Licks Get You Through Corporate Training?
attention, everyone! This is a very important part of your training.”
taking notes. “Why training is really, really dumb. By D.F. Krause.”
right,” intoned the trainer. “Everyone, and I mean everyone,
needs to get their eyes off their computers and on the screen where my
training presentation is being shown. It’s training! It’s very
around to see which of the other corporate schleps had been caught with
their computers open. Oh. None. Just me. So everyone, and he meant
everyone, actually meant your humble columnist.
gave me an additional glare for good measure. I gave him a big
thumbs-up. He appeared to have no idea what this meant. That made two of
us. It just seemed less likely to land me in the corporate woodshed than
the finger I wanted to use.
training session continued:
note that the information contained in Field C relates to the scenarios
referenced in Scenario 39 in your handbook,” the trainer said. Or maybe
he said, “Never explain how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie
Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.”
something. Don’t ask me what. I wasn’t paying that much attention. He
could have told us to press the 7 key to electrocute customers and I
would have merely blacked in the little circle indicating, yes, I heard
that part. On to Mod 7.
I have a
theory about corporate training. Would you like to hear it? Of course
corporate world, “training” is a euphemism for “Don’t blame me if these
dweebs don’t know what they’re doing. I had them looking at Power Points
for days on end.”
At my first
journalism job, I arrived on my first day and was told to contact six
top officials in a community I had never even visited and ask them very
tough questions. My editor said, “This is baptism by fire.”
Those who can’t be taught, do. I called the people. I asked the
questions. I wrote the stories. Did I have the slightest idea what I was
doing? Probably not, although I felt my way through it OK. Baptism by
fire was awesome training. If my stories had been crap, no one would
have cared when I said, “But I successfully completed training!”
training is the opposite of baptism by fire. It’s more like a tumble in
the spin cycle with water and bleach. It’s everything we can possibly
think of to tell you – more than you’ll ever need. More than you can
possibly remember. More than you can possibly stay awake through.
corporatese, they call this a “brain dump.” There are actually
middle-management types who think they sound cool when they use that
expression. When I inflict a brain dump on you, I am at my most cruel.
It means that I am going to tell you everything I know. But that is only
the start. I am also going to tell you some stuff I only think is
true. Then we will do a quick bathroom break.
return, I am going to tell you a bunch of stuff that I know is not true,
but it’s widely accepted as plausible in corporate circles. You are not
fully trained unless you think it’s fact as well. If you leave your
company-issued computer on during the night, tiny insects get inside
your hard drive and install files that send porn e-mails to the director
of corporate security. IT swears it’s true. Now you know. You’re
am just going to make a bunch of stuff up, and expect you to remember
it. Keep in mind, because I am just making this stuff up, I myself will
not remember it for the purpose of reminding you if you forget.
“Peckinspaugh! What did I tell you during the afternoon session?”
distributors in Micronesia are hermaphrodites, Sir!”
Peckinspaugh. Sounds like something I probably might have said.
Especially in the afternoon session. By that time, I’m pretty punchy.
While all this is going on, some dork who figured out a way to avoid the
big corporate training session is horning in on all the trainees’
accounts. How will he service them without having gone through Mod 7,
reviewed Scenario 39 or read the information in Field C?
he’ll just have to give all the clients Tootsie Pops. Baptism by fire.
Not for the meek. Nor for the trained.
© 2006 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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