Tuesday, January 07, 2014

‘Straining

Corporate FrankensteinTime was, years ago, I was training averse.

Far from seeing training as the free-lunch-supplied-jolly of corporate tradition I saw training as a stodgy corporate attempt to mentally and emotionally waterboard the prevailing corporate ethos into my captive psyche over the course of a working day (with a few egg mayo sandwiches thrown in for free).

A boxed set of The Office had also indelibly marked my intellectual flux capacitors with images of David Brent jerking his moobs to Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best” and thus the mere mention of ‘training’ transported me psychologically through time to the worst excesses of both the 1980s and the 1990s and, really, no egg mayo sandwich, no matter how good, was ever going to compensate for that kind of spiritual trauma.

So I gave training a wide berth.

And as a consequence I stayed sane but also remained in a state of career undevelopment.

Not anymore.

The last few months have seen a sea-change.

Not sure why – possibly the promotion has re-engaged me and helped me slough off the mantle of stagnation and disenchantment – but suddenly I’m up for all the training I can get. Even Health & Safety stuff. Yeah. That’s how switched on I have become.

Of course, there might also be a survival instinct kicking in here. People in my sector are losing their job, subsisting on crap pay that is forever losing the race with inflation, a job for life seems about as realistic as living on the moon in 2020… training suddenly seems a quick way to arm myself with the knowledge needed to make me seem a viable prospective employee or an employee worth retaining. 

So I’m putting my name down for everything. Grievance and Disciplinary. Data Protection. Institute of Occupational Safety & Health. Fish Thinking. Mind Gym. Cresting The Curve. Killing With Papier Mâché.

Only one of those is made up.

I’m becoming a sound-bite hoover. A corporate cyborg. It is becoming ideologically impossible to waterboard me because my mouth and mind is always receptive and I can drink faster than they can pour.

I am, in short, becoming simply the best.

Fear me.

The creature I am becoming would give Mary Shelley the willies.



14 comments:

the fly in the web said...

A friend's grandaughter reckons that those who hire these trainers - with an eye to their own CV or promotion chances - should be made to sit through the crap - in the company of their own bosses.
She thinks it might die out quite rapidly.....

Steve said...

The fly in the web: or some kind of weird evolution will take place and you'll find nature starts positively selecting people who respond to that type of training.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Be sure to attend the 'First Aid for Beardies' course - it won't look good if you give someone chin burns during mouth-to-mouth.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: better to give than to receive...

English Rider said...

It sounds like a plan, to me and it's reawakened your enthusiasm and will probably provide fodder for future posts. Win Win indeed!

Steve said...

English Rider: if nothing else I'll be better prepared to handle the complaints and grievances of the staff beneath me...

Keith said...

Go for it all.

If it is the same mind gym I know then that is good fun, if you don't get too serious about it

And Health and safety is always useful when you have a hangnail.

But worried about you getting your hands on grievance and disciplinary. we all know your history in that field. Surely that is akin to arming the beast.

You will be unstoppable.

Steve said...

Keith: when I have attained my godhood I won't forget little people like you. Promise.

Trish Burgess said...

I used to be a staff trainer in a previous life. I'm not sure if I was any good but my father-in-law told me I was very patient as I tried to explain to him how his new digital camera worked. My husband watched the proceedings and proclaimed me a saint.

libby said...

Sign up for anything I say...gets you away from the day to day grind.

Steve said...

Trish: patience is certainly a necessary trait for any successful trainer... but given the many I have experienced I would say you also need an almost psychotic earnestness...

Libby: a day out of the office is always a good thing!

The Sagittarian said...

You know what they say about a little bit of knowledge in the wrong hands...go forth and get your mind blown!

Being Me said...

You are a wise man, Steve. No matter their reasons for continuing to offer up Fish Brain Training or whatever it was, and other useful life skills, you're joining 'em. Which at this point in proceedings, looks far easier on your soul that trying to beat 'em ;-)

And hey who knows, you might get a handy set of moobs yourself with all those buffets on offer. Wa-hey!

Steve said...

Amanda: trouble is I might end up becoming the equivalent of human semtex...

Being Me: whoa! I think I'll steer clear of moobs, thank you very much, if for no other reason than I want to avoid the inevitable "nice moobs shame about the face" quips that would undoubtedly follow me around.