Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Training - HUH! What Is It Good For? Absolutely NOTHING, Say It Again!"

My apologies to Edwin Starr for that terrible rip-off of ‘War’ in the subject line.  Now that that’s out of the way, onto the entry!
It is always nice when your job can manage to surprise you.  It’s very easy to become skeptical when you’ve been with the same company for several years or so, and sometimes this leads you to think that you’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to your company or, at the very least, your position within the company.  This is especially true for me when it comes to all the trainings I have been apart of with my current job.
Let me begin by saying that I appreciate a job that’ll train their employees so they know what they’re talking about.  There are places where you go in and you feel like you might as well just look up the info on your smartphone instead of ask the employees for help.  That’s not the fault of the employees, but the employers.  So, it is cool that my job decides to actually try to train us in the stuff we’re selling.
However, there’s a fine line between being well trained and training harder than a surgeon would be trained.  Sometimes my job goes a bit overboard with all the trainings.  Between the computer-based training, the one-on-one trainings with managers, the department trainings every other month, the larger corporate trainings we get sent to, and the one-on-one vendor trainings, it’s all a bit much and it often feels like everyone’s tripping over each other’s feet.  You get all the information drilled into your head again and again and it’s hard to resist the urge to just tell the trainer, “I GOT IT THE FIRST TEN TIMES I WAS TAUGHT THIS!”
I mean, really, it’s not like we’re training to go deep undercover to infiltrate the mafia.
Everything becomes very repetitive and it’s amazing how certain trainings might change ever so slightly, but the managers – who must be used to working with some truly dumb as hell people – feel the need to go over the same things again and again in excruciating detail.  They always have this worried look on their face like, “Oh, dear lord, I hope this is sinking in for him.  He looks so lost as I’m explaining this to him!”  When, in reality, I’m not lost – just amused at their ridiculous repetition.  I’m not the world’s smartest guy but I can grasp simple facts and instructions.  If I don’t have a sarcastic smile on my face when somebody tries to ‘train’ me on something, then in my mind I’m going into autopilot and I only hear a “wah-wah-wah-wah” sound.
That’s why, when I get sent to a training and I’m not bored and the trainer is cool, funny, and laidback, I’m genuinely pleasantly surprised.  This was the case earlier in the year when I was sent to one such training for a week.  I’ve been to one or two similar trainings and it’s always torture.  The only bright spot is that I get away from customers for a few days.  This training, however, was fast-paced and totally laidback.  The trainer still seemed to spout the company line and praised everything our company did, which I somehow refrained from rolling my eyes, but she was easy-going and funny.  Sure, I didn’t learn anything new, per say, during the entire week that I hadn’t already known, but it was still enjoyable.
Not since when I was first hired was I as impressed with anything this company had to show me in the way of training.  I just hope we don’t go backward and revert to the old style of training within a year.
So, nameless trainer, thank you!  You’ll never know how much you alleviated my apprehension about that week.  If I had to be stuck relearning everything I already knew, I’m glad it was with your class.
More soon from the frontlines...

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