Thursday, 20 November 2008

TBH Day 3: I survived, no handcuffs

I'm now waiting for a taxi which is coming in an hour to take a colleague to the airport, and I am sharing her cab as I live near the airport. WE'VE FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a complete waste of three days of my life. However, I am proud to say I did not kill anyone, I am not leaving in handcuffs, I did not even lose my temper. I can't say that I distinguished myself professionally in any way, but I did not disgrace myself with any unseemly behaviour and was even able to be civil to our RAP (really annoying person). So I have done slightly better than our secretary, whose frustration began to vent onto the person of the facilitator, to the point where the secretary had to leave the room in the last half hour when the facilitator was trying to 'shush' the secretary as she took flipcharts down off the wall. Otherwise I think there might have been some bloodshed. The facilitator is rather annoying. She tried to sneak up on me when I was writing a letter to a friend during the morning's presentation because I am pretty sure she suspected me of not paying attention and wanted to expose me. It was a bit like a science fiction film, to begin with she was about 8 feet behind me, then next time I looked she was sitting at the end of my table, then I happened to glance up and she had moved her chair right up behind mine. I casually put down my agenda on top of my letter, leaving her frustrated I'm sure. Then later when she was distracted I put my letter in my purse.

Today was even more of a waste of time as most people had lost energy and were just sleepwalking through the day. Today was supposed to be all about planning our activities for the coming year. Not only was it a bad move to schedule this for day 3 when we are all zombies, but the time being given for the task was ludicrously short. Our breakout groups were supposed to come up with a year's plan in only one hour for each topic. Plus it became blatantly obvious that our ineffectual team leader has her own agenda as she kept popping into our syndicate rooms to give us strong steers in her preferred direction. Which is even more demotivating because you don't feel your output will go anywhere. Her favourite habit is to say, with warm sincerity: "that's a really good idea" and beam at you. I used to feel good about this response when I first joined, until I realised that it is her way of ignoring the idea. In fact, I was keeping count for a while today of the number of times she used the expression without writing down the idea or recording it in any way. Then I got into double figures and got bored. Perhaps she has a photographic memory but based on my observances, I would say not. It comes down to this in the end, that it doesn't matter how much brainstorming we do on being more efficient, higher performing, blah blah blah - if the leadership is not changing, then nothing changes. In fact, about my only takeaway from the endurance fest of the last three days is to discover that a few other (more senior) team members aren't too happy either with how our team operates. However, they are much more professional than me at playing the game.

So, dear readers, I apologise for putting you through TBH with me the last few days, but it has really helped me cope to know that you were here with me in spirit (or at least laughing at what I was going through) - thank you for your emails and comments of support.


swooze said...

I fully expected a knitting output report. You have to show progress some how!

Sarah Nopp said...

This is one of the funniest posts I have read in a long time! Good job on not using those knitting needles as offensive weapons.
I once had a 4 day work training intensive thing where they flew us to a training facility.
Thankfully, I was a bartender at the moment and they sent us to Disneyland for the training. The 10 am wine tasting was a bit of a shock to the system, but those were 4 good days of training :)
I still use what I learned.

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