I was part of a large team (100+ people) working on a worldwide rollout of a software product. It was quite a complicated business - the project was scheduled to roll out over a seven year period and we were about halfway through.
Early in the project one of the guys joked that we should have team T-shirts to build morale. Our manager said he didn't like T-shirts as they were too casual for the office. Our guy suggested golf shirts instead.
But no-one could agree and the "team shirt" debate continued, steadily becoming more serious, over the next few years.
One day, out of the blue, the manager arrives with boxes and starts handing out team golf shirts. I was impressed. Not only were they nice-looking, but they were decent quality.
He says everyone should wear their shirts the next day at our monthly all-hands meeting, to show team unity.
At the meeting we're all kidding each other about how cool we look in our team shirts. Then the VP stands up and tells us the project has been cancelled. Effective immediately.
Some of the people there had been hired two (I kid you not - TWO) days before. They looked like they had been sucker punched right there...
It's now three years since I left and the problem the project was meant to resolve has still not been fixed. Business is steadily declining as a result.
My shirt still looks sharp though.