28 August 2012

Training Tedium!

Recently I had to attend a compulsory  training session at my workplace.  Now there is nothing unusual with this at all. Virtually every employee at one time or another will have to undergo some sort of training courses. 

In my opinion there are two types of training.  On the one hand (lets call it the left hand, as I am a proud leftie) there are the training sessions that are enjoyable, interactive and you actually come away feeling like you have learned something.  Then, on the other (right) hand there's the bland, boring, dictatorial type of training.  You know what they are like - you don't want to attend them but you have to.  You make your way to the training room knowing that the next 120 minutes will feel like a lifetime. 

Well the session I attended recently was of the bland and boring type. I was glad that I had a strong coffee prior to my attendance, as my general phobia of training is falling asleep! 

The session got off to a bad start.  The trainer was late and had actually got stuck in a lift for 5 minutes before being rescued! I started laughing as I thought the trainer was joking when he told the group.  Apparently he was not!  I should mention that in the training room there were about 12 people.  Some were of an IT background (you could tell that by the clothes they were wearing).  Then there was the Analysts (moi included) who made up about a third of the group.  Finally, there were the nerds.  These are the ones who take copious notes and ask a million questions, normally really obvious ones too.

Whilst I will give the trainer credit for being professional, articulate and knowledgeable - it was still an extremely boring session.  The reason for this was that we were being trained on how to use a database via an intranet connection.  My first thought was - "why are we spending two hours on this?".  The training could have easily been catered for by an email and a PowerPoint presentation. It was going to be a tough 2 hours - and it was.

I tried to keep myself occupied by occasionally glancing at my fellow attendees. Within 15 minutes one of them was falling asleep.  Thank God it wasn't me, I thought. The nerds were furiously scribbling notes and being all enthusiastic. I, on the other hand, was eyeing the bowl of fantales.  I ate one and then another.  Unfortunately I guessed the film stars on the wrapper straight away. So that didn't help me kill the time.  

About half way through the session, I had completely switched off. I noticed one of the IT geeks was playing a game on his phone.  It was probably one of those 'Kill the Zombies' type of games.  Then, suddenly, he left.  The lady sitting to the right of me was writing in a notebook.  She didn't look like a nerd, so I glanced over my shoulder.  I was right.  She wasn't a nerd.  In her notebook was a shopping list.  She had written down things such as - Saturday, buy bread, sausages, milk, cheese, washing powder etc.  Also, there was a note for her husband to get the barbecue ready.  It was clear that her mind was not on the bland subject matter but on food!

For the last 30 minutes I decided to bite my finger. Why? For two reasons.  Firstly, to stay awake. Secondly, to see if I was dreaming and having a nightmare.  Alas for me it was a real life nightmare!

The two hours were up.  I put yet another fantale in my mouth.  At last I could get back to reality.  But no, the pain would linger on for a few more minutes.  The nerds started asking a million and one questions.  What the???  Why couldn't they just keep quiet! 

At last the training was finished.  We all left the training room as quickly as we could.  That was hard, that was painful, that was needless.

I made a note to bring a notepad to the next training session.  Maybe I could write down my own shopping list!

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