activity. We walked in the forest parallel to the guys in the trees and had a really nice day slowly walking. There was a treetop walkway partway along too which was good but you could bypass it if you wanted to.

Is there anyone else who would rather do that for the day? If there is more than just you it is still sort of team-building and you would be meeting them half way. Like the others said, it seems a strange choice of activity, i'm sure some are anxious about it because of having vertigo.



Hi there -

No team building day is worth the potential outcome , especially as your company sounds so unsupportive to your needs. The most important thing here is you and your health - hope this gets resolved.


Hi Solitaire,

Just read through to see how its going & i couldnt help picking up on one particular point.

When you had to take time off cos you were ill, your so called team of co workers treated you like crap. Esp the one who ignored you & the bully boy tactics your boss uses are appalling.

Isnt a team supposed to look out for each other, pull together, offer help, support, & respect one another?

In my opinion, that is how a team works.

Its obvious to all who have read how youve been treated you are not part of a team because every single one of them have treated you despicably.

Take care of yourself & let them shove the team building into the big hole which defines their so called team. They have lots of room for it, they should be ashamed of theirselves.

Obviously you cannot leave before you find another job, so i really do hope you find it asap so you can leave these awful excuses for people far behind you.

Should you feel you may need to justify not taking part, im sure your doc can provide a note advising against taking part.


Thank you all :)

No response from management yet.

I will be leaving and doing what I can to make it happen, even in this tough climate. Just surviving until I do.

Thank you for your kind words Howie and all, I can take strength from them.


I second that Howie.

As someone who would do anything for anyone, and is currently experiencing problems with work. I say look after number one!!

Is it worth potentially inducing a life threatening attack?? Um me thinks not, especially after the way you have been treated.

Rach. x


HI Solitaire,

Don't have much useful to add, just wanted to say I agree with other posts - they've hardly provided much team-building and it sounds like a toxic atmosphere for anyone if they act like that.

Congratulations on making a tough decision and I hope things go well for you - perhaps it will be a bit easier if you can get settled in a new job with perhaps more supportive colleagues or even just temping for a bit, as I can't imagine that kind of stress is good for your asthma.


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