Gargaro's World: Passing Time in Training Class

January 4, 2008
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I am sure most contractors would like to believe their employees get a ton of good information from attending a training class. However, in some instances it might be as effective as sending Bobby Knight to anger management class.

Well, here is that side of the story courtesy of David Elphee. He lives in Marshall, Va., and works at ACI, a plumbing/heating/air conditioning company. Elphee does technical and sales support.

In his own words:

Every so often I get the pleasure of attending a class at one of our local equipment distributors. A couple times a year, my boss signs me and my co-workers up for a class that he thinks we need. Sometimes it is a technical training class, but I usually get sent to sales classes. I think maybe he is trying to tell me something.

Anyway, I get paid to sit in a classroom for the day, and sometimes I even get a free lunch. If one of my coworkers doesn’t show, I get two free lunches. Truth be told, I would rather be running service calls, but once in awhile the change of pace is nice.

The instructor is usually some guy in a suit and tie with a “type-A” personality. If you ask him the right questions, you can usually find out that his last job was selling vacuums or used cars. I try my best to pay attention (I really do!). After all, my company is paying me to be there. Inevitably, however, my mind wanders and I sit there searching for ways to amuse myself. I do some of my best writing during these classes (not that I’m saying it is good, just my best). It’s a win-win situation; the instructor thinks I’m taking notes, and I don’t have to listen to him. Here is a sample:

Here I sit in sales class
Waiting for the time to pass
Drinking coffee all the while
Like its going out of style

Now I feel about to burst
Should have used the bathroom first

But now I’m stuck here at this table
Holding it the best I’m able

Listening to this boring fellow
While my eyes are turning yellow

Finally, lunch time arrives
Everyone runs for their lives

They too had too much to drink
The bathroom’s full, quick as a wink

I’ll have to wait in line, I think
Never mind; I’ll use the sink.

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