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This is a question Training courses, seminars and conferences

Inspirational or a waste of precious slacking-off time? I once went on a buzzword bingo-laden training course which ended up with my being held at gunpoint in public. Could have gone better, to be honest. Tell us your tales from either side of the lectern

(, Thu 15 Mar 2012, 15:01)
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Years and years ago, I was working for a large company
that might have been responsible for pumping into your house that stuff that isn't electricity that you can use to cook food or heat your house.

However, when I say "working for" I mean that in the loosest sense of having to be there between certain times, and I didn't say "employed by" as I and the motley bunch of first-job-since-Uni people I was with were temps, not employees.

Some clever firm of "corporate lifestyle gurus" or whatever they call themselves had obviously given someone in procurement the bung of a lifetime, because it was decided from on high that at the same time as making thousands of staff redundant, there would be a Culture Change.

Posters went up full of meaningless bullshit, and then the edict came round - everyone, including for some particularly stupid reason the temps, was getting sent away for a 2 night, 3 day course in groups for "re-orienteering", i.e. days spent doing the standard trust exercises, group collaborations, getting in touch with our emotions etc.

That last element was particularly ill-advised; not only did I not want to listen to "The cat's in the cradle" (a song I don't advise you to Google) but hearing one of the senior managers descend into hysterics, and not of the happy kind, during it was possibly an over-reaction on his part, but bloody uncomfortable for the rest of us.

The important bit however was the 2 night's accommodation. We'd heard rumours that there was a "free bar" but were told by management before hand not to "take the piss".

Yes. A bunch of 22-24 year olds who had achieved after Uni the heights of entering meter readings all day were likely to be the responsible sort of adults who would take that to heart.

You can only imagine the carnage; and you'll have to imagine it, as I'm damned if I can remember it. The hangovers were so crippling that the "training" itself was an exercise in not vomiting or falling asleep. On the second night, we managed to drink the bar dry.

At the end of the course, we all got something resembling a casino token; this we were to treasure, to keep in our pockets and remind us of what we had learnt, and how from now on we were part of a happy family. I was certainly at one with the team, as I could virtually hear the collective "WTF" being thought by one and all as this largesse was handed around.

So, next time you open a utility bill, and curse at how much it is, be happy in the knowledge of how well the company in question manages its money.
(, Thu 15 Mar 2012, 21:13, Reply)

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