Friday, 4 July 2008

One of those days

Yesterday was one of those strange days. You know, the ones where you begin to wonder if you have strayed into an alternate reality. It started out ordinarily enough – I got up 20 minutes early so that I could get to work and get a specific job done before my training course started at 09:30.

Only when I got to work, they weren’t letting anyone into the building because of a minor fire. Fair enough – I got myself a cup of tea and went to join several hundred colleagues milling about on the fire evacuation site while we watched the fire engines sitting motionless near the building. An hour and a half later, we were let back into the building just as my course was due to start. So I went straight to the training room – which was still locked. After a while, someone came to let us in then went to get the trainer. Meanwhile the nine of us attempted to log onto our PCs. Another 40 minutes dragged by as the staff attempted to resolve a number of technical failures that prevented people logging in (including one PC with no mouse) and even load the software we were supposed to be training on.

Finally, an hour late, we were ready to start. As the organiser (lucky me), I stood up and addressed the class. “We’re starting late – do we want to stop at the original time or carry on another half hour?” One woman looked at me quite seriously and said that she would like to stay on the extra half hour, as long as we could have a half-hour break to go get sandwiches. Taking a deep breath, I pointed out that a half hour break would wipe out the advantage of staying the extra half hour - she looked puzzled. I also reminded them that we are not allowed to have food and drink in the computer training room. Another person suggested that if we weren’t having a lunch break, we should go and get sandwiches and bring them to the room. “We’re not allowed to have food and drink in the training room”, I repeated wearily. Another person agreed with that, and suggested instead we just bring in tea, coffee and cookies. I gave up at the point and told the trainer to start and run the extra half hour. The trainer then opened his mouth for the first time – and out came the Swedish Chef’s voice. Turns out he is from Denmark, talks 100 miles an hour in a very heavy accent and doesn’t know all the English words for the product he is training us on.

There followed four hours of bewildering gabble with no structure at all, enlivened by the frequent whispered comments from the (apparently insane) woman sitting next to me: “psst, what is he going on about?” “pssst, where is that? I don’t have that on my screen?”, “pssst, why didn’t he come in half an hour before the course started and get all this sorted out?” (to which I pointed out the obvious answer that half an hour before the course started we were all standing at the fire evacuation point). After a while I just ignored her and tried to concentrate on translating the instructor’s gabble, but that didn’t stop her at all, she didn’t really need any response. Four hours later I had a pounding headache and was not much the wiser about the software package. Then, when I could really do with lying down in a padded silent dark room, I had to go back and eat my lunch at my desk while I did the urgent work that I didn’t get a chance to do in the morning. We really don’t get paid enough, do we…

I did get one block sewn this week, as the sample for the BOM that I am running for my Saturday sewing club which meets tomorrow.


Teresa said...

LOL...I can sure relate to your day. I have been through two system implementations at my work, and I think that same lady must work at my institution. Being in SC, they of course sent us a consultant from Boston and he might has well have been from Mars for all we could understand him. I found myself staying until 10:00 and later, as well as working weekends, to keep up my regular job during that software implementation. I was younger and dumber then - won't do that again.

Your block is cute and glad you were able to get some quilting therapy in.

swooze said...

Ugh! You know they actually have to pay extra to get people who think!

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